Market News

March 12, 2013  Tue 3:47 AM CT

CBS is at its highest levels since the dot-com bubble, and one trader is betting that current levels will hold this week.

More than 4,100 March 46 puts were sold yesterday, mostly for $0.50, according to optionMONSTER's tracking systems. The volume was more than 5 times higher than the strike's open interest of just 788 contracts before the session began, indicating that these are new positions.

CBS slipped 0.22 percent yesterday to close at $45.90. The stock hit $46.13 in the previous session, its highest intraday price since September 2000. The media company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 1 after the close.

The put sellers are betting that the stock will close above the $46 strike price by expiration at the end of Friday's session. If it remains below that level, the traders will face the obligation to buy the stock at an effective price of $45.50.

The latter may actually be their intent, as traders sometimes sell puts as an alternative to buying calls. (See our Education section)
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Using puts to BUY stock

Puts are an options contract that gives buyers the right to sell their stock for a set price on or before a future date. However, puts can also be an effective way to BUY stock.

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