NEW YORK -- Traders made some fast money Monday in coal miner
Cliffs Natural Resources
optionMONSTER's tracking programs detected unusual volume in the weekly 21 calls, which have a very short time frame because they expire this Friday. The stock didn't delay long to start moving!
Cliffs was little changed when the big trades hit, and started powering higher in a matter of minutes. It ended the session up 4.34% to $21.66, but on a percentage basis that gain was chump change compared with the options.
Some priced for as little as 26 cents early in the session, but the largest block was bought for 39 cents. hey more than doubled to over 95 cents by the final hour, which shows the kind of leverage that can be achieved with options. Some 10,600 traded against previous open interest of just 2,149 contracts.
Calls lock in the price where investors can buy shares. They can make huge moves in short times because they're so cheap, but they also can become worthless if the stock fails to rally.
Cliffs has been holding support at its lowest levels since mid-2009, which could make some chart watchers expect a bounce.
Total option volume was more than twice the daily average in Monday's session. Calls outnumbered puts by almost 4 to 1.
Russell has no positions in Cliffs Natural Resources