By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News Network

At least one investor might be looking for a drop in Capital One Financial ( COF) stock throughout the next couple of months.

More than 17,000 of the Sept. 29 puts changed hands Friday, and almost all of them were traded to open as open interest is up to 16,500 contracts, vs. just 254 as of the close on Thursday. The volume-weighted average price of these puts was $3.5081 on Friday.

On Thursday, after the close of the market, COF announced a per-share loss of 65 cents, compared to an expected 73-cent loss per share. The investor is betting that despite the positive surprise, COF earnings figures won't catalyze a lasting rally for these shares.

Will COF shares see a rally, or won't they? Bullish investors could consider the stock's 200% rally since March 9 a case for more upside. For put-buyers, the rally could mean a pullback following the earnings season highs.

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Jud Pyle is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network and the portfolio manager of Options Alerts. Click here for a free trial for Options Alerts. Mr. Pyle writes regularly about options investing for
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."

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