The bears are circling Moody's as its shares hover near multi-year highs.
optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring system detected the purchase of about 5,000 November 44 puts for $1.50 to $1.55. Volume was 278 times open interest at the strike, clearly indicating new activity.
The puts lock in a sale price of $44, and will appreciate quickly if the stock declines. If it doesn't, they will expire worthless. Quarterly results come out on Oct. 26, so the buying may be the work of an investor who's looking to protect a long position in the name. (See our Education section)
MCO is down 1.08 percent to $44.44 in afternoon trading but is up 22 percent in the last three months. It hasn't traded this high since May 2008--before the credit crisis it helped create by assuring investors about the safety of complex mortgage securities.
The company has recently been shifting its focus to government debt securities as the public sector leverages up, while also diversifying into other data services. Its last three earnings reports have beaten estimates, and management raised guidance one month ago.
Overall option volume is 5 times greater than average today, with puts outnumbering calls by 21 to 1.
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