Underperforming Bank Stock Rises on Bull Note

Calls have been popular in the options pits

Deputy Editor
Sep 3, 2020 at 9:56 AM
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The shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) are up 1.6% at $103.31 at last check, after an upgrade from Deutsche Bank to "buy" from "hold," with an added price-target hike to $115 from $105. The analyst in coverage believes JPM is a "higher quality/higher return" bank, and is attractively valued at the moment after underperforming the S&P 500. 

JPM has struggled to make a consistent run on the charts since its March lows, off 25.7% for the year, though close support at the 30-day moving average has kept some wind in the equity's sails during the third quarter. In fact, the equity sports a quarter-to-date lead of 10.3% and just notched its second-straight monthly win in August. 

Coming into today, eight analysts held a "buy" or better rating, with eight at a "hold," and one saying "strong sell." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $115.44 sits at a 10.4% premium to current levels. 

The options pits have been looking much more bullish, with 4.09 calls bought for every put in the last 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than all but 1% of readings from the past year, meaning call traders are chiming in at a much faster-than-usual rate. Echoing this, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits in the lowest percentile of its annual range, suggesting a heavy call bias. 



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