Options Trading News

November 14, 2012  Wed 3:47 AM CT

One investor thinks United Continental faces a bumpy ride.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring program detected the purchase of more than 7,700 January 2015 13 puts for $2.15. This is a new position because there was no open interest at the strike before the trade appeared, and the trade dominated activity in a name that typically sees volume of barely 6,000 contracts.

Those puts are inversely correlated to the price of the airline stock, so they will appreciate in value if it drops and will lose money to the upside. Given that these contracts expire more than two years from now, they are also highly sensitive to perceptions of the company's volatility. (See our Education section)

UAL declined 0.48 percent to $20.94 yesterday. The stock has been attempting to rebound from a sharp drop in July and appears to be hitting resistance at its 200-day moving average. That could make some chart watchers think it will push lower and help explain the downside activity.

Puts outnumbered calls by a bearish 4-to-1 ratio yesterday, according to the Depth Charge.
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As I stated in last week's article, a break out or a break down needs to have a couple things happen before it is considered a confirmed break out or break down. The only problem is that in today's market where things move much more quicker than they did just a few years ago, two days could wind up being the majority of the expected movement, if not the whole movement.

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