In the second-straight day of heavily bullish options buying in Apple, one major investor appears to be betting nearly $60 million that Apple shares will rise above $700 by October.
In one of Wednesday morning's largest options trades, 20,000 Apple 675-strike call options were traded for $21.30 per share. Since each call contract gives an investor the right to buy 100 shares at a set price within a set time, this amounts to a $43 million wager that the stock will trade above $696 by Oct 17.
In addition, the same trader appeared to buy 10,000 October 700-strike calls for $14.75 each. This is essentially a $15 million bet that Apple shares will rise above $715 by that same expiration date.
That would exceed Apple's all-time high of $705, which it hit in September 2012.
It's worth noting that while Apple's shares are about to split 7-for-1, the strike prices will automatically be adjusted for this split. So each 700-strike option will become seven 100-strike options. Apple's all-time high on a split-adjusted basis is about $101.
Wednesday's two trades occurred on the Amex exchange less than a minute apart from each other, shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, and Amex is reporting that they were both bought to open new positions. This is also confirmed by the rising price of the options contracts.
Interestingly, these trade come one day after Tuesday's major options activity in Apple, when one trader "rolled" a bullish position higher, selling 8,300 of the July 600-strike calls and buying 10,250 of the July 680-strike calls.
These trades come hot on the heels of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, which many commentators viewed as setting the tech giant up for some major innovations in hot areas like wearables.
But Dan Nathan of RiskReversal.com says that from a trading perspective, it might simply make sense for major player to buy bullish options now.
"The price of Apple options is nearing three-year lows, and with the stock up on a big spike it makes sense to define risk and play for a retest of a previous high," Nathan said. Thought many didn't think Apple would get back through the $700 level in some time, "the big money thinks it will happen by October!"
—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg.
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