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December 12, 2012  Wed 3:47 AM CT

With Aetna now back at resistance, one trader is betting that the stock's next move could be lower.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking system detected the purchase of 4,000 July 43 puts for $3.30 and the sale of an equal number of July 36 puts for $1.03. There was no open interest at either strike before the trade appeared, so this is new positioning.

The transaction cost $2.27 and will earn a maximum profit of 208 percent if the health insurer closes at or below $36 on expiration. (See our Education section for more on the strategy, known as a bearish put spread because it leverages a move between two prices.)

AET fell 0.45 percent to $44.48 yesterday. It's up 17 percent in the last three months and sitting near the $44.50 level where it stalled in May and October. That could be leading some chart watchers to believe that it's ready to drop.

Yesterday's trader could own shares and could be hedging the long position by using the options. Or this could simply be a bearish speculative bet.

Nearly 9,000 AET contracts traded in the session, triple its daily average. Puts outnumbered calls by a bearish 20-to-1 ratio, according to the Depth Charge.
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Using puts to BUY stock

Puts are an options contract that gives buyers the right to sell their stock for a set price on or before a future date. However, puts can also be an effective way to BUY stock.

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