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December 9, 2013  Mon 4:32 PM CT

Noble Energy has pulled back to support, and traders are drawing a line in the sand.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the sale of 1,500 December 67.50 puts for $0.90 and the purchase of an equal number of December 65 puts for $0.30. Volume exceeded open interest at each strike, indicating that new positions were initiated.

Known as a put credit spread, the transaction resulted in a credit of $0.60, which the investor will keep if the Houston-based oil and gas stock closes at or above $67.50 on expiration at the end of next week. The trader faces a maximum loss of $1.90 at $65 or lower. (See our Education section)

NBL fell 1.31 percent to $68.59 yesterday and has been pulling back since it hit an all-time high of $78.01 six weeks ago. The stock is now back around the same $68 level where it hit resistance before breaking out in October, which could make some chart watchers expect support. Selling a put spread is a typical way to exploit such a pattern.

Total option volume was quadruple the daily average in the session.
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