By Pete Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster
NEW YORK -- The bulls were banking on Regions Financial (RF) on Monday with the stock near its 52-week highs.
OptionMonster's tracking systems showed early buying in the March 8 calls for 12 cents and 13 cents. More than 6,650 contracts traded in the session, nearly twice the previous open interest of 3,583 at the strike. That indicates that new money was put to work on the long side.
Those traders now have the right to buy shares for $8 in the next two months, no matter how high they may go. That will result in some nice leverage in the event of a continued rally, but the calls will expire worthless if the stock doesn't move.Regions' shares rose 0.26% to $7.71 Monday. Strong earnings have helped regional banks outperform their larger counterparts in recent weeks, with loan growth a major driver. Another key factor has been the recent refinancing boom. Almost 10,000 contracts traded in the session, compared with 3,700 in a normal session. Calls outpaced puts by more than 10 to 1, so the tone was definitely bullish. Najarian has no positions in RF.