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December 18, 2012  Tue 9:42 AM CT

ALXN: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Alexion Pharmaceuticals has fallen sharply after a scorching run earlier this year, and one trader is positioning for more potential losses.

More than 2,000 January 90 puts were purchased this morning, with the largest prints going for $1.50, according to optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system. The volume was 3 times higher than the strike's open interest at the start of the session, indicating fresh buying.

The puts were not tied to any stock trading identified by our systems today, though they could have been bought to hedge a long position opened earlier. These options could also be making a straight bet that shares will fall more than 7 percent by expiration on Jan. 18. (See our Education section)

ALXN is up 0.49 percent at $95.66 after trading as high as $96.16 earlier this morning. The stock began the year around $70 and ran all the way up to a 52-week high near $120 in early October, but it went into a tailspin after falling below its 50-day moving average on Oct. 19 and under its 100-day average the next day. Shares have been trapped below their 200-day moving average since then, trading mostly between about $87 and $97.
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Education & Strategy

Sweet Spot Exceptions

As discussed last week, when using the Stock Replacement Strategy to replace a stock position to trade direction, we want to use an option that has very similar characteristics to the stock. We talked about using the deep in-the-money, 80 to 85 delta option that is similar in the Greeks and has relatively little extrinsic value which tends to work against us in stock directional trading.

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