Johnson & Johnson Stock Scaling Dow After COVID-19 Vaccine Update

JNJ also said human testing for the vaccine will begin this September

by Jake Scott

Published on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:17 AM

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is the top Dow stock this morning, up 5.5% at $129.86, after the company announced that its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus will be ready for human testing by September, while the drug’s availability for widespread emergency use will be ready in early 2021. Additionally, the drugmaker said it has committed more than $1 billion of investment in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide over 1 billion vaccines worldwide.

Johnson & Johnson stock has fallen 20% since hitting an all-time high of $154.50 last month. The security is still facing a 7% year-over-year deficit, and today's rally appears to have lost steam below its 20-day moving average.

Analysts are extremely optimistic on JNJ stock. Of the 15 analysts in coverage, 11 rate it a “buy” or better. The remaining four analysts sport a “hold” position, with not a single "sell" on the books. Additionally, the consensus 12-month price target of $159.18 is a respectable 29.2% premium to its current level.

In the options pits, calls are prevalent. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), JNJ sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.81. Not only does this mean that calls outnumber puts by a nearly three-to-one ratio, but that ratio sits higher than 98% of readings from the past year, indicating that such a call skew is rare.


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