AMD, Alphabet Make Big Moves; FDA Approval Boosts BioCryst

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals is also gaining thanks to big FDA news

Sep 21, 2017 at 9:26 AM
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U.S. stocks are signaling a lower open after yesterday's Fed decision. Among specific stocks in focus today are semiconductor stock Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), biotech BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), and Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of AMD, BCRX, and GOOGL. 

Tesla Partnership has AMD Pointed Higher

AMD stock is up 2.3% in electronic trading, thanks to news the company is partnering with Tesla to help the electric car manufacturer develop its own chip for self-driving cars. Advanced Micro Devices settled at $13.74 yesterday, up from $6.37 at this time last year, and has enjoyed strong support from its 200-day moving average since early May. 

Despite this, many analysts have been hesitant to embrace the equity. For instance, more than half the brokerage firms covering the shares rate them a "hold" or "strong sell." Extended upside from AMD could result in bullish attention from this group. 

BCRX Stock Jumps on Flu Drug Approval

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals is trading 7.2% higher before the open, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its flu drug, Rapivab, for pediatric use. At $5.27, BCRX is slightly higher on a year-over-year basis, but is far removed from its 52-week high of $9.25.

The shares have been heavily targeted by short sellers, with more than three weeks' worth of buying power controlled by these bears, based on average daily trading volumes. But options traders have also been bearish, with BioCryst Pharmaceuticals' 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) coming in at 1.16, which ranks in the 91st annual percentile. 

Google Drops $1.1B on HTC Mobile Unit

Google has announced it's buying part of HTC's mobile business for just over $1 billion, news that has shares of Alphabet edging higher in pre-market action. The security settled at $947.54 yesterday, up 19.6% year-to-date, but once again topped out just below its 50-day moving average

Some speculators seem to be expecting more upside from the shares, though. Specifically, call volume ran at nearly two times the expected pace yesterday, and it looks like some traders were buying to open the weekly 9/22 950-strike call. If so, they're expecting an extended run higher for the stock by tomorrow's close, when the contracts expire. 


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