What one bull is seeing in Agilent Tech


Agilent Technologies is trying to bounce, and one investor apparently believes that it still has room to move.

optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker monitoring program detected the purchase of almost 10,000 February 39 calls for about $1.60 and the sale of a matching number of February 43 calls for $0.41. Volume was below open interest in the 39s but not the 43s, so there are two possible explanations for the activity.

One is that the investor owns shares in the maker of scientific equipment and had previously sold the lower-strike contracts as part of a covered call strategy. Now he or she may think that the stock will go above $39 and is buying the options back to increase the exit level of the position.

Alternatively, both trades could have been opened. Then the strategy is a bullish call spread , which will leverage a move between the two prices. (See our Education section for more on how calls can be bought and sold against each other to exploit modest fluctuations in underlying share prices.)

A fell 0.13 percent to $36.97 in morning trading. The stock has been moving sideways for more than a year but is now at the lower end of its range. That could make some chart watchers think that support is in place and expect a rally.

The next earnings report is scheduled for after the market closes on Nov. 19.

Overall option volume in the name is 5 times greater than average, with calls outnumbering puts by 59 to 1.

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