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Bulls look for pop in Assured Guaranty

Pete Najarian (ask-pete@optionmonster.com)

Investors are positioning for a rally in Assured Guaranty, which trades for barely half its book value.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the purchase of about 8,000 December 14 calls for $0.87 and the sale of an equal number of December 17 calls for $0.22. Volume was more than triple open interest at both strikes, which means that new positions were initiated.

Those investors now have the right to buy AGO for $14 and have agreed to sell it for $17 if it closes above that level six weeks from now. They paid $0.65 to control this call spread and will collect $3 if it goes to $17--a profit of about 362 percent from a 30 percent move in the stock, which shows the kind of leverage you get from trading options. (See our Education section)

AGO fell 2.03 percent to $13.01 yesterday. The company provides credit-protection products to financial markets in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Almost 20,000 contracts traded in the name yesterday, compared with 4,700 in a normal session. Calls outnumbered puts by 6 to 1, reflecting the bullish sentiment.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)

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