J.C. Penny Rallies More Than 8% Amid Robust Interest in Retailer’s $8 May Options

J.C. Penny Co. Inc. (JCP) shares advanced Monday amid strong options activity for the department-store retailer, including a big jump for $8 calls expiring May 30.

The $8 May calls (JCP140530C00008000) surged 67.4% to 77 cents each, rising 27 cents. It is not certain whether the rally reflects a bid to cover a covered call strategy or merely follows a rise for JCP shares in equity trade, according to John Dobosz, a staff writer at Forbes magazine.

JCP shares have seen wide swings this month, rising as much as 9.9% and reaching $8.24 each, rebounding from an intra-day low of $7.04 last Tuesday after pushing past $9 a share as recently as April 7.

The stock was up 8.4% at $8.13 a share in recent trade, rising 63 cents. It has a 52-week range of $4.90 to $19.63 a share, sliding 47% in value over the past 12 months.

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