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Bears Target Penn National Gaming

David Russell | Writer, OptionMonster
Monday, 5 Nov 2012 | 7:14 AM ET

Penn National Gaming has been trending lower, and now the bears are looking for another push to the downside.

OptionMonster's scanning programs detected the purchase of more than 2,200 November 39 puts, most of which were priced at $0.41 and $0.42. The volume was 63 times the strike's open interest at the start of the day, so this is new money being put to work.

Owning puts locks in the price where the investor can sell shares in the little-known gaming company. If the stock tanks, those contracts will shoot up in value and generate significant leverage on a percentage basis. But if it doesn't fall, the long puts will expire worthless.

Penn shares fell 1.12 percent to $39.85 on Friday. It had been grinding higher since late 2008, but declined between June and August — the same time that the broader market was rallying. It then proceeded to make a lower high below the same $44 level that was support in the spring. That kind of price action could make some chart watchers think that sellers are taking over.

More than 4,600 contracts traded in the session, 33 times greater than average, according to OptionMonster data.

—By CNBC Contributor David Russell

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David Russell is a reporter and writer for OptionMonster. Russell has no positions in PENN.

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