Options Trading News

December 6, 2012  Thu 4:14 AM CT

Coal stocks have been hot, and now the bulls are turning to mining-equipment maker Joy Global.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the purchase of 3,000 January 60 calls for $2.32 and the sale of an equal-sized block of January 62.50s for $1.46. Volume was more than twice the open interest at each strike, indicating that these are new positions.

Owning calls confers the right to buy a stock at a certain level, while selling them obligates the trader to unload shares if they reach the strike price. In the case of yesterday's trade, the investor can buy JOY for $60 and then sell the stock for $62.50, translating into a spread of $2.50.

He or she paid $0.86 for that right and will realize a profit of 190 percent if the shares close at $62.50 or higher on expiration. That's just 10 percent above yesterday's closing price, which shows the kind of leverage that can be achieved with options.

JOY rose 1.91 percent to $56.63 and has been slowly working its way higher since the summer. Based on yesterday's call vertical spread, traders are looking for the gains to accelerate into the New Year. (See our Education section)

Total option volume was triple the daily average in the session, with calls dominating the action.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)
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As I stated in last week's article, a break out or a break down needs to have a couple things happen before it is considered a confirmed break out or break down. The only problem is that in today's market where things move much more quicker than they did just a few years ago, two days could wind up being the majority of the expected movement, if not the whole movement.

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