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Facebook Inc (FB) Traders Speculate on More Upside

FB speculators scooped up weekly and February-dated calls

by 1/7/2013 10:34 AM
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The shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB – 29.36) notched their best finish in five months on Friday, and it appears options traders are rolling the dice on more short-term gains. By the closing bell, the social networking concern had seen roughly 215,000 calls cross the tape -- a 72% mark-up to its average daily call volume, and more than double the number of puts exchanged.

Garnering notable attention were the weekly 1/11 29-strike calls and the February 30 calls, which saw around 15,800 and 14,700 contracts change hands, respectively. A healthy portion of the calls crossed at the ask price, and call open interest skyrocketed at both strikes over the weekend, hinting at buy-to-open volume.

More specifically, the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of the weekly calls was $0.40, meaning the buyers will profit if FB topples the $29.40 (strike plus VWAP) level by the end of the week. In fact, the stock has already surmounted this breakeven marker in early trading today, peaking at $29.45 right out of the gate.

Meanwhile, the VWAP of the longer-term, 30-strike calls was $1.48, indicating a breakeven level of $31.48 for the buyers. However, since they opted for February-dated calls, the buyers have several weeks for their bullish predictions to pan out. What's more, the company is on deck to report earnings on Jan. 30; a stronger-than-expected report could add fuel to the stock's fire.

At last check, FB has extended its upward momentum in today's trading, with the shares up 2.1% to flirt with the $29.36 level. From a longer-term perspective, the equity has rebounded more than 67% since touching a post-IPO nadir of $17.55 in early September, and has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 40 percentage points in the last 60 sessions.


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