$KRE put prices rise 11-fold

$KRE put prices rise 11-fold

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Bearish option traders are hitting big profits in downside positions on the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE).

On Jan. 17Market Rebellion’s Unusual Option Activity Service found that 9,000 March $54 puts were bought for $0.51 as part of a bearish roll with shares at $60.37. This was clearly fresh buying, as the open interest in the contract before the activity appeared was just 1,296.

Those puts have traded up to $5.80 so far this session, over 11 times their purchase price. The stock declined 18.63% in the same time period, a large move but nowhere near that of its options on a relative basis.

Long puts lock in the price where a stock can be sold no matter how far it might drop, gaining value in a selloff with the potential for significant leverage. The contracts can be purchased either as an outright bearish bet or a hedge on a long-stock position.

KRE was last down 2.21% at $51.85.

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