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January 31, 2013  Thu 9:55 AM CT

XOM: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
The biggest option trade of the day so far is an enormous put spread in Exxon Mobil.

More than 76,000 XOM options have traded hands already this morning, compared to a daily average of 28,000 over the last month. A single put spread dominates the activity.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system shows that a trader bought 30,000 July 87.50 puts for $2.79 and, at the same time, sold 30,000 July 77.50 puts for the bid price of $0.90. The volume was multiples of the previous open interest at each strike, clearly indicating that these are new positions.

This vertical spread costs the trader $1.89, which is the amount at risk if XOM remains above $87.50 through that expiration. The potential gain of $9.11 would be realized if shares are below the lower $77.50 strike price at that time. (See our Education section)

Shares of the energy giant haven't been below $77.50 since the June low, and even then they did not close below that price. XOM is up fractionally today at $90.73 after testing resistance at $92 for the last week.
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