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Pharma Bulls Roll With ETF Trade

Stocks in this article: XLV

By Pete Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- The Health Care SPDR Fund (XLV) hit an all-time high Wednesday, and traders are betting that its pharmaceutical names still have more to gain.

Options have been quiet recently in the exchange-traded fund, but some activity in the March 44 calls and the April 45 calls stood out Wednesday on OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. Traders 3,500 March 44 contracts for 53 cents, and at the same time bought 4,500 April 45s for 26 cents.

These calls lock in the purchase price for the stock no matter how high it might rise, so they can generate leverage and provide cheap exposure to a rally.

The March contracts expire at the end of next week, so the traders rolled that position forward in time. They received a credit of $65,500 for selling those calls and can keep making money if the fund keeps climbing.

The fund's shares rose 0.2% to $44.49 Wednesday, their highest closing price ever. The overall session was heavily weighted to the calls, which totaled 12,600 contracts against fewer than 4,300 puts.

Najarian has no XLV positions.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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