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Bearish spread targets Exxon Mobil

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Exxon Mobil is facing a large downside position today.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system shows that a trader bought 10,000 September 90 puts for $0.74 and sold 20,000 September 85 puts for $0.28. Volume was multiples of previous open interest at each strike, so this is new activity.

The trade, known as a ratio spread because twice as many puts were sold than bought, was done for a debit of $0.20. That is the amount at risk if shares remain above $90, while the maximum profit would be realized with XOM right at $85 upon expiration. (See our Education section)

XOM is down fractionally to $94.96 today. Shares were down at $85 briefly in mid-April but climbed to $95.25 on Friday.

More than 42,000 XOM options have changed hands, twice its daily average for the last month.

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