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The chart above, and the stock's historical volatility, can be a helpful guide in combination with fundamental analysis to judge whether selling the January 2015 put at the $8 strike for the 4.2% annualized rate of return represents good reward for the risks. We calculate the trailing twelve month volatility for Pitney Bowes Inc (considering the last 249 trading day closing values as well as today's price of $15.15) to be 41%. For other put options contract ideas at the various different available expirations, visit the PBI Stock Options page of StockOptionsChannel.com.

In mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, the put volume among S&P 500 components was 1.53M contracts, with call volume at 1.53M, for a put:call ratio of 0.70 so far for the day, which is above normal compared to the long-term median put:call ratio of .65. In other words, if we look at the number of call buyers and then use the long-term median to project the number of put buyers we'd expect to see, we're actually seeing more put buyers than expected out there in options trading so far today.

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