XLE ETF Falls on Energy Pressure

Jon "DRJ" Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster.

The XLE energy exchange traded fund has tumbled to a new 52-week low and is drawing huge options activity today.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR is down more than 6% on the day to $38.48 after trading around $70 as recently as September. Normal put activity in this volatile crude oil and natural gas ETF was 37,000 contracts in February, but this morning more than 51,000 contracts changed hands in the first 90 minutes of trading alone, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems.

That's 140% of normal activity in such a short period of time and indicates there is significant fear that the cost of energy will remain under strong pressure at least through this month, as the put activity is very heavy in March options. Fear of a meltdown in energy has nearly 17,000 puts trading at the March 37 ( JSKOK).

The writer held no positions in the securities mentioned.

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