AZN Shares Set to Slip Despite FDA Buzz

AZN options traders have been betting bullishly

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 29, 2019 at 9:25 AM

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) is in focus this morning after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the company's Imfinzi priority review status for small cell lung cancer. Even so, AZN shares are 0.6% lower in pre-market trading after closing Wednesday at $48.77.

The lack of strong price action from this news could be because the stock had already been hot before today, currently holding right near the Nov. 1 all-time high of $49.22. Overall, it's up 28.4% year-to-date, thanks in part to two last bull gaps in the second half of the year.

Options traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been betting bullishly. AstraZeneca's 10-day call/put volume ratio across these exchanges comes in at 3.43 and ranks in the 67th annual percentile, so not only have calls outnumbers puts by more than 3-to-1, but this ratio ranks higher than two-thirds of all others from the past year.

In fact, peak open interest is in the front-month series at the December 50 call. Near-term option premiums still look muted, too, based on the Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 18%, which sits in the 8th annual percentile, showing unusually low volatility expectations at the moment.

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