What's With Ambac's Weird Options Action?

Ambac Financial Group is seeing unusual options activity Friday, as its shares rise 17 percent on the day.

The stock move is only $0.19, as ABK is at $1.31 in midday trading after struggling to stay above the $1 mark for much of this week.

  • Insider Trading in ABK
  • Who Owns ABK?

The options today are active at the March 2.5 strike, where a chunk of nearly 20,000 calls were bought for $0.15 against minimal open interest of 107 contracts. Those calls are now going for $0.20 to $0.25, according to OptionMonster's proprietary systems, which track unusual options trading in real time.

The action got our attention because it followed earlier activity we cited on Jan. 28, when the May 2.5 calls were trading on heavy volume as the stock traded at $1.23. Those calls, which went for $0.25 and $0.30 back then, are up a tad to $0.35 and $0.40.

  • Complete Data on Rival MBIA

Ambak, which insures bonds, made headlines earlier this week for granting $3 million in cash bonuses to four executives after its stock had fallen 95 percent in 2008. The company is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 25 before the market opens.


I have positions in ABK.

Other Financial Insurers:

MGIC Investment

Genworth Financial

PMI Group


Pete Najarian is a professional investor, CNBC contributor, regular co-host of CNBC's "Fast Money" and co-founder of OptionMonster.com.