Starbucks stock retreated in heavy volume after a report suggested the coffee chain's growth may be losing some steam.» Read More
Financials were on the move yesterday, and the fast money was targeting JPMorgan Chase.
OptionMonster's tracking systems detected heavy volume in the weekly 52.50 calls expiring this Friday, with big trades hitting early for $0.11 to $0.15. An even 16,000 traded in volume far above the strike's previous open interest of 2,685 contracts, indicating that new positions were established.
These calls lock in the price where shares can be purchased in the financial giant, letting investors cheaply position for a rally. These options also control the amount of money that can be lost if the stock falls.
NextEra Energy has pulled back to a key level, and momentum traders are piling in.
OptionMonster's tracking systems detected the purchase of more than 4,300 January 82.50 calls, most of which priced for $2.20. Volume was more than 16 times open interest at the strike, indicating that new money was put to work.
These calls lock in the price where shares can be purchased in the power-generation company, letting investors cheaply position for gains and enjoy major leverage if the stock rallies.
CNBC's Jim Cramer says Vodafone would be the clear winner—at least for now—if it succeeds in selling its 45 percent stake in the Verizon Wireless joint venture.
Verizon shares rallied strongly on the news Thursday, closing up 2.71 percent. (Click here to see where Verizon shares are trading now.)
"This is an exciting deal because Verizon will look very different," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."
(Read more: Verizon, Vodafonediscuss possible $130 billion deal)
But although the company would have new operational opportunities with complete ownership of the joint wireless arm, "people are getting too excited about Verizon here," Cramer said. He cited increased competition in the wireless market and noted that when the stock of an acquiring company jumps higher in premarket trading as was the case with Verizon on Thursday, that often signals the stock will recede in later trading.
"If you really like Verizon, you'll get a better chance" to buy it later, he said.
Recently, Verizon was trading down because of a rising yield on the 10-year Treasury and cut-throat competition from companies like T-Mobile, which has been gaining market share.
On the other hand, Cramer said that "Vodafone seems really attractive to me here, because the stub of what's left is way too cheap. Vodafone makes sense to go higher."
He added that with improving economic indicators in Europe, Vodafone is a "great way" to play the economic recovery. "Vodafone has some great assets that have been really undervalued because Europe has been bad," he said. "If we were over in London, I think we'd be very excited about Vodafone and what the implications are for the new Vodafone. That's a buy."
"If you think Europe is coming back, like I do, Vodafone is a great way to play it," he added.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.