3 Drug Stocks Trading Near the Top of Nasdaq

PTC Therapeutics stock is heavily shorted

by Emma Duncan

Published on Jun 18, 2018 at 3:14 PM
Updated on Jun 18, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Stocks are trading lower, with the Dow down triple digits with less than an hour to go in the session. However, a few names making positive moves today -- all near the top of Nasdaq -- include drug stocks Verastem Inc (NASDAQ:VSTM)PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTCT) and Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ARWR). Below, we will take a closer look at how shares of VSTM, PTCT, and ARWR are trading on the charts.

VSTM Hits Nearly Three-Year High on Drug Data

Biotech concern VSTM has gapped to a roughly three-year high of $8.47, up 28% at $8.36 at last check, after the company posted a positive response rate of 96% for its blood cancer drug duvelisib in a mid-stage study. Verastem stock has been on its most recent leg higher after ending a long-term sideways run, and is now up an impressive 300% year-over-year.

Ahead of the study update, analysts were optimistic toward Versatem stock. All seven of the brokerage firms following VSTM sport "buy" or "strong buy" ratings, while the stock's average 12-month price target of $13.14 represents almost 60% upside to current levels.

PTCT Heavily Shorted Ahead of Interim Drug Trial Update

PTCT is up 24% at $46.72 in afternoon trading, fresh off a more than two-year high of $52.95, after the company reported positive interim drug data on its risdiplam trial for infants with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy. In response RBC and William Blair upgraded the equity to "outperform," while the former also hiked its price target to $48 from $30. PTCT has more than doubled its value since the start of the year.

Short interest fell 7.3% during the past two reporting periods for PTC Therapeutics stock, and now represents nearly 12% of the drug concern's total available float. At PTCT's average daily trading volume, it would take exactly one week for shorts to cover their bearish bets.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Stock Soars on Enrollment News

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals stock is up 25.8% at $13.93, fresh off a three-year high of $14, after the company completed its enrollment for its phase 1 study on the genetic liver disease shot, ARO-AAT. The pharmaceutical concern is up an unfathomable 777% year-over-year.

Regardless, for anyone considering speculating on ARWR with options, now is seemingly a good time to do it. The stock has a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 82%, ranking in just the 2nd annual percentile. This reveals that unusually low volatility expectations are being priced into short-term options for the drug stock.

VIX Options Signal Points to Possible Volatility Spike
VIX open interest is at an annual low
Altaba Stock May Be Sending Up a Buy Signal
AABA has seen some unusual options activity in the past couple of weeks
VFC Call Options Hot Ahead of Fiscal First-Quarter Earnings
VFC stock touched an all-time high earlier today
From Schaeffer's Pro Traders
Weekly Options Secrets Revealed

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


Partnercenter


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


Trading Earnings Releases with Options
There are several “conventional” methods of trading earnings that most option traders are taught... Sponsored by TheoTrade
NHTC, AA, MRSN Stocks Suffer Nasty Pullbacks
A Chinese investigation is sinking NHTC
Alphabet Kicks Off Busy Week of Big-Cap Earnings
Dow components and FAANG stocks will be in focus next week
Trading Earnings Releases with Options
There are several “conventional” methods of trading earnings that most option traders are taught... Sponsored by TheoTrade