Unusual Options Activity: Mastercard (MA)

Near-the-money bet on share rally through June. The June 2020 $280 call options on Mastercard (MA), saw a surge in volume from 345 open contracts to over 4,000 trade. With shares around $277, the option is near-the-money, and could start moving dollar-for-dollar higher with shares between now and June if the company rallies. At a price of $21.10 per option, or $2,110 per contract, it’s not for every trader, but it’s far cheaper than the price of buying 100 shares and hoping ...
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Insider Activity: Eli Lilly and Company (LLY)

CEO and director buy shares. David Ricks, CEO and President of Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), recently picked up 4,615 shares. At a cost of $500,000, the buy increased his stake by nearly 3 percent. On the same day, Director Jackson Tai bought 1,861 shares at a slightly lower price, shelling out $200,000 in total. These buys are the first following a series of sales in September by a number of officers and an endowment that is also a major holder ...
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Three Companies That Treat Their Employees the Best

These firms show their employees the love—and deliver great results to shareholders. There are many ways to value potential investment opportunities. A more off-the-radar approach is to look for companies that get high ratings from employees. The logic is simple. When employees are happy, they’re likely to be more productive. Happy work environments are conducive to open communication about policies or projects that are (or aren’t) working. It makes hiring and retaining top talent easier, and that factor can have a significant ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS)

Bet on drop in silver through year’s end. A spike in put option buying on the Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS) December 20th $15 put options resulted in over 6,000 options trading hands against an open interest of 176—a 34-fold surge in volume. With shares trading at $16.30, the option bet will move in-the-money if shares drop just $1.30, or about 8 percent. Given the volatility in metals markets, such a swing is easily achievable within the next 52 days before expiration. At ...
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Insider Activity: JP Morgan Chase (JPM)

Director makes $1.99 million buy. Mellody Hobson, a director at JP Morgan Chase (JPM), picked up 16,000 shares recently, increasing her stake in the company by 15 percent. At current prices, the buy came to $1.994 million, and leaves the director with just over 117,000 shares. Insider data shows that the banking behemoth has had a mix of insiders both buying and selling in the past few years, which is typical of big companies that pay executives in stock options. Shares of ...
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Insider Activity: Retractable Technologies (RVP)

CEO adds to stake near 52-week highs. Thomas Shaw, President and CEO of Retractable Technologies (RVP), added 1,500 shares to his stake recently. Shaw owns over 18.7 million shares of the company, making the increase in his total holdings a modest one. Shaw is a frequent buyer of shares in small lots—likely just enough to ensure the small-cap company’s shares don’t move wildly, and he has been buying shares as they have continued to move higher in the past few months. Retractable Technologies, ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Twitter (TWTR)

Traders bet on further weakness following earnings miss. A variety of put options on Twitter (TWTR) saw soaring volume following the company’s massive earnings miss, which sent shares down by twenty percent. Of the numerous contracts with heavy volume, the December 20th $26 put options saw a 40-fold increase, from 101 contracts to over 3,900. The option, with a cost of just $0.23, is a bet that would move in-the-money in the 56 days until expiration if shares fell another 18 percent—a ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR)

Bet in surge of call buying. There was a 25-fold surge in volume from 111 contracts to over 2,800 on the November 15th 2019 $16.50 call options on Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), also known as Petrobras. The options, with shares of the Brazilian oil company trading at $15.50, would trade in-the-money with a $1 rally in shares in the next 22 days. At a cost of just $0.19, or $19 per contract, it’s a cheap bet on shares to rally in the next ...
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