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.

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