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Splunk Inc (SPLK) options in focus as shares move higher; call volume pops in shipping stocks

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Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK) – Options on software and data analysis company, Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK), are far more active than usual this morning, with volume topping 4,600 contracts versus the stock’s average daily options volume of 670 contracts, as of 11:20 a.m. ET. Shares in the name are up better than 6% on the day to stand at $31.63, the highest level since October 2012. Traders positioning for shares in the name to extend gains in the near term snapped up January and February expiry call options. Upside calls with one full trading week remaining to expiration looked to the Jan. $30 and $35 strikes, purchasing around 500 and 220 contracts at those striking prices, at average premiums of $0.92 and $0.11 apiece, respectively. Bullish activity spread to the Feb. $35 strike where around 450 calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.41 each, preparing buyers to profit at February expiration in the event that Splunk shares rally another 12% to exceed the average breakeven price of $35.41. But, not all of the activity is in Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK) calls; trading traffic is also robust in the Jan. $30 strike put options. Traders exchanged around 1,300 puts at the Jan. $30 strike versus previously existing open interest of 446 contracts. Put players paid an average premium of $0.42 per contract, and may profit at expiration in the event that Splunk’s shares slip 6.5% from the current price to trade below $29.58.

Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK)

Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE:GNK) – Call options looking for shares in drybulk shipping company, Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE:GNK), to rally substantially during the next five weeks were active this morning as shares in the name moved higher. The stock gained more than 4% during the first 15 minutes of the session, hitting an intraday high of $4.24. However, the stock was unable to hang onto earlier gains, and currently trades down 4% on the day at $3.91 as of 12:40 p.m. in New York. Traders positioning for Genco’s shares to extend the start-of-session rally purchased more than 5,000 calls at the Feb. $5.0 strike for an average premium of $0.14 apiece. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next month should Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE:GNK) shares jump more than 30% to surpass the average breakeven price of $5.14. Shares in Genco Shipping & Trading last traded above $5.14 in April of 2012.

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