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Chip stock Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD - 3.46) was hit with unusually heavy put volume on Monday, as roughly 16,000 contracts changed hands. This surge of activity represented approximately four times the norm for AMD. Meanwhile, 8,829 calls crossed the tape -- about 1.21 times the expected level, but still well below the number of puts traded.
The most active strike was the January 2013 3-strike put, where 12,650 contracts were exchanged. About 70% of these puts traded at the ask -- suggesting they were bought -- with the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) arriving at $0.21. Open interest at this strike jumped overnight by 8,768 contracts, confirming the addition of new bearish bets.
Based on that VWAP, Monday's January 3 put buyers need AMD to fall below breakeven at $2.79 per share before they'll start to profit. The shares have shed nearly 36% of their value so far in 2012 -- but for the record, the stock hasn't traded south of $3 per share since April 1, 2009.
In pre-market trading today, AMD is up 1.2%. The stock appears to be shrugging off an early price-target cut to $6 from $7.50 at FBR, which comes on the heels of a cut to $2 from $4 at JMP yesterday.
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