Spring 2022 Earnings Season Kicks Off

Understanding how Implied Volatility (IV) behaves in and around equity earnings reports is critical to designing successful option trading strategies.  IV determines the price of a stocks options and is in many ways a measure of supply/demand or the risk sentiment of the market.  The higher the IV, the more expensive the premium of an option.   IV rushes in the days leading up and crushes the day following earnings.


For example, look at the below IV chart   Notice how IV rushed higher prior to and immediately crushed following its earnings report marked with an E.  When trading, we want to buy when IV is low and sell when IV is high.  (Note – this stock mentioned here is not being presented an opportunity…)


In my previous blog post “Using Iron Condors for ER Plays,” I gave a trading example using DAL for one of my favorite option strategies for ER’s.  This play subsequently was a loser, however my position size could bear the loss as it was mad with less than 2% of my ER trading account.


I also love to find directional setups in the days or weeks leading up to ER’s, most of which will be “Bull Pullbacks/Bear Rally’s” or “Triangles” in formation.  See our youtube video’s for a summary of this type of setup.


The current Swing Trading / ER Strategies group at OptionsPlayers.com was presented three opportunities in the two weeks – an Iron Condor on MS, puts on J.P. Morgan (JPM) and calls on Blackstone (BX) .  A post mortem analysis on JPM is below.




On April 3rd, based on a review of charts for stocks with earnings in the coming two weeks, JPM (ER scheduled for before market open on April 12th) was identified as a bear rally candidate.


The following trade plan was developed:


JPM posted a green candle on Monday, April 4th,.  However, it closed below the 13 eMA entry trigger.  Three contracts of the JPM Apr14 $132 were purchased for $1.65 each (total debit/risk was $495 excluding commission).  As soon as the order was filled a Good Til Cancelled (GTC) order was placed to sell two out of three contracts for $3.30 each. 


JPM did what was expected in the following two days and the order to sell two of three contracts at a double was filled.  The remaining position was one contract with a plan to either adjust to another strategy or hold until just before ER.  On April 7th, it hit Target 1; the position was adjusted to a calendar by selling one JPM Apr08 $132 put for $1.38.  $303 profit was locked in at this point.  The short put expired worthless on April 8th.  The remaining JPM Apr14 $132 put was sold per plan on April 12th for $3.10.  Total profit on this play was $613 (121.8% ROI).   Note that some members of the Swing Trading / ER Strategies group sold all their contracts on April 1st for a double.


Swing trading options before and during earnings can be stress free; risk can be limited with proper planning.  Always write a trade plan prior to entering a trade, follow it, and only adjust that trade plan when your emotions are in check so that decision making is made with discipline.  Plan your trade and trade your plan. This will be a subject of future blog posts. 


The Spring 2022 ER season is kicking off with some great gains.  Next week’s plays have been forwarded to the Swing Trading / ER Group and will be reviewed in a Live Stream on Monday evening at 7:00 PM Eastern.  We will also review all plays to date, listed below.   


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