Pharma Stock in Nasdaq Cellar After Failed Drug Trial

AMAG is exploring new lows, while fellow healthcare stock SEEL is soaring again

Managing Editor
Mar 8, 2019 at 2:14 PM
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The Dow is getting crushed today, heading toward its fifth straight loss after an ugly jobs report. Among stocks making notable moves today, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAG) and chip name Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) are struggling, while biotech concern Seelos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SEEL) is higher. Here's a quick look at what's got the shares of AMAG, MRVL, and SEEL moving today.

Failed Pregnancy Drug Buries AMAG

AMAG Pharmaceuticals stock is down 19.7% to trade at $11.02, one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today. Makena, the company's drug to reduce the risk of preterm birth, failed a trial, which was conducted as part of a post-approval agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, AMAG Pharmaceuticals claims the data is skewed, since most enrollees came from Eastern European countries.

Piper Jaffray and Jefferies responded in kind with price-target cuts to $13 and $15, respectively. AMAG earlier fell to a 13-year low of $10.70, and has now shed more than 50% in the past six months.  

Although the stock is on the short-sale restricted list (SSR) today, plenty of short sellers are likely cheering today's collapse. The 8.69 million shares sold short represent 33% of AMAG's total available float, and 14.8 times the average daily trading volume. 

Weak Guidance Triggers MRVL Pullback

Marvell Technology stock is down 3.1% to trade at $18.58, after the company's first-quarter revenue forecast came in lower than expected. The guidance has prompted two price-target cuts, including to $21 from $23 at Jefferies. Despite today's pullback, the semiconductor stock has added roughly 18% in 2019, and is clinging to support at its 40-day moving average.

Puts have exploded in popularity today. At last check, 17,000 MRVL puts have changed hands -- nine times the average intraday volume, and pacing for the 99th percentile of its annual range. Leading the charge is the April 16 put, where new positions are being opened, indicating buyers are banking on an extended pullback from the semiconductor name. 

Seelos Therapeutics Stock on Track for Best Week Ever

Near the top of the Nasdaq sits Seelos Therapeutics stock, up 38% to trade at $4.21. The biotech stock is in the second day of a huge rally, after the company acquired the exclusive license for technology to develop a new Parkinson's drug. SEEL added a whopping 96% yesterday, and is on track for its best week ever by a wide margin. Today's burst has the shares on track to topple their 30-day moving average for the first time since early January. But despite the big week, SEEL is still staring down a 26% deficit in 2019. 


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