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Trader sees limit to Hecla's downside

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Hecla Mining has been falling sharply, but one trader sees a floor beneath the stock in the long term.

A trader sold 4,600 January 2014 4.50 puts for the bid price of $0.58, according to optionMONSTER's tracking systems. The volume was 8 times the strike's open interest of 570 contracts at the beginning of the day, so this is clearly a new position.

The put selling is a bet that HL will hold up above $4.50 in the long term. The trader is willing to buy shares if they are below that price but are getting paid the option premium to do so.

HL is down another 0.34 percent to $5.90, on track for its lowest close since Sept. 12. The silver miner has tumbled in the last week after trading as high as $6.70 last Thursday. Shares were unable to break above $7 despite several attemps in the previous six weeks.

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