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Is Hecla Mining's slide finally ending?

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Traders apparently think that the pain may finally be over for silver producer Hecla Mining.

optionMONSTER's tracking programs detected the sale 2,000 July 3 puts for $0.14. Volume exceeded the previous open interest of 1,368 contracts at the strike, indicating that new positions were initiated.

HL is up 5.4 percent to $2.93 in midday trading but came into the session down more than 50 percent in the last year. It's been falling along with precious metals and now sits near levels last seen in mid-2009. The shares are following gold and silver higher today.

While investors often sell puts when they think a stock is near a bottom, today's activity is unusual because the investor chose contracts that are slightly in the money. That will result in a position similar to owning shares, tracking moves up to $3. Above that level, they'll profit from time decay heading into expiration next Friday, July 19. (See our Education section)

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