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April 30, 2013  Tue 11:13 AM CT

RUT: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
A put spread is targeting the Russell 2000 as the small-cap index continues to inch higher.

optionMONSTER systems show that a trader sold 2,058 May 870 puts for $3.80 and bought 4,116 May 790 puts for $0.25. This is a so-called backspread that is mainly focused on keeping the net credit of $3.30, which will the profit if the RUT is above 870 at expiration. But the additional lower-strike puts mean that this can also profit if the index drops sharply. (See our Education section)

The RUT is up fractionally at 945.16 in early afternoon trading. The index has been climbing back toward its all-time high of 954 set earlier in the month.
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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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