Option traders logged exponential gains today on upside positions in Applied Materials (AMAT) for the second session in a row.
On Dec. 6, Market Rebellion's Unusual Activity Service identified the purchase of 7,300 February $60 calls for $1.99 to $2.33 with shares at $56.79. This was clearly fresh buying, as open interest in the strike was a mere 11 contracts before that session began.
Those calls have traded for as much as $7.44 today, more than 3 times their purchase prices. The stock rose 18.75% in the same time frame, underscoring how options can far outperform their underlying shares.
It is the second winning trade in the name posted on Market Rebellion in as many days.
Long calls lock in the price where investors can buy a stock, letting them position for a rally at limited cost with the potential for significant leverage. They carry less risk than owning shares because the most that can be lost is the price of the options no matter how far the stock might fall.
AMAT reached $67.90 this morning but has pulled back with the broader market to trade at $67.03 this afternoon, down 0.5% on the session. The chip-equipment maker topped earnings and sales estimates after the market closed Wednesday.