Model 3 Update Boosts Tesla Stock Past Key Trendline

The American Cancer Society lowered its recommended age for colon cancer screening

Patrick Martin
May 30, 2018 at 3:12 PM
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The Dow is soaring this afternoon as oil prices surge. Among individual stocks making notable moves are electric car maker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), as well as biotechs Aslan Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NASDAQ:ASLN) and EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS). Here's a closer look at how shares of TSLA, ASLN, and EXAS are trading today.

Tesla Stock Gets a Lift from Braking Fix

Tesla got a dose of good news today, with Consumer Reports recommending the Model 3 after the company updated the vehicle's braking software system. In response, TSLA stock is up 2.7% to trade at $291.54, on track to close above its 50-day moving average for the first time in almost three weeks. Nevertheless, Tesla stock has still shed 15% in the last three months, and fell to an annual low of $244.59 on April 2. 

In the options pits, put buying has been unusually popular in recent weeks. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows the security's 10-day put/call volume ratio at 0.98, ranking in the elevated 87th percentile of its annual range. This suggests that puts have been bought to open relative to calls at a much faster-than-usual clip during the past 10 days.

Echoing this, Tesla's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.57 ranks higher than 89% of all comparable readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, options traders are more put-heavy than usual among contracts set to expire in three months or less.

Bullish Brokerage Note Has Aslan Stock at New Highs

Singapore-based Aslan Pharmaceuticals stock is up 24.1% to trade at $8.50 -- fresh off a new record high off $8.85, and one of the top stocks on the Nasdaq today -- after H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage on the drug name with a "buy" rating and price target of $12. The analyst in coverage sees Aslan as an emerging biopharma that could capitalize on its treatments for common cancers in Asia. ASLN stock has now vaulted past its May 4 initial public offering (IPO) price of $7.03.

Options Traders Pile On Surging EXAS Stock

Exact Sciences stock is up 11.2% to trade at $58.60, after the American Cancer Society recommended colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45, instead of the previously recommended age 50. Exact Sciences makes Cologuard, one of the leading screening alternatives to a colonoscopy. EXAS stock, which has added 79% year-over-year, is on track for its best day in over a month, and has broken out above former resistance in the $54 level. 

The healthcare stock is ripe for a short squeeze, too. Short interest has nearly doubled in 2018, and the 15.44 million shares sold short represents a healthy 13% of EXAS' total available float. It would take almost two weeks to cover these bearish bets, at the equity's average pace of trading.

Although absolute volume is usually light, call volume has exploded today. Over 12,000 calls have exchanged hands so far -- 10 times the intraday amount, and volume pacing in the 97th percentile of its annual range. The October 55 call is most popular, with new positions being opened -- thought it's not clear if these contracts are being bought or sold.


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