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Facebook option volume trumps Apple

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Apple is normally the leading stock for weekly options, but Facebook is stealing the show today.

optionMONSTER's tracking programs show bullish trading in the social networking stock, which gapped higher after a surprisingly strong third-quarter earnings report. In particular, they are buying the 24 calls expiring this Friday and selling the 23 puts. If FB continues to climb, the calls will appreciate and the puts will become worthless, making the position similar to owning shares.

In another big transaction, an investor rang the register on a winning bet in the weekly 21.50 calls. He or she sold 5,000 for $2.24, and then bought another 5,000 at the 23.50 strike for $0.64. That netted a payday of $1.60 and maintains a bullish position in the short term. FB is up 21 percent at $23.55 this afternoon.

Despite the attention on Mark Zuckerberg's company, AAPL remains active as well ahead of its earnings report after tomorrow's close. It sees volume of more than 182,000 weekly options, but the tone is less clearly bullish because the predominant theme is call selling. The 620s, 630s, and 650 weekly calls are the main strikes getting sold.

AAPL is up 0.18 percent to $614.45 in afternoon trading and is trying to hold support after pulling back to its 100-day moving average. Based on today's activity, traders apparently think it will pause at this level over the next 2-1/2 sessions.

Beyond the weeklies, FB and AAPL have combined turnover of 1.02 million contracts--a staggering 12 percent of the total volume across the entire option market!

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