Markets

Bears shopping at Ascena Retail

Ascena Retail has recovered from a major drop, but now the bears are back.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring program detected the purchase of more than 10,000 June 14 puts, mostly for $0.35 and $0.40. Volume was almost 29 times open interest at the strike, an indication new money was put to work.

Puts move in the opposite direction of a stock because they fix the price where shares can be sold. Investors use them to hedge existing long positions or to speculate on a drop. (See our Education section.)

ASNA fell 2.12 percent to $14.74 yesterday. The owner of stores including Dressbarn and Justice hit a four-year low of $10.50 in January, then bounced and climbed as high as $15.43 by late April. It's been stalling more recently, which could make some chart watchers think that the rebound is losing steam.

The next earnings report will probably occur in early June based on last year's calendar, so yesterday's trader is likely bracing for a drop. Profit and sales both missed estimates in March.

Overall option volume was 62 times greater than average in the session. Puts accounted for a bearish 98 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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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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