Options Traders Take a Shot at NVAX Following Vaccine Update

Today's options pits are showing a flurry of activity

Assistant Editor
Jun 14, 2021 at 10:21 AM
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Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) stepped into the spotlight today, after a late-stage trial showed its Covid-19 to be 90% effective overall, with 100% protection against moderate and severe disease. In addition, the drugmaker's vaccine candidate was 93% effective against leading variants of the virus. As Novavax looks to become the fourth strong Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S., the shares are responding in turn, last seen up 2.2% to trade at $214.22.

Meanwhile, options traders from both sides of the tape are responding to the news. In the first hour of trading, 11,000 calls and 3,106 puts have exchanged hands, which is eight times what's typically seen at this point. The June 230 call is the most popular, with the 250 call from the same series trailing close behind. This implies options traders see plenty of upside for NVAX by the time these contracts expire on Friday.

The trend of calls outpacing puts is nothing new. This is per the security's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.21 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands in the 90th percentile of its annual range. This means calls are getting picked up at a faster-than-usual pace. 

On the charts, this optimism seems warranted. NVAX opened above the $220 level today for the first time since late-April. Despite pulling back in the month of May, the equity still boasts an impressive 98.2% year-to-date lead. Should today's positive price actions hold, Novavax stock would lock in eight wins in the first 10 sessions of June.

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