Is Marriott Rolling Over?

By David Russell of OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- Marriott International ( MAR) has been stalling after a big run, and now the bears are bracing for a drop.

OptionMonster's tracking programs detected the purchase of 12,000 September 62.50 puts for 95 cents to $1.20. Volume was more than 220 times open interest at the strike, which indicates that new positions were initiated.

Puts lock in the price where investors can sell the hotel stock, letting them cheaply profit from a selloff in the shares. That way they stand to leverage a drop without the risk of short selling. He or she may also be a long investor seeking protection.

Marriott fell 0.42% to $64.24 on Thursday, but is up 50% in the last year. It's been trading on either side of $65 since early July, and made a lower high earlier this month. The most recently quarterly report also lagged estimates.

Overall option volume was 11 times greater than average, with puts accounting for a bearish 91 percent of the total.

Russell has no positions in the stocks mentioned.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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