CNBC Stock Blog

Bears Take the Wheel at Hertz

David Russell | Writer, OptionMonster
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Hertz Global shot to a long-term high earlier this week along with other car-rental stocks, but yesterday the options paper was bearish.

OptionMonster's tracking programs detected the purchase of about 3,000 April 23 puts against previous open interest of just 289 contracts. The early blocks priced for $0.65 to $0.70, and then inflated to as much as $1.15 as the shares pushed lower.

Puts lock in the price where investors can sell stock, which can provide big leverage in a pullback. They're used by shareholders looking to hedge against a drop, or by traders hoping to profit from a drop.

Hertz shares fell 3.8 percent to $22.52, but have more than doubled since July. Shares have been climbing amid consistently strong financial results and as money pours into the transportation sector.

In another big trade yesterday, the April 22 calls were sold and the April 20 puts were bought. That also reflects a belief that upside is limited in the near term, however volume was below open interest at both strikes.

Total option volume was five times greater than average in the session.

—By CNBC Contributor David Russell

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