Option traders turned bullish on Ford as its stock hit a nine-month high on Monday.
More than 18,000 January 13 calls traded in a strong buying pattern as premiums rose from $0.04 to $0.14, according to optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker tracking system. The volume was more than triple the strike's open interest of 5,700 contracts at the start of the session, so these are new positions.
F rose 4.55 percent to close at its session high of $12.40 on Monday, its highest price since early April. The auto maker's stock has been trending higher since bottoming around $9 five months ago and is now heading back to its range between $12 and $13 from early this year.
Monday's call buyers are betting that Ford will return to the high end of that channel and close above the $13 strike price by expiration on Jan. 18. Shares hit a 52-week high of $13.04 in mid-March.
Long calls lock in the price where traders can buy shares and can provide significant leverage if the stock rallies. However, these contracts will expire worthless if the stock doesn't rise. (See our Education section)
Ford's total option volume on Monday was more than 2.5 times its daily average in the last month. Calls outnumbered puts by nearly 2 to 1.
Disclosure: I own F shares.
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