More Call Buying On Rallying FireEye Stock

Akcea Therapeutics is one of the top gainers on the Nasdaq

Mar 15, 2018 at 1:59 PM
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The Dow is higher this afternoon thanks to a rally in UnitedHealth (UNH) shares. Among individual names making notable moves are Chinese e-commerce monster Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), cybersecurity stock FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), and drug producer Akcea Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKCA). Here's a quick look at what's driving shares of BABA, FEYE, and AKCA.

BABA Shares Rally Past $200

Alibaba stock is popping today thanks to reports the company is seeking approval to get listed on a Chinese stock exchange. BABA has jumped 3.9% to $200.01, hurtling past recent resistance in the $195 region. The security topped out at a record high of $206.20 back on Jan. 31, and has nearly doubled over the past 12 months.

Big moves have become the norm for the shares, based on their Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 91. Essentially this means BABA stock has displayed a strong tendency to make moves bigger than the options market was expecting during the past year.

M&A Speculation Lifts FireEye Stock Again

Buyout speculation is boosting FireEye stock today -- a story that's become quit familiar over the past year, guiding it to a 74% year-over-year advance. The shares were last seen up 6.4% at $18.57, earlier touching a fresh two-year high of $18.72. Call buying has outpaced put buying by more than a 9-to-1 ratio during the past two weeks across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The trend is continuing today, too, with heavy action at the April 20 call.

Ionis, Akcea Strengthen Relationship

AKCA stock is trading up 37% at $27.93, thanks to a licensing deal with Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS). Under the agreement Akcea Therapeutics will receive licenses for two rare disease drugs, including inotersen. Ionis will also increase its ownership stake in Akcea to 75% from 68%. Today's move has AKCA pacing for its highest close since early October, with the shares responding nicely since another meet-up with the $15 level in late February. Short sellers are likely on high alert, considering nearly one-third of the equity's float is sold short.

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