On Thursday morning, Investitute's tracking systems detected the purchase of 10,000 Weekly $215 calls expiring on August 24 for $0.83 to $1.47 with shares at $211.68 to $213.03. This was clearly new positioning, as volume was far above the strike's open interest of 5,861 contracts. Investitute co-founder Jon Najarian cited the unusual activity at that time on CNBC's "Halftime Report."
These investors may have wanted to profit on AAPL shares trading to a new all-time high, but with limited risk, going into the weekend.
Those calls traded up to $4.16 on Friday, five times their initial purchase price. The stock of AAPL rose 2.7% at the same time, showing how quickly options can far outperform their underlying shares.
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.
Apple was up 2% to close at $217.58 on Friday, August 17. The iPhone maker broke out to a lifetime high of $217.94 earlier in its end-of-the-week session.
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