US Steel rally draws bullish option plays

July 30, 2015 12:42 PM

Shares in U.S. Steel are bucking the broader market Thursday, adding 1.05% to stand at $20.26 and off an earlier-in-the-week low of $15.68. The move follows a midweek rally on heavy share volume after a two-month malaise for the stock.

It appears that an option trader closed out a bullish call option position at the Sep 18.0 strike and placed a fresh upside play using the Sep 22.0 and 25.0 strikes. The 18.0 calls expiring in September were sold at a 3.00 premium on volume of 14,000 contracts and likely the closing side of already established positions. Call options at the same expiration were bought and sold across the two higher strike prices for a net premium of 75-cents using 15,000 lots. That would imply a breakeven share price of $22.75 for the strategy, meaning the stock would need to rally by a further 12.3% from where it last traded. The 3.00 spread caps the maximum gain from the trade to 2.25 points or $3.375 million in the event the share price rallies to $25.00 or above.  

Chart shows rebound for stock prompts bullish call spread in U.S. steel

About the Author

Andrew is a seasoned trader and commentator of global financial markets. He worked for several London-based banks trading cash and derivatives before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school. Andrew re-joins Interactive Brokers following a two-year stretch at a major Wall Street broker-dealer as their Chief Economic Strategist. His coverage of stocks, options, futures, forex and bonds regularly surfaces in global media, and over the last several years Andrew has made many TV appearances on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC and BNN and Yahoo Finance.