Biotech Stock Bounces on Covid Vaccine Update

The options pits are bursting with activity in response

Deputy Editor
Aug 23, 2023 at 10:58 AM
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Biotech company Novavax Inc (NYSE:NVAX) announced that its Covid vaccine is effective against the Eris variant. Pending approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company's vaccine -- alongside shots from Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) -- is expected to roll out within weeks.

The shares are extending their premarket gains, last seen 2% higher at $9.35 at last glance. Over the last two days, NVAX tacked on roughly 26.5%; however, the equity is still 12.7% lower in 2023, though they're breaking above long-term pressure at from their 160-day moving average. 

Unsurprisingly, options traders are swarming the equity. So far, 13,000 calls and 5,098 puts have crossed the tape, which is double the average daily volume. The weekly 8/25 9-strike call is the most popular, followed by the September 10 call. 

At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.74 ranks higher than all but 2% of readings from the past 12 months. This implies that the penchant for bullish bets is nothing new. It's also worth noting that short interest represents 39.3% of NVAX's available float, or over five days' worth of pent-up buying power. 


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