Market News

December 5, 2016  Mon 6:45 AM CT

Russian stocks have rallied on positive news developments in recent weeks, but a large trader apparently believes that further gains may be limited.

The Market Vectors Russia Fund had been range-bound for months but got a boost when Donald Trump--who has publicly expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Put--won the U.S. presidential election. The RSX then rallied again last week on OPEC's agreement to cut oil production, which economists believe will stabilize the price of crude. Moscow-based energy giants Gazprom and Lukoil are among the fund's top holdings.

RSX rose 0.71 percent to $19.85 on Friday and is up 9 percent just in the last month. Earlier in the session, however, our scanners found that 4,000 Weekly 20 calls expiring on Dec. 9 were sold in one print for $0.18. This is clearly a new position, as open interest in the strike was just 181 contracts before the trade occurred.

Short calls generate income and lock in the price where a stock must be sold. The trade is usually done in conjunction with long shares in a covered-call strategy, reflecting a belief that gains will be limited through expiration. (See our Education section)

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