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February 26, 2013  Tue 10:28 AM CT

SPY: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Total option volume is strong again today with almost 7 million options traded so far, dominated by the top indexes and ETFs, optionMONSTER's data systems show.

The SPDR S&P 500 Fund (SPY) has 1.3 million contracts traded, led by 924,000 puts. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has seen 656,000 options trade, with 454,000 calls.

The iShares Russell 2000 Fund (IWM) has 367,000 contracts changing hands, 295,000 of which are puts. More than 265,000 S&P 500 Index (SPX) options have turned over, with 166,000 puts. Following are the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (VXX) options at 223,000, with 123,000 calls.

The SPDR Financial Fund (XLF) has traded 134,000 options, with 116,000 puts. And the iShares Emerging Markets Fund (EEM) has 123,000 contracts moving, with a put/call ratio of 4 to 1. (See r
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Market Level Making You Nervous, Huh? Part 3

In last week's article, we discussed how important the extra cash you save by using the Stock Replacement Strategy over buying the actual stock is! That extra cash in our account instead of being unnecessarily tied up in a stock position allows us to buy the puts we would need to protect our downside in the case of a major sell-off.

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