Optimal exercise of American options under stock pinning

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We address the problem of optimally exercising American options based on the assumption that the underlying stock's price follows a Brownian bridge whose final value coincides with the strike price. In order to do so, we solve the discounted optimal stopping problem endowed with the gain function G(x) = (S-x)+ and a Brownian bridge whose final value equals S. These settings came up as a first approach of optimally exercising an option within the so-called "stock pinning" scenario. The optimal stopping boundary for this problem is proved to be the unique solution, up to certain regularity conditions, of an integral equation, which is then numerically solved by an algorithm hereby exposed. We face the case where the volatility is unspecified by providing an estimated optimal stopping boundary that, alongside with pointwise confidence intervals, provide alternative stopping rules. Finally, we demonstrate the usefulness of our method within the stock pinning scenario through a comparison with the optimal exercise time based on a geometric Brownian motion. We base our comparison on the contingent claims and the 5-minutes intraday stock price data of Apple and IBM for the period 2011-2018. Supplementary materials with the main proofs and auxiliary lemmas are available online.
American Option, Brownian Bridge, Free-Boundary Problem, Optimal Stopping, Option Pricing, Put-Call Parity, Stock Pinning
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