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Options players set their sights on MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD - 2.90) on Tuesday, with overall volume rising to triple the usual level. All told, 7,454 calls and 1,487 puts changed hands on the biotech stock during the course of the session, with traders focusing their energy on a pair of January-dated strikes.
Most active was the January 2013 3-strike call, where 2,207 contracts were exchanged. Quite a few of these options were bought to open, although a handful of liquidations resulted in a relatively modest overnight open interest gain of 322 contracts.
Meanwhile, 1,150 contracts crossed the tape on MNKD's January 2014 3-strike call, where open interest climbed by 827 contracts overnight. Similar to their January 2013-dated counterparts, the bulk of these calls traded near the ask price -- pointing to buyer-driven volume.
With MNKD hovering around $2.90, these 3-strike calls are out of the money by a slim margin. The stock has gained a respectable 11.2% year-to-date, and MNKD is currently on track for a rare weekly close above its 50-week moving average. However, the shares are now facing off with their 80-week trendline, located at $2.94. This moving average hasn't been surmounted on a weekly closing basis since mid-January 2011.