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Options Wrap: A Look at Patterson and Qihoo

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Plus, news about AK Steel and US Steel.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The following are the most read articles on options that have appeared on Minyanville so far this week.

An Options Play in the Face of Earnings Decay for Patterson

As the cost of health care rises -- and dental insurance is usually an add-on people are ready to forego -- the company's revenues and earnings are in decay.

While I'm sure there will always be more businesses to be bearish on, Patterson (NASDAQ:PDCO) is the third of my three little bears. It joins Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) (see Use January Options to Play Lackluster Tiffany Ahead of Earnings) and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) (see Accentuate the Negative) as part of a group of stocks that should be sleeping on the short side of your portfolio. Read more...

Bulls Circle as Qihoo Gains Ground

Calls are the options of choice on outperforming Qihoo.

Option players have displayed a growing demand for Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) calls of late, per data at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio (which measures buy-to-open activity) is docked at 4.68, compared to its 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.07. Plus, this shorter-term ratio ranks higher than 90% of other such readings taken in the past year, indicating calls have been scooped up over puts at a near annual-high pace in recent weeks. Read more...

Options Trends: AK Steel and US Steel

Calls are popular on AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), but traders prefer puts on US Steel (NYSE:X).

Speculative investors have set their sights on commodity stocks AK Steel Holding Corporation and United States Steel Corporation, according to volume data from the major options exchanges. Calls have emerged as the options of choice on AKS, while puts are dominating the action on X. Here's a closer look at the latest trends in the options pits for these two hot stocks. Read more...
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