Big Vaccine Update Gives JNJ a Leg Up

Optimism surrounding the stock has been high

Deputy Editor
Feb 24, 2021 at 9:03 AM
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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is in the spotlight this morning, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed the drugmaker's one-shot Covid-19 vaccine safe and effective. A panel of independent experts to the FDA are slated to meet at the end of the week to make a final approval decision. In response, the security is up 1.4% at $162.65 in early trading. 

JNJ has been cooling since hitting its record high of $173.65 in late January. The equity did attempt a second rally back to these levels earlier this month, but this was met with resistance at the $168 level. The 50-day moving average looks to be coming in as a leg of support, however, and JNJ has managed to remain just north of its year-to-date breakeven, sporting a roughly 2% lead. 

Analysts have remained optimistic. All but three of the 13 in coverage consider Johnson & Johnson stock to be a "buy" or better. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $185.44 is a 14.3% premium to current levels. 

Options traders have echoed this sentiment. This is per JNJ's 50-day call/put volume ratio of International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than 89% of readings from the past year. This means this heavy penchant for bullish bets is unusual.

Similarly, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.44 stands higher than only 10% of readings from the past 12 months. In simpler terms, this suggests short-term traders have rarely been more call-biased on JNJ.

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