Put Traders Bet on More Lows for PacWest Stock

PACW drew more than 950,000 puts over the past 10 days

Deputy Editor
May 22, 2023 at 12:32 PM
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PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) stock is up 11.3% at $6.38 this afternoon, propping up sector peers today after the bank revealed plans to sell a portfolio containing 74 real estate construction loans worth roughly $2.6 billion to real estate investment company Kennedy Holdings.

Since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), regional bank stocks have suffered, and PACW has been in the spotlight plenty. Though its bounced from a May 4 all-time low of $2.48, PACW is down 72.5% in 2023 and sports a more than 78% 12-month deficit.

PACW Chart May 222023

Before the sale, options traders were extremely bearish. In fact, PacWest Bancorp stock showed up on Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of S&P 400 Mid Cap Index (IDX) stocks that attracted the highest weekly options volume over the last 10 days. PACW drew 530,458 calls and 951,446 puts, with the weekly May 2.5 0 put standing out as the most popular contract during that timeframe.

MAO Chart May 222023  

Short sellers are exiting their positions. Short interest lost 17% over the last month, yet the 19.74 million shares sold short still make up 16.7% of the stock's available float. 


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