What Insiders Know

Insider trading has become the ugly stepchild of take-private buyouts, as small-market scammers have infiltrated the big kids table. Nobody involved will admit their wrongdoing, of course, but the breadcrumbs can often be found in the options trading market, where unusual activity may well reflect that some deal info was leaked by a sponsor, banker, attorney, secretary, etc.

If you’re looking to keep tabs on options activity (paging Chris Cox), take a look at this feature from Schaffers Research. It shows the heaviest call and put activity from the prior day, and lets you do a bit of sorting by average one-month volume.

But, remember, successful insider trading requires more than just access to a publicly-available chart. You need actual inside information. If not, you might find yourself buying Hertz (yesterday’s unusual options activity leader), in hopes of a buyout bid that most certainly is not on the horizon.