Shares of Apollo Group Inc (APOL.O) touched a 10-year low on rumors that Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn was shorting the stock of the for-profit education company.
Options order flow in Apollo is running 2.3 times the average daily levels, dominated by the trading of puts, contracts that give the right to sell the stock at a fixed price by a certain date, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert.
The volume includes 16,000 puts and 1,753 calls traded near midday eastern time, the firm said.
Greenlight Capital declined to comment on the rumor, reported on the website theflyonthewall.com, that Einhorn was betting that Apollo shares will fall.
Apollo said on Tuesday that it had sold its UK-based secondary education institution to MPW Holdco for 54.8 million pounds ($85.59 million).
The unit accounted for about 3 cents per share of the company's fiscal 2011 income of $4.04 per share.
Apollo's were down 1.3 percent at $31.53 at midday on the Nasdaq. They touched a 10-year low of $30.31. ($1 = 0.6403 British pounds)
(Reporting by Megha Mandavia in Bangalore and Doris Frankel in Chicago)