By Brendan Conway
Traders were bullish in Ivanhoe Mines /zigman2/quotes/207656050/delayed CA:IVN -0.17% , but mixed in their approach to Brazilian mining company Vale /zigman2/quotes/204339679/composite VALE +3.01% and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold /zigman2/quotes/200215692/composite FCX -0.08% , after Freeport's earnings topped analysts' expectations.
In Ivanhoe, traders picked up more than 10 times as many calls, which convey the right to buy a stock, as they did puts, which convey the right to sell it.
One trader bought about 10,000 December $14 calls, according to Steve Claussen , chief investment strategist at OptionsHouse, or about 10 times open interest.
At a premium of 70 cents, the options make money if Ivanhoe shares rise above $14.70 before Dec. 18. Shares rose 40 cents, or 3.4%, to $12.29, in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading on Wednesday.
In Vale, traders picked up about 103,000 calls compared with 36,000 puts, according to Track Data.
One trader sold June $30 Vale calls, Mr. Claussen said. At a premium of $2.39, that would mean the seller thinks the stock won't rise above $32.39 before the middle of next year. Vale's American depositary receipts rose 48 cents, or 1.8%, to $26.93, on the NYSE.
In Freeport, the activity was nearly even, with traders picking up about 68,000 calls to 67,000 puts. The trading was dispersed among several strike prices and dates, as investors repositioned in the wake of Freeport's quarterly earnings.
Some traders in Freeport focused on near-term November $85 calls. At a premium of $1.69, the position makes money if the stock rises above $86.69 before Nov. 20. Freeport's shares rose $1.09, or 1.4%, to $79.72, on the Big Board.
Freeport said it is resuming work on some mining projects now that copper prices have risen. It also reinstated its dividend and upped its forecast for 2009 copper sales.
Write to Brendan Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org