2 Red-Hot Drug Stocks Squeezing Shorts

The FDA approved Esperion's cholesterol drug marketing applications

by Patrick Martin

Published on May 6, 2019 at 9:55 AM

Near the top of the Nasdaq today sits Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted marketing applications for the company's cholesterol drug. At last check, ESPR is up 13% to trade at $48.86, on track for its best day since Oct. 26. The good news was met with a generous price-target hike to $90 from $79 at Credit Suisse, territory not seen since July 2015. 

Today's surge has the shares toppling their year-to-date breakeven level, and hurtling past resistance at their 200-day moving average. This trendline had kept a lid on rallies since a mid-March bear gap. 

A short squeeze could keep the wind at the equity's back. Short interest dropped by 13.6% in the two most recent reporting periods to 4.69 million shares. Yet this still accounts for a whopping 21.6% of the stock's total available float, and 8.3 days of pent-up buying power, at the average pace of trading. 

Then there's Axsome Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AXSM), up 3.7% to trade at $18.61, and earlier nabbing a new record high of $19.25. The company announced it had expedited development programs for both its depression drug and migraine treatment.

It's been nothing short of a meteoric rise for AXSM. For reference, the shares closed at $2.82 on Dec. 31, and have only turned in four weekly losses in 2019. Since March, pullbacks have found support at the stock's ascending 20-day moving average.

Axsome could soon squeeze shorts, too. Despite the stock's climb, short interest increased by 37.4% in the two most recent reporting periods to 5.27 million shares, a new record high. This takes up 27.6% of AXSM's total available float, and is 5.6 times the average daily trading volume.


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