Options traders see fireworks in beaten down tech stock

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Options traders seem to expect a hot summer from a forgotten tech stock.

More than 19,000 July 29 calls traded in Juniper Networks (JNPR) on Friday. Buyers initially paid $0.56 and kept nibbling as the stock moved higher. Pretty soon they doubled to $1.15 and even quadrupled to more than $2 by the afternoon.

Calls fix the price where investors can purchase a security. They can shoot up quickly in value when shares advance but also expire worthless when no rally occurs. See our Knowledge Center for more.

JNPR jolted higher as the calls hit, and closed up 1.79 percent to $27.92. The networking company beat estimates in early May and showed signs of adding customers in the fast-growing cloud space. It wasn’t able to rally at the time because of bearish momentum, but it’s steadily plodded higher since.

Overall option volume was more than 5 times the monthly average in JNPR, and the highest daily volume all year. Calls outnumbered puts by a highly bullish 23-to-1 ratio.

Juniper Networks (JNPR). Notice how stock was unable to rally initially against bearish 50-day moving average.
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David Russell is VP of Market Intelligence at TradeStation Group. Drawing on two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them apprised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.