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December 14, 2012  Fri 10:45 AM CT

ASML: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
An odd short-term put spread tops today's option activity in ASML Holdings as the chip technology company trades near recent highs.

More than 10,000 ASML options have changed hands so far today, already more than double its  daily average in the last month. Almost all of the volume is in a put spread in the options that expire next week.

optionMONSTER systems show that 5,000 December 62.50 puts were sold for $0.80 against open interest of 6,920. At the same time, 5,000 December 65 puts were bought for the ask price of $2.45. Open interest at that strike was just 12 at the beginning of the day, so that was clearly a new position.

The overall action could be a roll, with the trader moving a long put position to a higher strike and into the money, but it seems more likely that this is a vertical spread. The latter would cost the trader $1.65, which is the also the maximum potential loss. The maximum gain of $0.85 would be realized if shares are below $62.50 at expiration.

ASML is up 0.78 percent to $63.19 near midday trading. Shares have risen from $38.80 a year ago and traded up to $64.37 on Monday.
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