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February 27, 2013  Wed 3:47 AM CT

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A large put spread targeted Macy's after its quarterly report yesterday.

optionMONSTER systems show that more than 3,600 April 39 puts and more than 5,000 April 37 puts traded, both in volume well above previous open interest. The big prints changed hands at the same time, with 1,759 of the 39 puts bought for $1.35 and 3,518 of the 37 puts sold for $0.67.

This put vertical was opened for just $0.01, which is the risk if M remains above $39 through expiration in mid-April. The maximum gain of this trade, also known as a ratio spread, comes if the stock is right around $37 at that time. Below that level, the trader will face the obligation to buy the shares. (See our Education section)

M was up 2.78 percent yesterday to close at $39.59 after the department-store operator announced better-than-expected earnings in the pre-market. Shares were as high as $40.30 and as low as $38.83 on the day.

More than 18,000 M options traded on the day, which compares to a daily average of 3,300 in the last month. 
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