Option traders are looking for a rally in Morgan Stanley as it consolidates slightly below its 200-day moving average.
OptionMonster's real-time systems detected the purchase of more than 14,000 March 20 calls for $0.61 to $0.65 against open interest of just 2,102 contracts. These calls lock in the price investors must pay for the brokerage stock in the next two months, so if it rallies they could easily double or triple in value.
Morgan Stanley shares rose 2.47 percent to $18.65 yesterday and is up 23 percent in the last month. It gapped higher on Jan. 19 after earnings and revenue beat forecasts, but since then shares have been moving sideways.
The call buying reflects a belief that shares will continue to run higher in the near term and comes amid improving sentiment in the financial sector. In addition, Morgan Stanley is reportedly the lead underwriter of Facebook's initial public offering.
Overall option volume in the name was more than twice its daily average, with calls outnumbering puts by more than 2 to 1.
—Russell has no positions in MS.
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David Russell is a reporter and writer for OptionMonster.