Genuine Parts traders lock in gains

optionMONSTER

Genuine Parts is near 52-week highs, and traders appeared to be protecting gains ahead of the company's earnings report in two weeks.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system detected buying in the July 80 puts this morning as premiums rose from $0.75 to $1.05. Volume topped 2,600 contracts, well above the the previous open interest of just 122 at the strike, indicating that these are new positions.

GPC is up 0.69 percent to $83.81 in morning trading, not far from its peak of $84.27 reached on May 22. The car-parts manufacturer almost hit that level yesterday when it gapped higher from below $80 as auto makers reported strong sales numbers.

Given the spike higher, it is likely that investors are purchasing protective puts to lock in profits . The company is scheduled to report second-quarter results on July 18, one day before these options expire. (See our Education section)

Total option volume in the name is 5 times its daily average for the last month. Puts outnumber calls by 18 to 1.

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