Ahead of Bank Earnings, Investors Should Approach 'XLF' ETF With Caution

If $25 is too high, then when would be an opportune time to jump into XLF? Baruch says to look back to the financial crisis for the right price.

“I’m looking at a trend line dating back to 2009, and this comes in right above 20 bucks. So I think if you’re cautious and it does get down there, that’s going to be a great buy for the long term,” said Baruch.

The Time is Now

However, others like Susquehanna’s Stacey Gilbert say that XLF and other bank stocks at their current levels represent a good buying opportunity. Gilbert cites traders playing the bank trade through call spreads–a move that is forecasting a move to the upside, but also protects the downside if the trade goes awry.

“When we look specifically to earnings, we are also seeing increased volatility setting up here, so I think investors are looking for more signs of what could possibly be going on. … We continue to see upside call buyers … but interestingly they’re doing it through call spreads, so they’re really saying that these tail upside moves are unlikely,” said Gilbert.

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