3 Volatile Drug Stocks

AQXP stock just crossed above a key technical level

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 9, 2018 at 3:10 PM

It's been a volatile week on Wall Street, and today is no different. The Dow was last seen up around 50 points -- after being down 500 points earlier -- and on pace for its worst week since the financial crisis. This whipsaw price action is being mirrored in the drug sector, too, with Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AQXP) and Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PIRS) soaring, while Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT) is plummeting. Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of AQXP, PIRS, and SRPT today.

Aquinox Stock Near Top Of Nasdaq

Aquinox stock is up 13.8% at $15.25 -- near the top of the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) -- and on track for its best session since December 2016. The company said data for its bladder pain syndrome treatment remains on track for release in the third quarter. The stock has now reclaimed a foothold atop its 320-day moving average for the first time since October, and has tacked on 52% since falling to an annual low of $10.02 on Dec. 12.

Short sellers have been jumping ship at a rapid rate, which likely helped the stock's recent rebound. Short interest decreased by nearly 38% in the last two reporting periods, but it would still take almost four days to cover the remaining bearish bets, at the average pace of trading.

SGEN Deal Vaults PIRS Stock Higher

Shares of Pieris Pharmaceuticals are up 18.2% to trade at $8.45 -- on track for their best day since May, and a chip-shot away from Monday's record high of $8.58. The burst comes after the biotech company reached a licensing agreement with Seattle Genetics (SGEN) to develop solid tumor and blood cancer treatments.

PIRS shares have tacked on an impressive 306% year-over-year. Not surprisingly, analysts are upbeat, with the two following the stock maintaining "strong buy" ratings.

Paused Trials Send Sarepta Stock Stumbling

Sarepta stock is down 4.9% to trade at $54.37, after the drugmaker paused dosing for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) treatment in a U.K. study. Although the shares of SRPT are still up 77% year-over-year, they are in danger of closing south of their 80-day moving average for the first time since June. 

Despite the equity's struggles today, analysts have yet to adjust their upbeat ratings. Of the 16 brokerages covering Sarepta stock, 15 rate it a "buy" or "strong buy," and the stock's average 12-month price-target of $72 represents a 32.1% premium to the stock's current perch.

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