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December 4, 2013  Wed 5:16 AM CT

VMW: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Upside option trading hit VMware early yesterday as buyers looked for the tech stock to rally in coming weeks.

optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker system shows that about 3,000 December 82.50 calls traded for $0.75 in the first few minutes of the session, then kept on buliding throughout the day. Some 8,500 would change hands by the closing bell in volume well above the strike's previous open interest of 2,120 contracts, going for premiums as high as $1.20.

These long calls lock in the price where the stock can be purchased no matter how far it might climb, letting investors cheaply position for a move higher. The contracts can generate significant leverage if a rally unfolds but will expire worthless if shares remain below $82.50 through mid-December. (See our Education section)

VMW was down at $79.25 at the time of the initial call buying but then reversed higher and closed the session up 0.69 percent to $80.06. The data-storage infrastructure and virtualization-technology company was near $90 in September.

Overall calls in the name outnumbered puts by 12,300 to 1,500, reflecting the session's bullish bias. Total option volume was quadruple its daily average in the last month.

Disclosure: I own VMW shares.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)
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