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Options Traders See Regional Bank Death Spiral

Fifth Third Bancorp is attracting heavy call activity as it reaches new 52-week lows.

FITB stock is but a shadow of its $28.58 high from last March, dropping 70 percent last month alone and closing yesterday only a nickel above its new $1.74 low. That was enough to draw options traders, as calls outnumbered puts by 10,000 to 1,700.

  • Who Owns FITB?
  • FITB: Insider Trades

Traders focused specifically on the February 2.5 calls, where buyers stepped up and purchased more than 8,000 contracts for $0.20, according to OptionMonster's Heat Seeker tracking system.

Although FITB's stock ended the day down another 14 percent to finish at $1.79, it was up in after-hours trading at $1.84 last night.

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Major Regional Banks:

Regions Financial

SunTrust Banks

Marshall & Ilsley

PNC Financial Services Group

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Pete Najarian is a professional investor, CNBC contributor, regular co-host of CNBC's "Fast Money" and co-founder of OptionMonster.com.

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