Wells Fargo (WFC) Earnings in Focus/ Promotional Discount

8:00am (EST)

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“The most important day of the week will be Friday as a number of Financial companies will be reporting earnings. Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) announce ahead of the open and their results will likely shape Friday’s action and set the stage for next week.

All of the aforementioned stocks have seen dramatic price increases following the election with many of the pros saying this will be a sell-the-news event. While this may be an easy way out to predict a pullback, the exact opposite could happen if financial companies offering raised guidance on better-than-expected numbers.

While I remain bullish on the Financial stocks, Wells Fargo does worry me and one company that always seems to disappoint analysts. Current estimates call for the company earning a profit of $1 a share on revenue of $22.48 billion.

The company has topped estimates in three of the past four quarters by 2 cents, a match, and 2 cents and a penny. However, shenanigans and a change of management was a 2016 skeleton that could come back to haunt them if numbers come in shy.

With shares at double-nickels ($55) a possible strangle option trade might work as a possible trade. The regular WFC January 56 calls (WFC170120C00056000, $0.65, down $0.05) and the WFC January 54 puts (WFC170120P00054000, $0.65, down $0.10) can be targeted for an earnings trade if shares stay flat into Thursday.

These options, together, would cost $1.25-$1.30 at current levels and expire Friday after next. If WFC shares trade above $58.50 or below $51.50 after the announcement of by January 20th, the trade would double as the calls or puts would be $2.50 “in-the-money”.

The break even points for the trade would be if WFC shares are above $57.30, or below $52.70 by next Friday’s closing bell. If shares fall below near-term support at $54 ahead of Thursday, it could be a clearer signal to go short. A move above $56.25 could be a signal to go long.

While I still expect record highs into the end of January, I talked about possible downside targets we needed to watch for on the major indexes. If the December lows come into play, and the VIX closes back above 12.50-13.50, it will be our signal to lighten up bullish positions.

From desk to press, futures look like this: Dow (+21); S&P 500 (+3); Nasdaq 100 (+9)’

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