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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 July 2014 put or call options highlighted in this article deliver a rate of return that represents good reward for the risks. We calculate the trailing twelve month volatility for American Express Co. (considering the last 252 trading day closing values as well as today's price of $84.68) to be 18%.

In mid-afternoon trading on Monday, the put volume among S&P 500 components was 764,631 contracts, with call volume at 1.50M, for a put:call ratio of 0.51 so far for the day. Compared to the long-term median put:call ratio of .65, that represents very high call volume relative to puts; in other words, buyers are preferring calls in options trading so far today. Find out which 15 call and put options traders are talking about today.

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