American Express Stock Sees Post-Earnings Options Barrage

AXP options volume is running at six times the amount typically seen at this point

Deputy Editor
Oct 20, 2023 at 10:19 AM
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Dow staple American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) is suffering a post-earnings pullback, with the shares last seen 2.1% lower at $146.45 and weighing on the blue-chip index today. 

While robust spending helped the credit card company turn in adjusted third-quarter earnings of $3.30 on revenue of $15.38 billion -- both beating analysts' expectations -- American Express reported net write-offs and delinquency rates that were below pre-pandemic levels, sparking fears of increased debt defaults.

AXP's typically quiet options pits are jumping with activity following the event. The 7,464 calls and 4,356 puts exchanged so far today account for six times that average intraday amount. Most popular by far is the monthly October 150 call that expires at the end of today's session. 

This interest in bullish bets marks a shift, however, as data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows. In fact, American Express stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.19 sits in the 80th annual percentile. Echoing this, its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.19 ranks higher than 94% of annual readings, meaning near-term put open interest outnumbers call open interest. 

On the charts, AXP has now ceded its year-to-date breakeven level, and only maintains a razor-thin 2.9% year-over-year lead. The shares have encountered stiff resistance at their descending 50-day moving average, a trendline that contained rallies in the last two months.


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