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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 2014 put at the $12.50 strike for the 13.5% annualized rate of return represents good reward for the risks. We calculate the trailing twelve month volatility for Vocera Communications, Inc. (considering the last 249 trading day closing values as well as today's price of $14.73) to be 61%. For other put options contract ideas at the various different available expirations, visit the VCRA Stock Options page of StockOptionsChannel.com.

In mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday, the put volume among S&P 500 components was 684,653 contracts, with call volume at 684,653, for a put:call ratio of 0.74 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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