2 Healthcare Stocks Getting Buried; Option Bulls Cheer MRVL Spike

ASNS and CAH stocks both hit fresh lows today

by Josh Selway

Published on Jun 28, 2018 at 2:34 PM
Updated on Jun 28, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Stocks have rebounded sharply from their earlier losses, thanks to newfound strength out of the financial sector. Three stocks making noteworthy moves are drug specialist Arsanis Inc (NASDAQ:ASNS), pharmaceuticals distributor Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH), and semiconductor firm Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL). Below, we will take a closer look at how shares of ASNS, CAH, and MRVL are trading on the charts.

Halted Drug Trial Puts ASNS at Bottom of Nasdaq

ASNS stock is getting destroyed today, giving back more than three-fourths of its value to trade at $4.39, and earlier hit an all-time low of $4.31. The massive sell-off was sparked by news the biopharma has discontinued a mid-stage trial for its experimental pneumonia treatment. As such, Arsanis is by far the worst Nasdaq stock today, after essentially trading sideways since its initial public offering (IPO) back in November.

But shockingly, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated its "overweight" rating on the shares and its ambitious $26 price target, saying it remains "positive on the company's earlier-stage assets." We'll see if other analysts maintain their bullish stances, since all four tracking ASNS have "strong buy" ratings.

Bears Target CAH Stock Ahead of Historically Rough Quarter

CAH stock is yet another victim of Amazon's most recent M&A announcement. The shares were last seen down 5.4% at $50.06, and earlier bottomed at a nearly five-year low of $48.28. This follows a post-earnings bear gap from early May, and brings Cardinal Health's year-to-date deficit to 18.3%.

Options traders may be betting on more downside, too, with more than 3,400 puts crossing today -- already seven times the average daily volume. Near-term options traders were already heavily put-skewed coming into today, based on CAH's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.56, potentially expecting more seasonal headwinds. That is, data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White shows the healthcare stock has been one of the worst S&P 500 Index (SPX) stocks to own during the third quarter over the past 10 years.

Regulatory Nod Helps MRVL Call Buyers

Marvell Technology just received Chinese regulatory approval for its purchase of Cavium, and MRVL shares have popped 8% to trade at $21.73 following the news. However, the equity remains stuck in the $20-$23 range that's contained it since mid-March, and the 80-day moving average could again be applying technical resistance, as well. Call buying had been extremely popular on the chip name coming into today, so many are likely hoping this breakout has legs. Some of that activity, though, could have been from short sellers hedging, since almost 14% of MRVL's float is dedicated to short interest.

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