Alnylam Tanks After Drug Trial Fatality; Fitbit Breaks Above Key Trendline

Anlylam Pharmaceuticals suspended a clinical trial for its rare blood disease drug after a patient death

Sep 7, 2017 at 3:16 PM
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U.S. stocks are mixed this afternoon, with traders taking a cautious approach as Hurricane Irma charts an uncertain path toward Florida. Among the stocks in the spotlight today are biopharmaceutical company Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY), bookseller Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), and fitness device maker Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of ALNY, BKS, and FIT.

Alnylam Stock Suffers After Drug Setback

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals stock is down 13.9% to trade at $74.08, after a patient's death prompted the drugmaker to stop administering fiturisan, a bleeding disorder treatment, in a clinical trial. This comes a year after Alnylam discontinued a drug for a rare hereditary disease over patient safety concerns. The company expects to resume clinical studies for the suspended drug, named fitusiran, by late 2017. Still, the biotech stock is up roughly 98% year-to-date after hitting an annual high of $89.45 last Friday.

Shorts are likely cheering today's decline, as short interest represents 12% of ALNY's total available float. At the equity's average daily trading volume, it would take more than two weeks to cover these shorted shares.

Barnes & Noble Stock Falls After Earnings

A wider-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss has Barnes & Noble stock down 11.1% to trade at $6.98. The book retailer cited lackluster quarterly sales of its Nook reading tablet, which resulted from lower promotional activity. BKS shares have lost roughly 37% this year, and hit a five-year low of $6.25 on June 21, with recent breakout attempts contained by its 120-day moving average.

Option traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have upped the bearish ante of late. BKS sports a 10-day put/call volume of 8.43, which ranks in the 94th percentile of its annual range. In other words, options players have bought more than eight times as many puts as calls on BKS in the past two weeks.

Fitbit Stock Soars on Dexcom Collaboration

Just over a week after Fitbit launched its Iconic smartwatch, the company announced its plan to collaborate with Dexcom to develop products to help people better manage their diabetes. The companies call it the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) experience, and hope to make products available to the public next year.

As a result, FIT shares are trading 11.9% higher at $6.62. Today's jump sent FIT shares to an intraday high of $6.78 -- territory the wearable tech stock hasn't seen since early May. What's more, FIT shares are now poised to close above their 200-day moving average for the first time in a year.


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