Citigroup shares posted the biggest gain in nearly eight months amid speculation the banking giant may divest some businesses and that CFO Sallie Krawcheck may be replaced.
CNBC's Mary Thompson said there is speculation that Alvaro de Molina, the former CFO of Bank of America, is thought to be Citigroup's choice to replace Krawcheck.
When asked to comment, Citigroup denied that Sallie Krawcheck is leaving the company. When asked if the company has interviewed Mr. de Molina, Citigroup said it doesn't comment on personnel matters. When asked about a possible restructuring, the company said it doesn't comment on market speculationi.
"There are rumors surrounding Citigroup that they are seriously considering breaking themselves up into different entities," said William Lefkowitz, an options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York. "If Citigroup pursued this strategy, some believe the stock will move up to at least $60."
"In the options market, investors are speculating that this scenario can occur in the very near term," Lefkowitz said.
He said this is evidenced by the strong activity in the December calls that give the right to buy Citigroup at $52.50 a share by Dec. 15. Nearly 17,000 of these contracts have traded in the U.S. options market in early Friday trade.