OptionMonster's tracking programs detected heavy call buying, with a big focus on contracts expiring this Friday. It first appeared in the September 35s for 16 cents to 30 cents, followed by prints later in the day for as much as 48 cents. Some 23,800 contracts traded overall, more than twice the previous open interest in the strike, indicating that new positions were initiated.
The buying continued with the September 34.50s, which traded almost 14,000 contracts mostly for 36 cents to 63 cents in volume far above that strike's open interest of 1,833 contracts. The September 35.50 calls saw volume of more than 4,400 as well.
Long calls lock in the price where a stock can be purchased, letting investors position for a rally with limited cost. They carry less risk because the most that can be lost is the price of the options, no matter how far shares may fall.
Freeport's stock surged with the option trades and ended the session up 1.66% to $34.89. The mining and energy company rebounded after holding support at $34 for a week and as sentiment turned in favor of global-growth stocks and commodities. Shares peaked around $39 two months ago and have been sliding since.
Total option volume in the name was five times greater than average in the session, with calls outnumbering puts by a bullish 6-to-1 ratio.