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Sara Lee bulls throw in the towel

Sara Lee has been all over the map, and now some investors are throwing in the towel.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the sale of 62,000 July 18 calls for $0.50 and $0.45 against open interest of 16,314 contracts. The trade pushed total options volume in the food stock to 7 times greater than average.

SLE now up 1.81 percent to $17.16 in afternoon trading. Buyout speculation drove it to a six-year high of $20.26 last month, but then management said it didn't receive any appealing takeover offers and instead opted for a breakup.

Today's call selling reflects a belief that upside in the shares is limited. It came after SLE retreated from $17.25, which is near the top of its range over the last month. Sellers have driven the shares down from those levels, which could make some chart watchers to think resistance is forming.

The company also faces the prospect of rising costs for agricultural commodities -- a potential threat to profit margins. Management lowered the top end of its earnings guidance Jan. 28 because of coffee-bean prices.

(Chart courtesy of tradeMONSTER)

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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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