Trader sees floor under Noble Energy

optionMONSTER

Shares of Noble Energy appear to have found support after falling sharply last month, and one trader sees limited downside from current levels.

More than 3,500 December 32 puts were sold, with the largest block of 2,734 going for $0.96, according to optionMONSTER's systems. That volume was more than 20 times the open interest of just 173 contracts in the strike at the start of the session, clearly indicating new activity.

NE fell 1.32 percent yesterday to $35.13. The offshore oil driller dropped in mid-September after failing to break resistance at the $39 level that has held for more than six months, but shares have been consolidating above $35 for the last week.

Yesterday's put selling represents a bet that NE will be above the $32 strike price at expiration in mid-December. If the stock is below that level, the trader faces the prospect of buying shares at an effective price of $31.04 when the credit from the put sale is factored in. (See our Education section)

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