Options Hot as Arena Pharmaceuticals Stock Surges Again

Tesla is in the news after shareholders approved Elon Musk's pay package

Mar 21, 2018 at 2:44 PM
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The Dow is exploding higher this afternoon after the Fed raised rates -- as expected -- and upped its forecast for U.S. economic growth. Three stocks making notable moves are drugmakers Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) and Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALDR), as well as electric automaker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Let's take a closer look at what's moving shares of ARNA, ALDR, and TSLA.

ARNA Stock Makes Another Big Move

Needham upgraded Arena Pharmaceuticals stock to "buy" following the company's upbeat drug trial update from yesterday. As such, ARNA managed another two-year high of $45.85, last seen trading up 9.1% at $43.36. Call buying had been hot coming into today, based on the security's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.30 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). In today's trading, however, both calls and puts are seeing heavy attention, with a total of 8,000 contracts crossing so far -- more than four times the average daily volume of 1,575.

CEO Change Sinks ALDR Shares

Shares of Alder Biopharmaceuticals are under pressure today due to the abrupt departure of CEO and co-founder Randall Schatzman. The stock's 14.7% pullback makes it the biggest loser on the Nasdaq today, putting it at $11.60 -- set for the first close below the 100-day moving average in 2018. In fact, ALDR is back in negative year-to-date territory. Most analysts remain very bullish, though, with 10 of 11 in coverage deeming the equity a "buy" or "strong buy."

TSLA Stock Pops On Musk Pay Plan

Tesla stock is trading up 3.1% at $320.08 after shareholders approved a compensation plan for CEO Elon Musk. The pay package will reward Musk based on the stock's performance, with the ceiling set at a $650 billion market cap -- well above TSLA's current market value of roughly $54 billion. This all comes after Tesla shares bounced again from the $310 area, near their year-to-date breakeven point.

Some analysts recently have cautioned about the company's Model 3 roll-out, prompting a round of bearish options trading. However, TSLA's 30-day implied volatility (IV) skew has jumped to 17.8%, just 1 percentage point from a 12-month high, showing volatility expectations are much higher than normal for puts when compared to calls. In other news, Fedex (FDX) became the latest company to revealed it's placed an order for Tesla's electric semi trucks.


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