2nd Update; JPM: The One Eyed Man In the Land of the Blind

by Dan October 13, 2011 9:31 am • Commentary

Update Oct 13th 2011 at 12:10pm:  Closed the balance of this position at .23 when the stock was 31.17…..at this point the likelihood of the stock closing at 32 tomorrow isn’t great and want to make sure I lock the profits in…..got the direction right, the magnitude of the move wrong….but still a winner, albeit a small one.  Name of the game in this market is book winners when u have them while also defining your risk…I did both in this scenario.

Update Oct 13th 2011 :  With the stock down 4% at $31.90 I am selling half of the put fly that I bought yesterday for .15 at .30,  this way I have take my initial premium that I paid for t he spread off of the table and I can let the other half ride until tomorrow’s expiration.  Remember always use limits when trading multi-leg orders.

Original Post Oct 12th 2011: JPM: The One Eyed Man In the Land of the Blind

JPM reports Q3 earnings tomorrow morning before the opening bell.  The options market is implying about 5% which is rich to the 4 qtr average of about 1.25%.

Sentiment has obviously been poor in the sector all year, while JPM has been treated like the one eyed man in the land of the blind……The stock is down 21% ytd which is essentially half of that of its peers, GS and MS down 40% ytd, Citi down 37% and BAC down 50%.

Stock is up 22% in a week, after making new 2 year lows below $28…..Q3 estimates have been coming down for the entire group in the last month and expectations are anything but high heading into the print.

Street is widely in agreement that weakness in the banks capital markets and investment banking will be partly offset by continued reserve releases, refinance activity and share repurchase….which to me says low quality quarter…….

I want to make a short term bearish best that any good news is in the stocks recent rally.  Also with the market up 12% in a week I think the rally has gotten a bit long in the tooth…..so any disappointment from JPM and a market turn could see the stock come in inline with the implied move.  Here’s the trade:

TRADE: JPM $33.40 BUY OCT14th weekly 33/32/31 Put Butterfly for .15

-Buy 1 Oct14 33 Put for .58

-Sell 2 Oct14 32 Puts at .60 (.30 each)

-Buy 1 Oct14 31 Put for  .17


Break-Even Oct14 expiration (Friday):

Profits btwn 32.85 and 32 make up to .85, at 32 make full .85 and btwn 32 and 31.15 profits trail off…..


Losses btwn 33 and 32.85 lose up to .15 above 33 lose full .15, btwn 31.15 and 31 lose up to .15 and below 31 lose all .15

TRADE RATIONALE:  Flys are expensive from a commission standpoint, and they are not to easy to manage, so on a short dated basis like this consider this to be a Hotel California trade, you can get in but you cant exactly get out…..I am defining the earnings event and willing to risk a set amount of money that the stock can come in 5%….if it does that following earnings I can make 6x the money that I am risking…..As always, have a view don’t just take my view, I have made money shorting the banks and I am willing to risk a portion of that as I think the banks are at an inflection point….If I am wrong the stocks might have bottomed….but if JPM disappoints already lowered expectations and the stock sells off the stock could be vulnerable to a retest of the recent lows.


3rd Update Oct 4, 2011 at 10;17am:

I’m selling half of this put spread at 2.00, letting the other half ride. Bought it for .93, selling at 2.00 now I cant lose on the trade.

2nd Update Sept 9th 2011: I am closing the JPM Sept 34/30 Put Spread that I bought back in mid August (for .90) for 1.43 when the stock was 32.80 and now rolling to Oct. New trade below, original trade below that:

NEW TRADE: JPM $32.90 BUY OCT 30/25 Put Spread for .93

-BUY Oct 30 Put for 1.40 and

-Sell Oct 25 Put at .47

Break-Even On Oct Exp:

Profits: btwn 29.07 and 25 make up to 4.07, below 25 make full 4.07.

Losses: btwn 29.07 and 30 lose up to .93 and above 30 lose all .93


Update Aug 15th 2011: Friday on CNBC’s Options Action I suggested the trade detailed below, watch video 4 mins in:

While the video is pretty interesting, what I found more interesting is that a large player (possibly 2) today agreed with this take and bought the JPM Sept 35/30 Put Spread for .97, one print was for 4500 contracts and another around the same time for 1815 contracts.

With the stock up 2% on the opening the buyer of this spread was able to get a wider spread for not much more premium.  JPM under-performs BAC up 7.4% and C up 4% today.

The SPX is trying to get through and important resistance level of 1200 here and I want to keep a close eye on the banks here as to me that hold the key whether the market can really get some legs and test and even bigger resistance level at 1250.

