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Option Brief: Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) -- which just settled a Lehman-related lawsuit with Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) -- has shed 13% since touching a multi-year high of $55.28 in early January, with the stock now trading at $48.11. Nevertheless, option players have gambled on a rebound over the next few weeks.
During Thursday's session, nearly 6,400 contracts traded at the March 50 call -- the most of any strike. More than three-quarters of the volume crossed on the ask side, and open interest soared by nearly 4,500 contracts overnight, pointing to buy-to-open activity.
By purchasing the calls to open, the buyers expect Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) to climb back atop the $50 mark by the close on Friday, March 21, when the options expire. However, the stock hasn't finished a session north of $50 since Jan. 23, and was rejected at this level last week.