By David Russell, reporter at OptionMonsterNEW YORK -- Private-equity firm KKR ( KKR) has been drifting in a range, but traders are looking for a rally into the spring. OptionMonster's real-time scanners detected the purchase of more than 3,000 March 16 calls for 20 cents to 25 cents on Friday. Volume was nine times the open interest in the strike at the start of the session, indicating that new positions were initiated. Owning calls locks in the price where investors can buy shares. The options can generate some nice leverage in the event of a rally but will expire worthless if the stock doesn't rise. KKR, which rose 1.45% to $14.04 on Friday, has fluctuated between $11 and about $15.70 all year. Earnings have nonetheless beaten estimates for three straight quarters, which could be leading some investors to believe that the stock is ready to climb. Total option volume in KKR was 10 times greater than average, with calls outnumbering puts by 34 to 1. Russell has no positions in KKR.