Today’s tickers: BAC, HAL, XLE, LVS, AIG, HD & AUXL

BAC– Shares of BAC have gained 2% during the trading session to arrive at the current price of $17.10. A bull call spread established in the January 2010 contract today suggests that one investor expects the stock to rally by expiration next year. It appears that the trader has purchased 15,000 calls at the January 17.5 strike price for an average premium of 2.18 apiece spread against the sale of 15,000 calls at the higher January 22.5 strike for 69 cents each. The net cost of the transaction amounts to 1.49 and allows for maximum potential profits of 3.51 per contract if the stock climbs to $22.50 by expiration. Shares must increase approximately 11% before the investor responsible for the trade breaks even at a price of $18.99. If the stock surges 31.5% higher than the current price, the trader will have realized maximum profits of 3.51 per contract for a total of $5,265,000. – Bank of America Corp. –

HAL– The oil and gas company has enjoyed a more than 2.5% rally in shares to $24.27, prompting some traders to scoop up call options in the September contract. The September 26 strike price had more than 7,000 calls exchange hands this afternoon on previous existing open interest of just 425 contracts. More than 4,200 of those calls were purchased for an average premium of 40 cents apiece. Investors long the calls are hoping to see shares of HAL rise at least 9% to breach the breakeven price on the transaction at $26.40 by expiration. Additional call action was observed at the September 25 and 27 strikes which sandwich the central September 26 strike where the most call activity took place. – Halliburton Co. –

XLE– If the price of crude oil is above $70 per barrel when so many investors are questioning the validity or at least the sustainability of the prevailing recovery, what then are the prospects for oil in 16 months time? One option trader appeared to trade in costly put options expiring in December 2010 in exchange for less expensive call options that would benefit from a rally in the energy sector. A bullish reversal in the December 2010 contract indicates long-term optimism by option traders expecting the energy sector to appreciate over the next 16 months. Despite a dip in the share price to $45 around one month…
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