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Despite the recent shanking the

Nasdaq 100 Unit Trust

(QQQ) - Get PowerShares QQQ Trust Ser 1 Report

has suffered, optimism appears to reign on the QQQ, judging from some recent

options market action.

The QQQ fell $1.83 to $56.96. Using a $65.15 close on Feb. 1, the QQQ has fallen 12.6% as of late Friday morning.

Joe Sunderman, an analyst at options firm

Schaeffer's Investment Research

, said that despite the recent downdraft, the QQQ February 62

calls have seen open interest (the total number of options contracts that have not been exercised or allowed to expire) swell to 44,000 contracts from 22,000 over the past five sessions. From a

contrarian standpoint, traders don't like to see that kind of optimism in the face of weakness in the underlying security, said Sunderman.

Also, Sunderman pointed out the open interest put/call ratio on the QQQ, which looks at the open interest for the front three months, is at 0.58, fairly low for the QQQ, compared to readings over the past year.

As for QQQ options trading today, it was, as usual, pretty robust. The

out-of-the-money February 62 calls slipped 0.20 ($20) to 0.50 ($50) on volume of 4,282 contracts. The heaviest trading was in the out-of-the-money February 60 calls, with volume of nearly 12,500 contracts. The calls fell 0.40 ($40) to 0.90 ($90).

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On the

put side, heavy trading was seen in the February 58

strike, where about 6,500 contracts traded. The puts rose 0.45 ($45) to 2.10 ($210).

Action in



options surged Thursday as speculators jumped into the stock's options.

Prices for Alza options perked up Thursday as the stock rallied 5.7%. The shares traded lower for a while today before reversing. The stock advanced $1.27 to $43.77.

The action yesterday could not be related to earnings, because the company posted its latest quarterly earnings on Jan. 25. The company beat Wall Street estimates by a penny.

Volume in Alza options was light today, after the volume and price explosion yesterday. A total of 16,809 contracts traded in Alza yesterday, of which 12,245 were call options, much higher than the average volume for Alza options of 3,131 contracts, according to data from

McMillan Analysis


Volume in the calls was heaviest in the February 40 and February 42.50 calls, where 3,590 and 3,349 contracts traded respectively yesterday. The last trade on the February 40 calls yesterday was at 4 ($400). The contracts were down 0.40 ($40) to 3.70 ($370) this morning on light volume.

Meanwhile, in the February 45 call, 138 contracts traded, up 0.50 ($50) to 1.35 ($135).