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Option Brief: As Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) ran to a record peak on Tuesday, call players piled into the stock's options pits. By the time the closing bell rang, roughly 46,000 calls had crossed the tape, more than two times the average daily pace and nearly five times the number of puts that traded. The most active contract was the April 36 call, and it appears a number of speculators bet on DAL to tag another technical milestone in the near future.
Of the 13,559 calls traded at this out-of-the-money strike -- including one large block of 7,503 -- 83% did so at the ask price. Implied volatility ticked higher on the day, and open interest added 12,931 new positions overnight. Summing it all up, it seems safe to assume a new batch of bullish bets was initiated. At last night's close, delta for the call was docked at 0.39, suggesting a roughly 2-in-5 chance of an in-the-money finish at the close on Thursday, April 17, when back-month options expire.
Checking out the charts, Tuesday's impressive 5.7% pop in the wake of strong monthly revenue numbers
only highlights the stock's withstanding technical tenacity. Year-over-year, the shares are up 117.2%, while in 2014 alone, the equity has tacked on 25.4%. Assisting the security in its move higher has been its 60-day moving average -- currently located at $30.20 -- which has served as a springboard for Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) since November 2012. In today's session, DAL is extending this upward trajectory, hitting a new record peak of $34.97 right out of the gate, before easing back to $34.93.