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Bullish Action In U.S. Steel Options As Stock Pops

U.S. stocks are rallying on the final trading day of the week, rebounding somewhat from Thursday’s selloff in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in Ukraine and escalation of fighting in Gaza. The S&P 500 Index is higher by 0.65% at 1970.50 as of the time of this writing. Outperforming that Index today is U.S. Steel Corp. (Ticker: X), though the largest U.S. metal producer by volume is no longer in the S&P 500 Index, having been replaced by Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (Ticker: MLM) and added to the S&P MidCap 400 Index on July 1st. Shares in U.S. Steel are up better than 3.5% to stand at $27.55 as of 11:25 a.m. ET.

The metal producer’s shares have had a strong summer so far, with the price of the underlying up more than 20% since the beginning of June, and more than 60% since August of 2013. Options trading on the stock today suggests one or more traders are positioning for the shares to continue to rally in the week prior to the company’s second-quarter earnings report on July 29th. It looks like more than 3,000 of the 25Jul’14 29.0 strike calls were purchased this morning at an average premium of $0.12 per contract. Buyers of the 29.0 strike calls stand ready to profit at expiration next week in the event that U.S. Steel shares rally another 6.0% over the current price of $27.55 to exceed the average breakeven point at $29.12.


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