The odds against an investor randomly purchasing an option perfectly timed to profit from an unannounced corporate merger or acquisition are 3 in a trillion, but these trades take place quite commonly, according to a study by professors at New York University's Stern School of Business and McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management. The professors concluded that insider trading is quite common but that the Securities and Exchange Commission rarely takes action on trades in which the investors obviously had nonpublic information.

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