CNBC Stock Blog

Bears Step Up Attack on Ailing Janus Capital

David Russell|Writer, OptionMonster

Janus Capital Group has been falling sharply, and the bears are looking for even more downside.

OptionMonster's real-time systems detected the purchase of about 20,000 December 6 puts in the mutual-fund operator yesterday against open interest of just 2,077 contracts. Most of these downside puts priced for 25 cents, though premiums inched up to 35 cents and 40 cents late in the session as the stock pushed lower.

Janus dropped 7.67 percent to $6.14 yesterday, and has lost more than 50 percent of its value since the beginning of the year. It's been suffering a steady bleed of assets, as equity markets remain weak and investors shift funds elsewhere.

The stock has been attempting to hold $6 since August, but yesterday's activity suggests that investors are now looking for an even greater drop. Overall option volume in the name was 29 times greater than average in the session, with puts outnumbering calls by more than 100 to 1.

—Russell has no position in JNS.

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