$XOM call buyers double money

Upside option positions in ExxonMobil (XOM) paid off big today.

On Oct. 13Market Rebellion’s Unusual Activity Service found that 5,900 October $98 calls were bought for $2.58 to $3.13 with shares at $98.19. This was clearly fresh buying, as open interest in the strike was just 1,391 contracts before the activity appeared.

Those calls have sold for as much as $8.15 today, well over 2.5 times their purchase prices. The stock rose 8.1% in the same time period, a large move but nowhere near that of its options on a relative basis.

Long calls lock in the price where investors can buy a stock, letting them position for a rally at limited cost with the potential for significant leverage. They carry less risk than owning shares because the most that can be lost is the price of the options no matter how far the stock might fall.

XOM was last up by 1.89% to $105.87 in late afternoon trade.

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