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January 15, 2013  Tue 3:16 AM CT

PETM: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
PetSmart has been parked at a long-term high for months, and one investor is worried about a drop.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking program detected the purchase of about 2,000 April 65 puts for $2.10 and the sale of an equal number of April 60 puts for $0.80. Volume was more than triple open interest at both strikes.

The trade cost $1.30 and will earn a maximum profit of 285 percent if the specialty retailer closes at or below $60 on expiration. It's known as a bearish put spread because it leverages a move between two prices, in this case $65 and $60. (See our Education section)

PETM fell 1.56 percent to $67.12 yesterday. The stock more than quadrupled in value between late 2008 and mid-2012 but has been trading in a range since then despite consistently strong financials. That could be leading some traders to believe that all the good news is priced in, making them concerned that a drop is coming.

The sector has also been weak recently, with the SPDR S&P retail fund up less than 2 percent in the last month while the broader S&P 500 climbed more than 4 percent in the same period. That marks a shift from earlier years, when the group consistently outperformed the broader market.

Total option volume in PETM yesterday was more than 14 times greater than its daily average, according to the Depth Charge. Puts outnumbered calls by a bearish 20-to-1 ratio.
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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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