Oil Surge Stirs USO Options Activity

The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, jumped 5.6% as oil prices shot to multi-year highs. There are signs traders are expecting oil exchange traded products, such as USO, to notch more near-term upside.

The expanding global economy has increased demand for commodities and drawn down oil inventories. For instance, according to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. crude stockpiles have declined for the past 10 consecutive weeks and are now at their lowest level since 2015.

The Energy Information Administration calculates that daily output, which was the highest since 1972 last year, could hit a new record of 10.6 million barrels this year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The EIA even predicts the U.S. will become a net exporter by 2029, and if all other energy is included, in just four years.

Related: Bullish Sign for Oil ETFs as Crude Oil Futures Surge

“By the numbers, roughly 117,000 USO call options changed hands on Wednesday, nearly three times the average daily amount. Almost half of the volume was centered at the April 13.50 call. While several mid-sized blocks were apparently sold to close, one notable trade occurred when a speculator rolled these long front-month bets up and out to the October 16 call. The last time USO shares traded north of $16 was in October 2015,” according to Schaeffer’s Investment Research.

New Highs for Oil ETF

USO was one of 16 ETFs that hit 52-week highs last Friday. Underscoring the strength in the energy patch, nine of those 16 funds, including USO, were oil products.