What's behind energy ETF put buying

optionMONSTER

A bearish play is the big option trade in the SPDR Energy Fund today.

optionMONSTER systems detected the purchase of 10,000 March 78 puts for the ask price of $3.80. The previous open interest was just 46 contracts, so this is clearly a new position.

The trade could be an outright bearish bet that the XLE will pull back in coming months, or it could have been to hedge a long positio n in shares of the XLE or its component companies. The latter would be bullish overall. (See our Education section)

The XLE is down 1.14 percent to $82.05. The exchange-traded fund was last below $78 just a month ago but at a 52-week high of $83.96 last week. It finished 2012 below $72.

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