Suspicious trading before HP's $2.7 billion 3Com bid; SEC closed for holiday


Somebody get the SEC on the phone, stat! Oh wait, they were closed Wednesday for Veterans Day.

Suspicious activity in the options market for 3Com (COMS) raised concerns late Wednesday that news of computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) $2.7 billion purchase of the networking company was leaked before the deal was officially announced, according to multiple reports. If this were the case, the activity could be a possible violation of securities law against insider trading.

There was an abnormally massive spike in activity for November and December call options, which would give the holder the right to buy 3Com shares at $5. The stock was up 35% in after-hours trading to $7.65, meaning that someone who exercised the option could have realized a huge paper gain in a matter of hours.