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Put seller defends key level in CBRE

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

CBRE Group is back above $24, and one big investor defended that key level yesterday.

optionMONSTER's tracking programs detected the sale of about 6,700 May 24 puts for $0.80 against previous open interest of just 99 contracts. The transaction dominated the session's activity in the manager of commercial real estate.

The put seller is now obligated to buy CBG shares at the strike price if they close below it on expiration. But if they remain above $24, the contracts will expire worthless and the $0.80 credit will be kept as profit. (See our Education section)

CBG rose 0.79 percent to $24.31 yesterday. It's is up 22 percent so far this year, with much of that gain coming after a strong earnings report in February.

The company doesn't appear to have announced the date of the first-quarter release, but last year it occurred on April 24. If it follows that schedule this year, it would occur during the May expiration, meaning that the put sale would be a bet on strong results.

The $24 level is also important because it's where the stock peaked in May 2008 before crashing along with the rest of the market. That could make some chart watchers think that it will now provide support.

Total option volume was 47 times greater than average in the session.

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