Novellus Shares, Options Boil on Takeover Rumors

Novellus is seeing strong call activity — even though its shares are trading lower as takeover rumors are circulating on the trading floors.

More than 7,000 calls traded against 575 puts this morning, dwarfing the average December call volume of 810 contracts per day, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems.

Volume was also heavy in the NVLS shares themselves, exceeding a third of their average volume in the first hour of trading alone.

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Options activity was focused on the February 15 calls, which jumped at the open to $0.50 from $0.40 even though the stock was declining. At midday the chip equipment maker is down more than 3 percent to $13.26, apparently pressured by broader weakness in the sector and the market overall.

Rival Chip-Equipment Makers:

Applied Materials

Lam Research



Jon 'DRJ' Najarian is a professional investor, CNBC contributor, and cofounder of OptionMonster.com.