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) -- Despite



(CSCO) - Get Free Report

, shares of competitor

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Free Report

are currently down 1.5% Thursday.

At least one investor is calling for a floor in the stock in the near-term and expressing that bet by selling puts.

The near-the-money March 24 puts have crossed the tape more than 10,200 times versus current open interest of 670 contracts, suggesting investors traded these options to open. We saw several blocks go off close to the bid price of 83 cents per contract around 11:20 a.m. EST today, indicating investors sold these options betting on limited downside in the stock.

The March 24 puts are currently trading up 11 cents on the day, which is lower than a delta of 35 would suggest.

Investors who sold these puts are capping their gain on this trade at 83 cents per contract, and will make money if JNPR shares close higher than $23.17 at March options expiration in 43 days. Additionally, the investor is factoring in a potential 7% drop in the stock. For this reason, this trade is more neutral than absolutely bullish.

-- Written by Jud Pyle in Chicago

At the time of publication, Pyle did not have a position in the stock mentioned. Jud Pyle, CFA, is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network. Pyle started his career in finance in 1994 as a derivative analyst with SBC Warburg. After four years with Warburg, Pyle joined PEAK6 Investments, L.P., in 1998 as an equity options trader and as chief risk officer. A native of Minneapolis, Pyle received his bachelor's degree in economics and history from Colgate University in 1994. As a trader, Pyle traded on average over 5,000 contracts per day, and over 1.2 million contracts per year. He also built the stock group for all PEAK6 Investments, L.P. hedging, which currently trades on average over 5 million shares per day, and over 1 billion shares per year. Further, from 2004-06, he managed the trading and risk management for PEAK6 Investments L.P.'s lead market-maker operation on the former PCX exchange, which traded more than 10,000 contracts per day. Pyle is the "Mad About Options" resident expert. He is also a regular contributor to "Options Physics."