CAL – Continental Airlines, Inc. – Bullish options strategists initiated a couple of put credit spreads on Continental Airlines today with shares of the U.S. air carrier flying 4.35% higher to $24.00 as of 12:30 pm (ET). Investors populating CAL options are forecasting clear skies for the firm through September expiration and expect the price of the underlying shares to remain at least above $20.00 for the next few months. One of the bullish spreads involved the sale of 5,000 puts at the August $20 strike for a premium of $0.56 apiece, marked against the purchase of the same number of puts at the lower August $18 strike for a premium of $0.32 each. The investor responsible for the transaction pockets a net credit of $0.24 per contract, and keeps the full amount received today as long as CAL’s shares exceed $20.00 through expiration day next month. The trader receives the $0.24 credit in exchange for bearing the risk that shares crash and burn ahead of expiration. Losses on the position start to accumulate if Continental Airlines’ shares plunge 17.66% from the current price of $24.00 to breach the effective breakeven point to the downside at $19.76. The investor is slammed with maximum potential losses of $1.76 per contract should shares plummet 25% to trade below $18.00 ahead of expiration in August. An identical 5,000-lot put credit spread was established in the September contract. This transaction yields a net credit of $0.35 per contract to the responsible party if shares remain above $20.00, and results in maximum potential losses of $1.65 per contract if CAL’s shares slip beneath $18.00 by expiration day in September.