Dear FBI: Here Is Today's Market Manipulation

Last Thursday, it was Avon that was cheated higher after a fake takeover filing provided just enough momo juice for the machines to destroy any and every short in the stock instantly. Today, it was Quest Diagnostics turn to be manipulated.

Between 1005 and 1015ET today, someone quietly - and with no price movement - bought around 1200 lots (equivalent of 120,000 shares) of June $75 Strike call options at around the $1.25 level.

Then at around 1027ET, targeted rumors started to circulate, and a tweet - since inexplicably deleted - was sent by @OptionsHawk which, according to Bloomberg, said "Quest had hired Goldman Sachs & Co. after receiving a $95-a-share approach. "

The calls exploded to over $12 in price (a 1100% return) and the stock soared over 20%.

Then denials.

"It's rumors of them selling themselves but they're being really quiet," said JMP Securities analyst J.T. Haresco. "No one (at the company) is answering any calls, so it's all speculation."

You decide!! Does this look like someone got really lucky... or was it all a massive manipulation?




The tweeted rumor has been deleted and the Twitter member has stated in his defense:


And then @Optionshawk stated that the tweet was "removed because I never said it, they mis-quoted the whole thing."

Of course, since the tweet has been deleted there is no way to check what was actually quoted. Or misquoted.

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Given that the FBI is investigating the Avon pump-and-dump, we assume they will quickly get to the bottom of the case above, especially since it would take about 5 minutes to find out who bought the calls.