44,000 Jan $23.50 call options have already traded at 15 cents or below which is more contracts than is open.
They expire Friday and they are $1 out of the money.
It could be that someone is buying for ....
1. up side potential from todays earnings and expects a big jump.
2. someone who is short and looking for some insurance.
3. someone who plans on shorting Intel after hours if Intel jumps above $23.50 + $0.15
4. .... some other strange option play ...
Why cant it be also people long intel or long intel leaps that are in the money and thinking the stock is overbought, its only 1 day, i can pick up 0.15 for being long since i dont plan to sell any time soon but at the same time i recognize its overbought and 1$+0.15 higher over 1.25 basically from 22.4 to start losing on them is for a single day too much no matter what they report and for this reason its like free money on avg. So sell it covered. If it gets over there you can roll it at 3:45pm friday to feb 23s or sell far out of the money puts and cover or whatever which is a nice problem to have with the stock up to 23.65 say by then given it was in the 19s recently anyway.
I see no chance for intel to close so high after such rally although of course its a 30+ stock value.
They will tank volatility tomorrow and next week so whatever call can be sold today out of the money makes sense to me , that or sell all your long calls and wait to re-enter after the news on profit taking.
The fact is it doesnt matter what they report. If its great it will rally and then sell eventually. If its bad to mediocre it will tank and then rally if future looks ok on rebound. If its really bad it will sell terribly though.
I expect it will be probably better than expected ( 0.45$) and that they will say the future is better than the idiots thought it would be but they will remain cautious. As a result intel will indeed go to 25-30 and maybe even 30+ later this year but may gap up no more than 1+ and then sell down from here for a few days. Then on any selloff load the truck again. Intel has behaved real strong recently and is indeed overbought here so being careful is a good idea. The time to be loading was when i was screaming it was a multiyear entry point (with 30-40% upside) at 250 day -2sd levels at 19s and 20s and 21 for many weeks where i was buying jan 2014 calls strike 25 now over 0.85 when they were then at 0.4,0.5 etc and can easily eventually be 2-3$ anyway but are at some risk of tanking and volatility crashing here near term.
If someone has a good quote system, they could look at the trades to see if they were at the bid or the ask. After looking at the post, as I recall, the options were 15/16 and that seemed kind of pricey so I assumed that someone came in and bought a bunch at the ask price and the market makers had no appetite for any more so they made them pricey and hoped to get rid of some of the ones they bought. Some of the volume may be from market makers getting rid of some that they got. Looking at open interest tomorrow will clear that question up.
And I the presentation of the possibility of it being covered calls makes a lot of sense and adds to the insight.
Intel opened at 20.12 so the bulk of the options traded could have been gotten for .08 or so. So if my math is correct, @ .08 and 44000 there was $352000 of one day out of the money betting. And that purchase could have been why Intel spiked up early and hasn't done much since. Also interesting is that the 23.50 were bought and the not the 22.50 or Feb 23's. The bet really is that Intel is going to POP.