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Friday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (PBR)

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Wall Street could be in a joyous mood on Friday as February's nonfarms payrolls report helped ease some fears about hiring. The U.S. tacked on 242,000 jobs last month, beating analysts' projections for 195,000 jobs added last month, with the unemployment rate holding at 4.9%.

Ahead of the report, U.S. stock futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were hovering 0.11% above breakeven, with S&P 500 futures up 0.08% and Nasdaq Composite futures higher by 0.17%.

Options volume was brisk on Thursday, though exchange-traded funds' recent popularity taking a bit of a hit. On the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio plunged to 0.55, its lowest reading of 2016. As a result, the 10-day moving average hit its fourth-straight monthly low at 0.67.

On the equity options front, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL ) call volume spiked after the company launched a tech support account on Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR ). Meanwhile, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK ) options activity spiked as short sellers are squeezed amid a 26% surge in CHK stock. Finally, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE: PBR ) extended its rally following news of a secured $10 billion loan from China Development Bank.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Apple finally joined the rest of the tech world in creating a support account on Twitter , where the company was immediately deluged with complaints. Additionally, reports have surfaced that Apple may be launching its first OLED iPhone in 2017 .

Options activity was quite bullish on AAPL stock on Thursday. Overall volume came in at 1.2 million contracts, with call volume returning to form with 65% of the day's take. Levels to watch today include the March 4 series $100 strike, where some 19,000 calls and 13,000 puts currently reside.

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Additionally, there are more than 18,000 calls perched overhead at the $103 strike that could create a bit of a headwind to any rally today.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

Chesapeake Energy short sellers are taking it on the chin this week. The stock surged more than 26% on Thursday as momentum continued from news that they would not be included on indictment charges of bid-rigging against former CEO Aubrey McClendon, who died in a car crash a day after the indictment.

While buy-to-open CHK calls were quite popular yesterday (as shorts look for a way to limit losses), Chesapeake puts were the place to be. Overall volume topped 700,000 contracts, setting a near-term record for CHK. Put volume was impressive, accounting for 61% of the day's take. Keep in mind that puts are often used as "insurance policies" against newly opened stock positions in a strategy called "married puts."

Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (PBR)

PBR stock traders are continuing to cheer the company's improving financial situation. Earlier in the week, Petrobras secured a $10 billion loan from China Development Bank - a much-needed injection of cash for the struggling energy company. Additionally, a recovery in crude prices this week is also playing into the stock's strength. PBR stock is now up more than 60% since late January.

PBR options traders are jumping on the bullish bandwagon in droves this week. On Thursday, volume swelled to more than 500,000 contracts, with calls snapping up 79% of the day's take. In premarket activity, PBR is trading north of $5, putting the stock well above all major put and call accumulations in the March 4 and March 11 series of options.

Expect PBR options traders to play catchup over the next couple of sessions if the stock is able to solidify support north of $5.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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The post Friday's Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (PBR) appeared first on InvestorPlace .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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