Bulls riding high as $UAL takes off

United Continental has been rebounding from sharp losses in the last two weeks, and option traders are scoring big on upside positions.

On Sept. 25, Investitute’s tracking systems detected the purchase of 5,000 November $62.50 calls for $1.59 as part of a bullish spread with shares at $58.99. Investitute co-founder Jon Najarian cited the unusual option activity at that time on CNBC’s “Halftime Report.”

Those calls sold for $3.87 today, more than 2.5 times their purchase price. The stock rose 8.8 percent in the same time frame, underscoring the kind of leverage that can be achieved through options.

Long calls lock in the price where a stock can be purchased, gaining with a rally and providing leverage to the underlying shares. The contracts can quickly lose value if the stock stalls or pulls back but also carry less risk than owning the shares themselves.

UAL jumped 6.14 percent to $64.14 today. The carrier rallied along with its rivals after Delta Air Lines reported strong traffic numbers.