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The shares of Valassis Communications (VCI: sentiment, chart, options) have soared more than 16% this morning following news that News Corp. (NWS) settled a lawsuit filed by VCI for $500 million after deciding it may have difficulty presenting its case to a jury. Valassis, a distributor of newspaper inserts, already won $300 million in damages in a lawsuit against News Corp. subsidiary News America Marketing for engaging in unfair competition, and more trials were pending. News Corp. said Saturday the settlement also covers the $300 million.

Not surprisingly, options players are exhibiting a preference for calls as more than 6,900 call contracts have crossed the tape. This volume is more than six times the equity's average daily trading volume.

Digging into the action, the February 25 call has traded more than 3,000 contracts on open interest of 2,059 contracts. Meanwhile, the March 25 call has traded nearly 2,000 contracts on open interest of 4,120 contracts.

Technically speaking, the shares have gapped higher, tagging a fresh annual high of $25.11. The equity has been in a steady uptrend along its 10-week and 20-week moving average since March 2009.


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