Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY) Bucks Market Sell-Off on Upbeat Drug News

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY) is trading higher on upbeat drug news from the FDA

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jun 27, 2016 at 11:02 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Biotech stock Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) is bucking today's downbeat market trend, last seen slightly higher at $70.64 on news that the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the company's bladder cancer treatment, Opdivo, breakthrough therapy designation. The share have now added nearly 22% since hitting a year-to-date low of $57.94 in early February, but traders and analysts have been slow to leave their bearish positions.

In the options pits, traders have been exceedingly put-heavy toward BMY of late. In fact, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.79 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows puts bought to open at nearly twice the rate of calls over the past two weeks of trading. Moreover, this ratio ranks higher than 97% of the past year's readings.

Of the 17 brokerages providing coverage on BMY, nine rate the drugmaker a "hold" or "strong sell," leaving plenty of potential for future upgrades. However, short sellers have actually been leaving the stock lately. Specifically, short interest dropped by more than 16% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now represents less than 1% of BMY's available float.

On the charts, BMY has had a relatively strong year. In fact, the shares hit a 15-year high of $75.12 earlier this month. Even with recent pullbacks, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) appears to have found a foothold at the $70 level, which has contained the stock's dips since April. This level also coincides with peak put open interest in the July series, suggesting it could continue to serve as support as front-month expiration approaches.

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