U.S. stock futures are mixed this morning, even as oil prices rally on an unexpected alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia on production cuts. In a joint statement after this weekend’s Group of 20 meeting, the energy ministers of Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed that the current OPEC production cut should be extended by nine months, three months longer than analysts were expecting. Crude futures have rallied over 3% to $49.40 per barrel on the news.
Against this backdrop, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.2% and S&P 500 futures have added 0.13%, while Nasdaq-100 futures are down 0.04%.
On the options front, volume remained brisk on Friday, with about 16.5 million calls and 14.1 million puts crossing the tape. On the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio dropped to a one-month low of 0.57, dragging the 10-day moving average to its own monthly low of 0.64.
Driving Friday’s options activity, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw heavy call volume as traders rushed to position themselves to claim a chunk of the roughly $3 billion in dividends the company is paying out this week. Elsewhere, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) pulled in call activity following reports that Prime TV could be heading to the Apple TV following a two-year hiatus. Finally, a dispute has risen over whether Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) beat or missed consensus earnings expectations last week.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Today is the last day to buy AAPL stock if you’re looking to cash in on Apple’s quarterly dividend of 63 cents per share this Wednesday. In total, the payout is roughly $3 billion in cash — quite a hefty sum, and one AAPL stock traders have been anxiously awaiting. Typically, stocks trade lower as dividends are paid out, but Apple shares are trading marginally higher in pre-market action, up 0.25% at $156.49 at last check.
On Friday, Apple call options were the place to be. More than 2.1 million contracts changed hands on AAPL stock, with calls snapping up 76% of the day’s take. As a result of Friday’s influx of call options, AAPL’s June put/call open interest ratio ticked fractionally lower to 1.29 from Friday’s reading of 1.3. This ratio still ranks near all-time-high territory, and is indicative that, despite the dividend payout, options traders remain mostly bearish on AAPL stock’s prospects over the short term.