Options Action Points to Hershey, Rigel Pharma

Activity in the options market points toward developments at Hershey, according to Interactive Brokers equity options analyst Rebecca Darst.

She told CNBC of a late-session burst of activity on Wednesday.

"Option volume in Hershey quickly swelled to 17 times the normal level, with calls out-trading puts by about 18 to 1," Darst said. "As is natural in that environment, we saw a 45 percent spike in implied volatility; this marked the highest level of activity in Hershey calls since May 27, when there was rampant conjecture that the company might pursue some sort of joint venture with Nestle."

She said the activity hinted at the kind of cyclical rumors that surrounded Anheuser-Busch leading up to its merger deal with InBev .

Another stock whose implied volatility spiked on Wednesday was Rigel Pharmaceuticals.

"Rigel reported disappointing earnings two days ago," Darst recalled. "Normally, when a company comes (out) with numbers -- even if they're very disappointing numbers -- you'll see a fairly sharp contraction in implied volatility...because the options market believes there's generally less immediate price risk...but in the case of Rigel, what we saw yesterday was implied volatility go up, and it was up as high as 45 percent at one point."

She said puts out-traded calls by five to one in Rigel options action on Wednesday.


Disclosure information was not available for Darst or her company.