2 Penny Stocks Swinging on Drug Data

BPTH stock is pacing for its best day in years

Apr 3, 2018 at 9:57 AM
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    Bio-Path Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BPTH) has shot 50.1% higher this morning to trade at $2.67 -- on track for its biggest one-day percentage gain since September 2013 -- after the company reported upbeat mid-stage trial data for its cancer drug, prexigebersen, when used in combination with low-dose chemotherapy. The therapy is being studied to possibly treat those with acute myeloid leukemia.

    With today's massive gain, the shares are up 38.5% year-to-date, but are running out of steam near their 200-day moving average -- a trendline that hasn't been conquered on a daily closing basis since July 2016. The penny stock has flown under the radar of analysts, too, with just one brokerage firm following BPTH stock, though they've issued a "strong buy" rating on the shares.

    On the flip side, shares of Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIGL) have plummeted 16.4% to trade at $2.95. Pressuring the stock is news the company's kidney disease drug, fostamatinib, failed in a mid-stage study treating patients with IgA nephropathy.

    It's been a choppy six months for RIGL stock, which has been bouncing between support in the $3.20-$3.50 range and resistance in the $4.50-$4.70 neighborhood since October. And while the shares have breached the lower end of this range today, they are pacing for their first daily close below their 200-day moving average since late September.

    It looks like options traders have been bracing for more losses, too. The April 2.50 put is home to peak open interest of 13,176 contracts, and data from Trade-Alert points to significant buy-to-open activity here in early March.

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