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Bears snapping up puts in Altera

By: optionMONSTER
Posted: 6/3/2010 12:50:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: ALTR

Altera is struggling to break through a potential resistance level, and some bears think the chipmaker won't make it.

ALTR Chart optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking system detected the purchase of 4,010 July 25 puts for $1.70 and $1.75 against open interest of just 77 contracts. Most of the trades occurred shortly after the open, when the stock pulled back from early highs.

ALTR rose 1.72 percent to $24.24 in late morning trading. The company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on April 20. The stock traded up to an eight-year high the following session but then reversed and has been falling ever since.

Today the shares have been encountering resistance around $24.15, roughly the same level that provided support in late March. They're also attempting to break through their 100-day moving average (purple line on chart).

The put buyers apparently think it won't succeed. ALTR must fall about 4 percent for the trades to turn a profit.

The next scheduled event that could serve as a potential catalyst for the company is an appearance at the UBS Global Technology & Services Conference at 3:30 p.m. ET on June 8.

Overall option volume in the name is twice the average level so far today, with puts accounting for 92 percent of the activity.

(Chart courtesy of tradeMONSTER)