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What put action means for gold miners

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

The Market Vectors Gold Miners Fund hit four-month lows this morning, and option traders apparently don't see a rebound anytime soon.

A trader bought 5,000 June 41 puts for $2.31 and sold the same number of June 50 calls for $2.57. The volume was more than 5 times the open interest at each strike, so these are new positions.

A little more than 10 minutes later a block of 2,500 January 2015 30 puts was sold for the bid price of $2.15. The volume was also more than open interest.

The first big trade is a combination play that could be a straight bearish bet looking for the GDX to return to the May lows. The second trade is based on the thesis that the fund will remain above $30 in coming years. The long-term put seller may also want to get paid for the possibility of waiting to buy shares at a significantly lower price.

The GDX is up 0.38 percent to $45.52 this afternoon after hitting its lowest prices since mid-August this morning. Shares were up above $55 in late September but have been steadily trending lower since.

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