By Mike Yamamoto, managing editor of OptionMonster
NEW YORK -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) drew short-term bullish option trades Monday after announcing global expansion plans.
More than 13,000 March 65 calls traded in a strong buying pattern Monday for prices ranging from 7 cents to 34 cents, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. The volume was almost 10 times higher than the strike's open interest before the session began, indicating that these are new purchases.
Starwood's stock rose 0.61% to $62.94 Monday, not far from a two-year high of $63.45 reached on Feb. 15. The stock has faced resistance around the $64 level going back to August 2007.The shares rose after Starwood said Monday that will add 50 luxury hotels over the next five years in 12 countries. The announcement was made ahead of the company's investor day in Dubai this week. The calls purchased Monday, which lock in the price where traders can buy the stock, are betting that Starwood will rise above $65. But these contracts expire at the end of this week, so the shares will need to move quickly for the options to turn a profit and avoid expiring worthless. The call-buying pushed total option volume in the name to 22,575 contracts, seven times its daily average for the last month. Calls outnumbered puts by more than 9 to 1, a reflection of the session's bullish sentiment. Yamamoto has no positions in HOT.
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