OptionMonster's tracking programs detected the purchase of almost 5,500 February 10 calls, most of which priced for 20 cents. Volume dwarfed previous open interest of 334 contracts, which indicates new money was put to work on the long side.
Calls lock in the price where investors can buy a stock, allowing them to position for a rally at low cost. They can also generate significant leverage if shares move in the right direction. (See our education section.)
Atmel rose 0.47% to $8.47 on Friday, and is trying to break above its 200-day moving average. The stock has been churning in a range for the last two years, while the broader industry group is back near its highest levels in more than a decade.
Total option volume was six times greater than average in the session, with calls outnumbering puts by more than 500 to 1.
(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro on Friday.)