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Largest option buying in equities so far

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Nearing the halfway mark in today's session, here are the individual equity names with the most call and put buying on optionMONSTER's ActionTracker data system.

Bank of America (BAC): An investor sold 30,000 February 8 puts for $0.39 and bought an equal number of February 10 calls for $0.41. Volume was below open interest at both strikes, so the activity may result from a new bullish trade being implemented or an existing bearish trade being closed. BAC rose 0.11 percent to $8.97.

Microsoft (MSFT): Volume surged in the January 29 calls for $1.77 to $1.81 as investors positioned for upside in the software giant. MSFT rose 0.61 percent to $29.67.

Covanta (CVA): An investor bought 7,500 March 17.50 calls for $0.70 and sold an equal number of March 15 puts for $0.30, looking for the stock to rally into early 2013. CVA fell 0.29 percent to $17.12. (See related story )

Pfizer (PFE): A block of 20,000 December 25 puts were bought for $0.65, followed by a large trade in the shares. That is consistent with a directional-neutral volatility play that will profit from higher option premiums rather than move up or down. PFE rose 0.22 percent to $25.09. (See related story )

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