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Traders Gorging on Campbell Calls Amid Deal Speculation

Options traders are doubling down on bets that Campbell Soup Co. is the next big takeover candidate.

Bullish calls on the stock are close to the most expensive in history compared with bearish puts, according to data on three-month contracts compiled by Bloomberg. In the morning of Aug. 18, a block of 5,500 calls that pay off if Campbell rallies more than 8 percent in the next month changed hands on the ask price, indicating that a buyer initiated the trade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The transaction was nine times more than call volume over the past 20 days.