Amgen, Esperion Therapeutics, Caladrius Biosciences Stocks Moving Today

Three stocks making big moves on the charts today are Amgen, Inc., Esperion Therapeutics Inc, and Caladrius Biosciences Inc

Mar 17, 2017 at 2:26 PM
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Stocks are on pace for a positive weekly finish, despite political uncertainty weighing on the market. Among specific equities in focus are biotech stocks Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), and Caladrius Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CLBS). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of AMGN, ESPR, and CLBS.

Disappointing Drug Data Sends Amgen Stock Sliding

AMGN reported its cholesterol drug Repatha was successful at reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes by at least 20%, but that wasn't enough to impress traders. The treatment's overall results were weaker than expected -- and did not decrease the number of cardiovascular-related deaths -- sending the stock sliding 6.5% to $168.30, and making it the leading laggard on the S&P 500 Index (SPX). Today's losses have Amgen, Inc. on track for its lowest close in more than a month, paring its year-to-date lead to 15.2%. This may be just fine with options traders, though. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMGN's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.32 is docked in the 83rd annual percentile. 

Sector Headwinds Sink Esperion Therapeutics

Amgen's results are also weighing on shares of ESPR, as the company has a similar cholesterol treatment in development. The stock is one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today, off 23% at $22.84. Still, Esperion Therapeutics Inc has nearly doubled already in 2017,  flying up the charts since early February to tap an annual high above $35 last week. But while the stock has seen a handful of bullish brokerage notes in recent weeks, more upgrades could be overdue. At present, seven of the nine analysts tracking the shares maintain a lukewarm "hold" recommendation.

Earnings, PCT Sale Send Caladrius Biosciences Higher

CLBS is bucking the downbeat sector trend, with the stock trading 14.5% higher at $5.84, following the company's quarterly results, which including a smaller-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter. Also giving the stock a lift today is news the company will sell its remaining 80.1% interest in its PCT subsidiary to Hitachi Chemical for $75 million.  Still in the red on a year-over-year basis, CLBS has spent recent weeks consolidating above support at the $5 mark, and today's gains have the shares set for their first close above the 320-day moving average since November 2014. Some short sellers may be glad they hit the exits just in time. These bearish bets on Caladrius Biosciences Inc fell by more than 28% during the past two reporting periods.

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