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Options traders bet big on Starbucks, more gains in this Chinese internet stock

Key Points
  • Traders are making bullish options bets on Starbucks and JD.com, according to trader Pete Najarian.
  • On Monday investors bought more than 19,000 Starbucks calls at the June 58 strike price.
  • Nearly 7,700 June 45 strike calls were also bought in JD.com.

Consumer Discretionary is the second best performing S&P 500 sector this year and options traders are betting on upside in one of the group's relative laggards.

On Monday, bullish investors purchased more than 19,000 calls in Starbucks at the June 58 strike price for $0.45 per contract, according to Investitute's Pete Najarian.

A bullish options trade brewing in Starbucks

This trade represents a 1.9 million share-equivalent bet that Starbucks will move upward of $58 by the end of June – as each option contract entitles the buyer to purchase 100 shares.

The stock would need to move 1.5% from Friday's close to cross that key $58 level, at which point investors could collect a profit through selling the calls or buying the underlying stock (minus the initial cost to purchase the options).

Starbucks has underperformed the broader Consumer Discretionary sector year-to-date – it's down 0.5 percent compared to the sector's 13.5 percent gain through Monday's close.

On June 4th, founder and Executive Chairman Howard Schultz announced his retirement from the company later this month, and that Myron E. Ullman, former chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, would succeed him.

Separately, Pete Najarian also discussed short-term upside call buying in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com on Monday's "Halftime Report."

Traders were buying 7,700 JD.com June 45 calls that expire this Friday for between $0.75 to $1.30, a bet JD.com shares can move 3.2% higher within the next four trading days.

Today's bullish activity in JD.com follows previous call-buying at the July 40 strike price highlighted by Pete Najarian on May 23rd. Those calls, which were initially purchased for $0.65, have since soared more than 550% to $4.25 per option. Najarian took profits in the trade by selling that call position late last week.

JD.com stock was little changed on Monday, following a $550 million cash investment by Google in exchange for more than 27 million newly issued JD.com Class A ordinary shares.

The strategic partnership between the two internet giants is designed to help both companies better develop retail infrastructure across a number of global markets.

JD.com shares have risen roughly 5% in 2018, lagging behind its Chinese e-commerce competitor Alibaba, which has gained 20% this year.

Pete Najarian own Starbucks and JD.com Calls.