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Are traders turning chicken in Tyson?

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Tyson Foods is stalling after a strong rally, and the bulls are turning chicken.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking program detected the purchase of about 5,800 March 23 puts for $0.30. Volume is more than 12 times open interest at the strike.

The investor has locked in the right to sell shares in the poultry stock for $23 over the next three weeks, no matter how far they drop. He or she is probably looking to protect a long position in the name but could also be using the options as a surrogate for shorting the stock. (See our Education section)

TSN is off a penny to $23.79 in morning trading but is up 22 percent so far this year. It's been trapped in a range for most of February as the stock consolidates near a level that's been resistance since the late 1990s. This could make some chart watchers fearful about a potential drop.

Total option volume is twice the daily average so far in the session, with puts outnumbering calls by 61 to 1.

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