Put buyers are targeting Murphy Oil


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Murphy Oil has been pushing higher, and the bears are stepping in before the company's earnings report tomorrow.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring system detected the purchase of about 2,500 February 60 puts today for $2.25 to $2.45. Volume was more than 15 times open interest in the strike.

MUR is down 2.2 percent to $59.64 in morning trading. The oil and natural-gas company warned yesterday afternoon that production at its West African offshore unit will be weaker than expected, resulting in a non-cash impairment charge. Full quarterly results come out after the bell tomorrow.

Shares are up 19 percent in the last two months but have returned to roughly the same level where they peaked in April 2010. They're also close to support from June 2011 and their 200-day moving average, which could be leading some chart watchers to expect resistance around this area.

Overall option volume in MUR is triple the daily average, with puts outnumbering calls by 16 to 1.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options

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