Stock, Options Volume Explode as Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (DB) Drops to New Low

Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) tagged a new low, after a damning Bloomberg report

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 29, 2016 at 2:36 PM

After flirting with gains this morning -- and looking like they were going to extend Wednesday's M&A-induced rally into a second day -- shares of Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) have taken a turn for the worse. DB stock was last seen 7.3% lower at $11.40, and fresh off a new record low of $11.19. This quick reversal comes after Bloomberg reported a number of hedge funds have reduced capital exposure to the embattled lender -- and has sparked a fire under DB traders. Both stock and options volumes are at annual highs, with puts outpacing calls by a more than 4-to-1 margin.

By the numbers, roughly 39 million DB shares have traded thus far, while 203,904 options have changed hands. As indicated, options traders have shown a clear preference for puts over calls, with 165,452 of the former -- also a 52-week peak -- and 38,452 of the latter on the tape. Amid this accelerated activity, DB's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility has spiked 81% to 100.1%, a new annual high.

Most active is the stock's December 8 put, followed by the October 8, 9, 10, and 11 puts. These out-of-the-money strikes have seen roughly 71,600 contracts collectively cross -- more than 43% of DB's intraday put volume. Buy-to-open activity has been detected at each strike, as well, meaning options traders are betting on today's losses to accelerate through year's end.

This bias toward long puts is just more of the same in DB's options pits. Specifically, speculators at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 2.06 puts for every call over the past 20 sessions. Plus, nine of DB's top 10 open interest positions are puts, and put open interest across all series is at an annual high.

On the charts, DB has been in free fall over the past 12 months, shedding nearly 58%. While a number of fundamental woes have pressured the stock, most recently, a potential $14 billion fine from the U.S. Justice Department has spooked Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) traders -- and had a ripple effect throughout the global financial sector.

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