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McMoRan Exploration draws put buying

Mike Yamamoto (mike.yamamoto@optionmonster.com)

McMoRan Exploration is seeing downside option activity today.

More than 3,900 March 14 puts have traded against opening interest of just 264 contracts, indicating that these are new positions. optionMONSTER's Depth Charge shows that almost all of these puts were bought, with premiums starting at $1.47 and rising to $1.65.

MMR is down 2 percent to $13.72 this morning. The natural-gas company bounced sharply around $12 at the end of January and is now back to a resistance level going back to the beginning of the year as shares approach their 200-day moving average.

This option action is not tied to any stock trades identified by optionMONSTER's systems, so it could be a straight bearish bet that MMR will fall roughly 9 percent by expiration in mid-March. However, given the sharp run higher, the puts also could have been purchased as a protective hedge on a previously established long position.

Another energy company in the space, Anadarko Petroleum, is seeing similar put activity today as it slips from all-time highs. (See our Education section)

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