Protection strategy in U.S. Airways

optionMONSTER

U.S. Airways has been trending higher, and one investor is hedging the name.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring system detected the sale of 10,000 February 12 puts for $0.03 and the purchase of an equal number of February 13 puts for $0.15. Volume was below open interest in the 12s, indicating that an existing position was rolled to the higher strike.

The investor probably owns shares in the airline and has been using the puts as a hedge . Adjusting the trade let him or her raise by $1 the level at which they have protection at a cost of $0.12. (See our Education section for more on how options can be used to manage risk.)

LCC is up 0.63 percent to $14.39 in early afternoon trading and has risen 71 percent in the last year. The stock is sitting around the same $14.50 level where it peaked in July, which could be leading some chart watchers to expect a big drop if support gives way.

Total option volume is almost twice the daily average so far in the session, with puts outnumbering calls by more than 5 to 1.

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