Original Post Aug 12, 2011:

If it weren’t for the bank stocks today the SPX would likely be back above 1200…….but this little market we are in has its own ideas for these stocks. I think you would have to be a little nuts to press them as shorts here as any little bit of good news could cause an epic short squeeze…….but while I am not completely nuts I do feel that these stocks are going to make new lows which could culminate in a massive capitulation.    I had a similar view back in May (read below) and I was a little early, but I want to come back to it even at much lower levels as I feel we know a whole heck of lot more now than we knew then. [private]

The financial press keeps dubbing JPM CEO Jamie Dimon silly things like the Steve Jobs of the Financial stocks, well I think that is just downright stupid…….JPM, while better positioned for the “worst case scenarios” than BAC and C, if the time comes even the venerable Jamie Dimon will be  forced to meet the same maker as Brian Moynihan and Vikram Pandit…..oh and Jamie Dimon never created anything that hundreds of millions of people the world over have craved.

As expected Vols have exploded in the space and outright premium purchases are very expensive.  If you want to define your risk on a bearish bet it may make sense to buy vertical spreads and at least of set a bit of the decay that is likely to happen if the space settles a bit……

I want to make a bearish bet that the coming weeks will see lower lows and the move lower in the SPX will likely be led by the Bank stocks……

JPM $36.00 Buy Sept 34/30

-Buy Sept 34 Put for 1.70

-Sell Sept 30 Put for .80

Break-even on Sept Exp:

Losses: btwn 34 and 33.10 lose up to .90, above 34 lose all .34 or 2.5% of underlying

Profit: btwn 33.10 and 30 make up to 3.10, below 30 make full 3.10

TRADE RATIONALE:  As I stated above, you don’t want to be naked short stocks like JPM that are so severely oversold, but it does make sense to place some chips on the table if you think we have not seen the worst…….these stocks have not seen broad capitulation even though they look like they have crashed of late…..I want to see JPM’s NYSE specialist one morning have JPM spread $4.00 wide because of a massive sell imbalance, I want to see it print on huge volume and then maybe they will be done…..

Tehnically, a close below 35 would be fairly bearish as that is a support level dating back to 2007 before the start of the financial crisis……If it breaks 35 in a meaningful way it will likely go straight to 30 in my humble opinion.

[caption id="attachment_4080" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="4 yr JPM chart from Bloomberg"][/caption]


Original Post May 20, 2011:   Bank Stocks Like A Monsters’ Ball- “Short the Best Of Breed”

Wall Street has it’s share of over used, generally nonsensical terms that add little to no value to individual investors. One that I hate is best of breed. You hear it on the teevee a lot, or by analysts trying to differentiate between names in their coverage….the fact is that most large cap names are very correlated and most out-performance doesn’t last in challenging times. [private]

And that’s what could happen this summer….maybe not a crash but a 10% sell off from the highs? Very possible.

Financials have dramatically under-performed the overall market and it is my belief that the market will not be able to make a new high without them participating. I just don’t see that happening.

C, BAC, GS and MS all act like crap and while you can probably press these, maybe another 10% down, I would prefer to go after JPM.  C and BAC are both down about 13% ytd while GS (for some stock specific issues) is down 18% ytd…..JPM is actually up 2% on the year.  Te chart below displays the massive under-performance by financial stocks to the SPX and also shows JPM’s out-performance to its peers…..

Longs should consider stock replacement but I want to make an outright bearish bet. I just bought the July 42 Puts for 1.20. Will try to leg into the Put spread or fly as stock goes lower.   I want to look to July as it should capture Q2 earnings report estimated to be July 15th.   I am Considering the following trades:

TRADE 1: JPM (43.20) BUY July 42/39 Put Spread for .75
-Buy July 42 Put for 1.20 and
-Sell July 39 Put at .45

Break-Even on July Expiration:
above 42 lose .75
btwn 42 and 41.25 lose up to .75,
btwn 41.25 and 39 make up to 2.25,
below 39 (down10%) make 2.25 or ~3x your money


TRADE 2:  JPM (43.20) June 42/40/38 Put Fly for .25

Buy 1 Jun 42 Put for .62

-Sell 2 Jun 40 Puts at .50 (.25 each)

-Buy 1 June  38 Put for .13

Break-Even on June Expiration:

Btwn 42 and 41.75 lose up to .25,

above 42 lose .25, btwn 41.75 and 40 make up to 1.75,

at 40 make full 1.75,

btwn 40 and 38 payout trails off,

below 38 lose .25