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April 19, 2013  Fri 5:16 AM CT

Masco fell yesterday, and traders looked for more downside.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge program detected the purchase of more than 13,000 May 18 puts, almost all of which priced for $0.60. These are clearly new positions, as the volume was more than 40 times the strike's open interest before the session began.

Puts lock in the price where investors can sell shares in the home-improvement company, which have been edging lower since March 20. These options stand to generate significant leverage to the downside if MAS continues to fall, so they might be hedging a long position in the stock or just betting on a drop. (See our Education section)

MAS ended the session down 1.11 percent to $18.79. There is some support at the $18 level, but continued selling could quickly push it to $16. The company is scheduled to report earnings on April 30.

Total option volume was 14 times greater than average yesterday, with puts outnumbering calls by more than 21 to 1.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)
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