Traders are giving up on a rival bid for Whole Foods

It’s been several weeks since Amazon announced it would be buying Whole Foods for $US13.7 billion, and it seems as if the dust has finally settled.

Amazon wants to buy Whole Foods for $US42 a share in cash. A curious thing happened right after news of the offer — the stock price rose above $US42.

Buying Whole Foods stock for, say, $US43 a share when Amazon had a deal to pay $US42 in cash only makes sense if you think another bidder is lurking. If that bid never comes and Amazon pays what it always said it would — well anyone who paid more than $US42 is losing money.

Those hopes have since (mostly) come out of the shares. Walmart was seen by investors as a major potential bidder but was said to not be interested according to Reuters. As time as passed, no rival bidder has appeared, and investors have lost hope.

Traders buying the stock now still only profit if it moves well above the $US42 offer price but on Thursday, the stock was trading at $US42.02 and was below $US42 for a minute.

The shares closed Wednesday just one cent lower than Amazon’s bid at $US41.99 — the lowest close since the deal was announced.

Click here to see Whole Foods’ stock move in real time …