Upbeat Drug Data Has Galmed Stock Scaling Nasdaq

GLMD has more than tripled so far today

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jun 12, 2018 at 10:23 AM
Updated on Jun 12, 2018 at 10:25 AM

Two pharma stocks are making outsized moves in early trading this morning. Both Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NASDAQ:GLMD) and SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SAGE) are red-hot on encouraging drug data. 

Galmed Stock Triples, Notches New Record High

Galmed stock sits on top of the Nasdaq today, up an incredible 221% to trade at $22.65, and earlier touching a record high of $27.06, after the company's Aramchol met its main goals for treating nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), or fatty liver disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the drug fast-track status, as there is no other FDA-approved drug for treating NASH.

Short sellers could soon be scrambling for cover after today's burst. GLMD short interest has tripled since March, and the 9,000 shares sold short represents more than four days of pent up buying power, at the pharma stock's average pace of trading. 

Sage Expediting Depression Drug Trials

Sage stock is up 7.7% to trade at $158.26, after the drugmaker said it will expedite late-stage trials for its depression drug, following a Breakthrough Therapy meeting with the FDA. The firm will initiate the trials in the second half of 2018.

SAGE stock has more than doubled in the past year, and today's rally has the security on track to snap a five-day losing streak. Since gapping higher in December, the shares embarked on a series of lower highs and lows, with the 320-day moving average recently emerging as support.

In the options pits, there has been a large appetite for puts in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.42 ranks in the elevated 80th annual percentile, meaning SAGE puts have been bought to open at a quicker-than-usual clip -- albeit amid relatively low absolute volume.

Those looking to bet on SAGE stock's short-term price action may want to consider doing so with options. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 49% ranks in the 2nd annual percentile, meaning low volatility expectations are being priced into short-term contracts -- a boon to potential premium buyers.

Signal Says Take Profits on This Pharma Stock
The shares are testing a familiar ceiling on the charts
What to Make of the S&P Death Cross
It's the index's first death cross in nearly three years
2 Tech Stocks That Could Fade Into the New Year
Tech stocks have been under heavy scrutiny in recent months
From Schaeffer's Pro Traders
Weekly Options Secrets Revealed

Direct from our Schaeffer's traders, your FREE guide to winning with weekly options!


NEW! Explore Schaeffer’s Partners' deals and get connected to top online brokerages with deals tailored exclusively for our readers.  Get answers to your questions regarding transfer fees, commission rates, programs and available discounts related to online trading services.

MORE | MARKETstories

The Shortcut to Earnings Season Profits
A free tool can help traders bank big this earnings season.
2 Stocks Making Big Moves on Government Buzz
YRC Worldwide is being sued by the DoJ
Goldman Sachs Cools On WBA Stock Ahead of Earnings
The analyst downgraded Walgreens stock to "sell"
This May Be the 21st Century "Oil Boom"
U.S. production of lithium is set to increase 1,300% in the next 2 years.