RSV Vaccine Trial Data Sends Moderna Stock Surging

Call traders are chiming in at five times the intraday average

Deputy Editor
Jan 18, 2023 at 10:50 AM
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Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock is enjoying vaccine tailwinds today, though outside the realm of Covid this time. The company announced positive results for a late-stage trial of mRNA-1345, its experimental messenger RNA vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and plans to submit it for regulatory approval consideration globally in the first half of this year. MRNA is up 8.4% at $206.55 at last glance.

Today's pop has Moderna stock trading at its highest level since Dec. 22. Up 66% in just the past three months, the shares are already sporting a 10% year-over-year gain. Plus, the stock's ascending 60-day moving average lingers below as support, and was a . 

Chardan Capital Markets raised its price target to $208 from $191 this morning. Of the 14 analysts in coverage, six carry a "strong buy" rating, with the remaining eight a "hold," so if more upbeat vaccine news emerges, the brokerage bunch may shift their bearish stance.

Options bulls have been targeting MRNA lately. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.59 ranks in the 97th percentile of its annual range. 

Today's events are reinforcing this bullish sentiment, as 51,000 calls have crossed the tape so far -- five times what's typically seen at this point -- in comparison to 20,000 puts. The January 210 call is the most popular by far, with new positions opening there. These options are attractively priced at the moment, too. MRNA's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 54% sits in the 10th percentile of its annual range. 


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