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March 27, 2013  Wed 1:49 AM CT

Some investors think Sysco might be ready to pause after climbing to its highest level in more than five years.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring program detected the purchase of about 2,200 May 35 puts, most of which priced for $0.65 to $0.90. Volume was almost 18 times open interest at the strike, indicating that new positions were initiated.

Those puts lock in the price where investors can sell shares in the food distributor. They can appreciate in value quickly if it falls, but will lose all or most of their value if it doesn't. Investors often buy the contracts to protect long positions against pullbacks, letting them hedge declines without selling shares. See our Education Section for more on risk management.

SYY fell 0.06 percent to $35 yesterday, but is up 17 percent in the last year. Earlier in the session, it touched $35.62, a level it hadn't seen since September 2007.

Total option volume was almost quadruple the daily average in Tuesday's session, according to Depth Charge. Puts accounted for more than 60 percent of the total.
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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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