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  Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 | 6:57 AM ET

Short-term traders turn to Pfizer

Posted By: David Russell | Writer, OptionMonster
Pfizer
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Pfizer

Traders are looking to make some fast money in Pfizer now that the pharmaceutical giant has pulled back to a key support level.

OptionMonster's tracking systems detected unusual activity in the Weekly 29 calls expiring next Friday, Sept. 6, where more than 7,800 contracts were purchased. Volume was almost 12 times higher than the strike's previous open interest, indicating that new positions were initiated. Most of the large blocks fetched $0.07.

These calls lock in the price where shares can be purchased, letting investors cheaply position for a rally. For instance, a gain of barely 3 percent by expiration would more than double the value of the contracts.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 | 6:52 AM ET

Bulls seek another winner in Covanta

Posted By: David Russell | Writer, OptionMonster
Landfill
Getty Images
Landfill

Option traders are coming back to Covanta after hitting a home run in the waste-management stock earlier this year.

OptionMonster's tracking programs detected the purchase of almost 22,000 March 22.50 calls for $0.75. Volume was more than 450 times open interest at the strike, indicating that new positions were initiated.

These calls lock in the price where shares can be purchased, letting investors cheaply position for a rally. They also have the potential to generate significant leverage from even a small move in the stock.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 | 6:39 AM ET

Trading in Leap reportedly probed

Posted By: Mike Yamamoto | Managing Editor, OptionMonster
Richard Drew

Regulators are reportedly investigating unusual option activity in Leap Wireless just before its acquisition was announced by AT&T last month.

The probe is being sprearheaded by the Chicago Board Options Exchange on behalf of the Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority, according to a report by USA Today. The CBOE will be looking into the purchase of a large number of calls on July 12, only hours before AT&T disclosed the $4 billion takeover after the market closed that day.

Leap had averaged barely 1,200 options per session at the time, but that day volume spiked to nearly six times that amount. OptionMonster's tracking systems detected heavy call buying in the July 9, Aug. 9, and Oct. 8 strikes. The activity stood out even more because more than 80 percent of the trades occurred in the final two hours of a Friday session in the summer, when option activity is typically at its slowest.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 | 10:22 AM ET

Cramer: This is the 'go-to' sector, despite Syria

Posted By: Paul Toscano
Cramer's Mad Dash: Farm plays
Jim Cramer explains how commodity prices could help boost farm stocks.

After news that U.S. missile strikes in Syria could come "as early as Thursday," CNBC's Jim Cramer suggested several sectors— agriculture, pharmaceuticals and technology—that could help investors protect their portfolios in the midst geopolitical turmoil.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 | 5:53 AM ET

Bulls come back to Dow Chemical

Posted By: David Russell | Writer, OptionMonster
Getty Images

Dow Chemical is trading at its highest levels in more than two years, and the bulls are looking for more gains by early next year.

OptionMonster's tracking systems identified heavy buying in the January 42 calls, where more than 8,100 contracts traded for $0.98 to $1.10 yesterday. The volume was well above the strike's open interest of 1,974 before the session began, indicating that new positions were initiated.

These calls can provide a relatively inexpensive way to profit from a rally without necessarily purchasing the stock. But if shares remain below the $42 strike price through mid-January, they could expire worthless.

»Read more
  Monday, 26 Aug 2013 | 6:01 AM ET

Bulls hope TiVo will fast-forward

Posted By: Mike Yamamoto | Managing Editor, OptionMonster
Getty Images

TiVo is drawing bullish option activity ahead of its earnings report tomorrow.

More than 8,200 January 11 calls traded in a strong buying pattern on Friday, led by prints of 3,488 and 3,000 that went for $1.08 and $1.23, respectively, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. The volume was well above the strike's open interest of 2,605 contracts before the session began, indicating that new positions were established.

These calls lock in the price where traders can buy the stock through mid-January, no matter how far it might rise. But these contracts will track the share price closely because they are in the money and could rapidly lose value if shares stay at current levels or decline in that time.

»Read more
  Sunday, 25 Aug 2013 | 7:00 AM ET

Here's where the bargains are in retail stocks

Posted By: Justin Menza
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Retail earnings have been a mixed bag as consumers become more discriminating. Retail stock investors might want to follow suit.

In the second quarter, Americans were willing to spend money on big-ticket items but were more reluctant to make smaller, discretionary purchases.

"You're seeing big comps from retailers that serve and sell items into the home," said Piper Jaffray analyst Peter Keith said. "Clearly, there's a shift right now on where consumers want to spend money, and it's on some of the bigger ticket purchases."

He pointed out that while second-quarter sales of televisions at Best Buy were flat with a year earlier, sales of appliances increased over 14 percent. Lowe's, meanwhile, said its beating expectations was driven by stronger appliance sales.

»Read more
  Friday, 23 Aug 2013 | 6:16 AM ET

Traders turn bullish on US Silica

Posted By: Mike Yamamoto | Managing Editor, OptionMonster
Getty Images

U.S. Silica Holdings does not typically see much option activity, but yesterday option traders turned bullish on the name.

OptionMonster's tracking systems identified buying in the October 22.50 calls, where 2,561 contracts traded for $1.35 to $1.75. Open interest in the strike was just 504 calls before the session began, indicating that new positions were established.

The volume wasn't huge, but it did stand out in a name that averages just 938 options a day. Total Silica calls outnumbered puts by 4 to 1 yesterday, reflecting the bullish sentiment.

»Read more
  Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 | 11:27 AM ET

Cramer: Almost nothing in this sector worth buying

Posted By: Paul Toscano
Cramer: I can't remember when retail was this bad
CNBC's Jim Cramer said that there are virtually no retail names worth buying in today's market, while the entire sector struggles to find growth as consumer behavior is changing.

The entire retail sector is suffering in an unfavorable environment of shifting consumer demand, and as a result, for investors looking to bet on retail names the opportunities are few and far between, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.

"I'm searching for a period where apparel was this bad in this country," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday. "What sticks out at you, whether it be Saks, whether it be Nordstrom, whether it be Macy's, Wal-Mart, whether it be Target—something happened. It's almost as if we've all decided to go to the thrift shop. Either that, or we're buying everything on Amazon."

(Related: Cramer: 'Giant reset' looming for markets)

"Apparel has stopped in this country. I've never seen this," he said. Cramer explained that many in the market are blaming a shift away from apparel to housing-related spending, which is supported by recent strength from companies like Home Depot and Lowe's.

»Read more
  Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 | 5:43 AM ET

The bulls return to Fortinet

Posted By: Mike Yamamoto | Managing Editor, OptionMonster
Thomas Samson | AFP | Getty Images

Fortinet has drawn upside option activity several times in recent months, and the bulls came back for more yesterday.

More than 3,100 December 22 calls were bought for $1.25 to $1.40, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. Open interest in the strike showed just 256 contracts before the session began, so yesterday's action was fresh buying.

These calls lock in the price where traders can buy the stock no matter how far it might rise through mid-December. The options could be sold earlier at a profit if premiums gain with a rally before then, but the contracts could expire worthless if shares remain below $22.

»Read more

About CNBC Stock Blog

  • The CNBC Stock Blog is a cross-section of expert opinions and insights from our TV and Web site coverage. This blog includes posts written by and about top analysts and strategists, super-investors and CNBC's own market mavens. You'll find stock picks, news about publicly-traded companies, commodities, hot sectors, ETFs and the latest options action.

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