Chip Sector Jumps on Traders' Option Buys (ETF: SMH)

 |  Includes: INTC, SMH, TXN

Traders snapped up call options on the Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA:SMH) yesterday, ahead of mid-quarter updates from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN). Via the Wall St. Journal (sub. req.):

All told, more than 180,000 calls on the exchange-traded fund traded yesterday, across all strike prices, compared with a per-day average in November of 30,218. As the fund rose $1.39 to $38.78, a level not seen since early June, the January 42.50 calls were particularly active. These options traded 39,410 contracts, compared with 6,135 previously outstanding and were at 10 cents on the American Stock Exchange.

SMH 1-yr chart: