Investing

9 Large-Cap Stocks With Unusual Options Activity: GOLD, FSLR, ABBV and 6 Others

While many investors brush off options, many others like to “follow the flow.” In other words, they want to know what the big funds and institutions are doing. We can follow their footsteps when looking for unusual options activity.

Thankfully, there’s a leaderboard of options activity for both calls and puts, helping us keep track of it all when we see outsized volume.

With that in mind, let’s look at 10 stocks with some heavy call flow over the last week.

Unusual Options Activity: First Solar (FSLR)

First up on the options flow leaderboard is First Solar (US:FSLR). There are not many stocks pushing to new 52-week highs, let alone new highs for the last 10 years.

However, that’s the case with First Solar and at least one trader is betting on more upside.

On Jan. 9th, one trader bought the March $190 calls, with shares still trading below $160. They paid more than $555,000 for those calls, which expire in about two months.

Another bullish trade stood out on Jan. 9th when one trader sold $6.68 million worth of the January 2025 $160 puts. Remember, a put sale is a bullish options position. An hour later, someone sold $1.275 million worth of the January 2024 $160 puts — the same strike price but which expire a year earlier.

A few minutes later, the same puts were sold for $1.36 million.

AbbVie (ABBV)

AbbVie (US:ABBV) came in No. 2 on the list, after one trader bought $1.3 million worth of the March $175 calls expiring. At the time, shares were trading just under $160, so this was an out-of-the-money bullish bet.

However, someone also took a more short-term bullish bet, buying $1.787 million worth of the Jan. 20th $150 calls. This in-the-money bet is a bullish trade that expires next month.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) 

Coming in at No. 3, we have Thermo Fisher Scientific (US:TMO) with a very simple, yet straightforward trade.

That’s as someone paid more than $2.9 million in premium for the January 2024 $640 call options. The position was out-of-the-money, with shares trading near $570.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)

One of the investing community’s favorite investors is Warren Buffett and now his Berkshire Hathaway (US:BRK.B) firm is on our list of unusual options trades.

Some may point out the $180,000 February call sale — a bearish options trade — that took place on Jan. 13th. However, the bigger trade took place on the long side. That’s when someone bought $1.97 million worth of the January 2025 $300 calls, which were in-the-money by $18 a share at the time of the trade. That trade took place on Jan. 9th.

A few days later, another bullish bet hit the tape when one trader bought more than $425,000 worth of the $315 calls expiring on Feb. 3rd.

Barrick Gold (GOLD)

Precious metals have been trading much better lately and that’s got at least one trader feeling good about Barrick Gold (US:GOLD). That’s after a bullish put sale hit the tape when someone sold $1.76 million worth of the January 2024 puts on Jan. 10th.

There was more though, with some short-duration put sales to note as well. That’s as $124,000 worth of the $19 and $19.50 puts were sold expiring on Jan. 20th, which were essentially at-the-money at the time of the trade.

JPMorgan (JPM)

The bank stocks kicked off earnings on Friday and there were some large options trades in this space, starting with JPMorgan (US:JPM). You may remember a rather sizable call trade in JPMorgan last week, but they were back this week too.

The trades that stood out the most included a $1.25 million put sale in the September out-the-money $120 puts when shares were trading near $141 and over $1 million in put sales for the $130 puts, with a majority of those expiring in July.

Wells Fargo (WFC)

Wells Fargo (US:WFC) also made the list, as someone bought $778,000 worth of the Jan. 20th $46 calls and $211,000 worth of the $46.50 calls, while shares were trading near $42.75.

After the company reported earnings, someone sold $160,000 worth of the March 3rd $38 puts. That’s as shares were trading near $41.

Lockheed Martin (LMT)

The defense stocks have been trading pretty well and at least one trader is betting on more upside in Lockheed Martin (US:LMT).

That’s as someone gobbled up roughly $2 million worth of the March $410 calls. These expire in just over two months and are deep-in-the-money, as Lockheed Martin stock was trading near $465 at the time of the trade. This took place on Jan. 9th and on the same day and just two minutes before the aforementioned trade took place, someone sold $424,000 worth of the March $510 calls.

It’s possible both trades are linked in a bull call spread.

United Parcel Service (UPS)

Last but not least is United Parcel Service (US:UPS), which grabbed our attention with two trades.

First, one trader bought $300,000 worth of the $185 calls expiring on Feb. 3rd as shares were trading near $179. The second, much larger trade was a $730,000 put sale. These involved the January 2024 out-the-money $145 puts expiring in just over one year.

This article originally appeared on Fintel.

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