Whole Foods Shares Spike Briefly On Apparent Rumor Revival

Shares of Whole Foods Market Inc.
swung wildly Monday on what may have been a revived rumor of takeover by the privately held grocery chain Publix. If so the rumor died soon after it started. Shares which spiked about 2.5 percent in mid-morning trading crashed back to earth and were changing hands recently at $38.75, slightly above an intraday low. The earlier rumor emerged June 6 when financial website Briefing.com reported Thursday about “hearing chatter that privately held Publix is interested in” Whole Foods. The chatter had the effect of briefly boosting Whole Foods shares, which had earlier been hammered by a lackluster earnings report. Schaffer's Research noted that Whole Foods' short-term options were in demand Monday, with calls outpacing puts by more than 3-to-1. By purchasing the calls, buyers expect the shares to rebound above $39.50 by Friday's close, when the weekly options expire, Schaffer's said. Whole Foods traded recently at $38.70, down 1.1 percent.
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