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Unusual Option Volume For February 13, 2013

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Tracking unusual option volume can be a great way for investors to follow the smart money.  If a particular option strike is showing large volume relative to the open interest, that is a sign that big traders may think a move is coming.  Traditionally, this happens a lot with stocks that have upcoming catalysts such as merger rumors, earnings dates, and biotechnology drug results or FDA decisions.  I run a scans at multiple points during each trading session to look for potential trading opportunities based on these unusual volume numbers.  Below is a list of 8 large cap stocks that are showing unusual option volume relative to their average daily volume.

© Mike Hodges

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) – Today’s Option Volume: 15,739 vs. Average Option Volume: 1,302

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (NASDAQ:BWLD) – Today’s Option Volume: 18,151 vs. Average Option Volume: 1,818

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) – Today’s Option Volume: 157,260 vs. Average Option Volume: 14,519

Dean Foods Co. (NYSE:DF) – Today’s Option Volume: 19,772 vs. Average Option Volume: 2,513

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE:FDO) – Today’s Option Volume: 11,604 vs. Average Option Volume: 1,719

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ:KLAC) – Today’s Option Volume: 53,282 vs. Average Option Volume: 3,283

Men’s Wearhouse Inc. (NYSE:MW) – Today’s Option Volume: 8,821 vs. Average Option Volume: 907

Zillow Inc. (NYSE:Z) – Today’s Option Volume: 12,336 vs. Average Option Volume: 1,756

Again, there may or may not be trading opportunities available in these names.  But more often than not, there is a reason why a stock’s options are trading more than usual.  It may be because of an upcoming catalyst or quite possibly just a trader looking to make a bet on a particular direction.  Pay attention to the strike and expiration terms before making your trade.


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