Bears hit Robert Half before report


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Traders are bracing for another leg down in Robert Half International, which reports second-quarter results after the closing bell today.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking program showed the purchase of some 3,200 August 35 puts yesterday, most of which priced in a single block for $0.95. Volume was more than 100 times previous open interest at the strike, indicating that new positions were opened.

Puts lock in the price where shares can be sold, letting investors hedge long positions in the stock or speculate on a drop. For instance, a decline of 8 percent in shares will double the value of the options by expiration in mid-August. (See our Education section for more the potential of leverage through options.)

RHI fell 1.56 percent to $35.89 yesterday. The staffing company peaked near $38 in early April, only to drop on a weak profit report later that month, and again this month after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act was delayed by a year. That was perceived to remove a potential catalyst for temporary-employment companies.

Overall option volume was 30 times greater than average in the session, according to the Depth Charge. Puts accounted for a bearish 94 percent of the total.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

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