CannTrust Sell-Off Sparks Heavy Trading on Weed Stocks

CGC's 14-day RSI suggests it could rebound soon

by Josh Selway

Published on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:18 PM

U.S. stocks are rallying again today to end their record-setting week on another high note. In the meantime, we're monitoring moves from weed stocks CannTrust Holdings Inc (NYSE:CTST), Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB), and Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC). Here's how the shares of CTST, ACB, and CGC are trading today.

New Low For CTST After It Puts Hold on Weed Sales

Things are getting even worse for CannTrust, with the company saying it's halting the sale of all marijuana products after Canadian regulators earlier this week found it had been producing cannabis at unlicensed locations. CTST stock has hit fresh lows as a result, bottoming at $2.68 earlier, and last seen at $2.75 -- down 11.6% on the day. Brokerage firm Eight Capital downgraded its opinion on the company's Canadian shares to "sell," saying it expects the sales halt to last at least through the end of the month. The equity's week-to-date losses now stand at 44%.

Put trading is popular again during this latest sell-off. The contracts are crossing at five times the expected rate, and it appears some traders could be closing positions at the July 2.50 put, which was home to heavy open interest coming into today.

Traders Speculate on ACB Stock

The CTST headwinds are weighing on ACB, pressuring the shares 4.3% lower to $6.87. This puts the equity on pace for its lowest close since February and its first below the 320-day moving average since January. Calls and puts are both crossing at an accelerated rate today, and bulls could be betting on a comeback by buying the July 7 call, the most popular contract today. New positions are also opening at the weekly 7/12 7-strike put.

Before today it was almost all call buying in Aurora Cannabis' options pits. Almost 29,600 long calls crossed in the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to just around 3,500 puts.

CGC Options Volume Spikes

CGC is another victim in today's session, sliding 7% to $34.48. Still, Canopy Growth is sporting a year-to-date lead of 28% and its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) has broken below 30, suggesting the shares are oversold and could be due to rebound.

In the options pits, call and put volume have both blown past their daily averages. New positions are opening at a number of strikes in the weekly 7/12 and 7/19 series, and the 35-strike put from the latter series is most popular. From a broader view, there's heavy open interest at the front-month July 50 call.

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