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January 30, 2009  Fri 11:34 AM CT

ISRG: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES

Intuitive Surgical Chart

Intuitive Surgical, a California company that makes endoscopic instruments, is running higher along with heavy options activity amid takeover rumors.  

Calls are jumping this morning as ISRG is up 2 percent on the day to about $104. Normal full-session call activity is 1,300 contracts, but 2,500 changed hands in the first 45 minutes of trading alone, according to optionMONSTER's proprietary Heat Seeker system, which tracks unusual options activity in real time.

Intuitive Surgical faced a bearish chart pattern earlier this month, a development that could have attracted the attention of possible suitors looking to buy at the lowest prices. ISRG's share price has been cut by more than two-thirds since trading over $350 in April 2008.

M&A rumors have been especially active in the health care sector recently, and Hearing Intuitive Surgical is only the latest of many names mentioned of late. The phamaceuticals industry in particular has been leading the way in takeover news, with Pfizer's $68 billion bid for Wyeth this week and other major companies publicly stating their intentions to seek deals.

(A version of this article appeared on InsideOptions earlier today. Chart courtesy of trade MONSTER.)

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