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Traders are buying protection in TJX

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

TJX reports monthly sales data on Thursday, and investors are hedging their bets.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking program detected the purchase of about 5,100 April 47.50 puts for $0.55 to $0.75. This is clearly new positioning, as the volume was almost 13 times the previous open interest.

The investor now has the r ight to sell shares in the discount retailer for $47.50 through expiration in mid-April, no matter how low they might be at the time. He or she probably owns the shares and is using the contracts as protection. (See our Education section)

TJX is down 0.76 percent to $47.09 in morning trading. It's up 11 percent this year and quietly broke out to new all-time highs late last month. The company's financials have been consistently strong, with the next set of numbers due Thursday morning when same-store sales for March are released.

Total option volume is almost triple the daily average in the name so far today, according to the Depth Charge. Puts outnumber calls by more than 12 to 1. 

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