NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Clorox Co’s shares hit a new year-high on Monday and volume on the home cleaning products maker’s options soared after the company said it is discontinuing its Venezuela operations and will look to divest its assets as the business is no longer viable.
Clorox shares were up 7 percent at $97.09 on Monday. Options volume in Clorox spiked to 61 times normal with 31,000 calls and 2,750 puts traded so far on Monday, according to data from options analytics firm Trade Alert.
Calls betting on an 8 percent gain in Clorox shares by Jan. 17 were the most popular and traded 10,967 times today, with 4,700 calls at the $105 strike that are set to expire on Jan. 17 bought for $1.10 when the market was at $1.05 to $1.25, according to Thomson Reuters Data.
Meanwhile, 4,420 calls at the same strike and expiration were bought for $1.30 when the market was at $0.40 to $1.40, earlier in the day.
The 30-day implied volatility, which projects what the marketplace is implying the volatility of the stock will be in the future based on price changes in an option, was up about 53 percent at 18.57 percent for Clorox options on Monday, according to data from options analytics firm Livevol Inc.
Clorox’s exit from Venezuela is likely a “modest positive” for Clorox since Venezuela is a relatively small part of the company’s business, brokerage Oppenheimer said in a note to clients.
“The more interesting aspect of this announcement is the potential for it to urge the Venezuelan government to be more conciliatory in its relations with other multi-nationals that have larger operations in the country,” Oppenheimer said.
Index snapshot at 14:11 EDT (1813 GMT):
* S&P 500 was falling 16.33 points, or 0.81 percent.
* Nasdaq Comp was losing 61.72 points, or 1.35 percent.
* Dow industrials was dropping 84.38 points, or 0.49 percent.
* Russell 2000 was falling 17.49 points, or 1.52 percent.
* S&P MidCap was dropping 17.57 points, or 1.24 percent.
* S&P SmallCap was losing 7.75 points, or 1.18 percent. (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Nick Zieminski)