Acquisitions Push 2 Pharma Stocks in Opposite Directions

Both AZN and BMY sport modest deficits for 2023

Digital Content Manager
Dec 26, 2023 at 10:24 AM
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Pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) announced new acquisitions today. The former acquired China's Gracell Biotechnologies (GRCL) for $1.2 billion to amplify its cell therapy business, while the latter bought RayzeBio (RYZB) for $4.1 billion for its cancer therapies. In response, GRLC and RYZB are both surging.

AZN was last seen up 0.3% at $66.49, and on Friday surged to is highest level since mid-October. The shares have been consolidating above the 80-day moving average, but still carry a modest year-to-date deficit.

Options traders are pricing in low volatility expectations right now, indicating this could be a good time to speculate with options. This is per AstraZeneca stock's Schaeffer’s Volatility Index (SVI) reading that ranks higher than just 20% of readings from the past 12 months. 

BMY was down 1.3% at $51.62 at last check, and is slightly lower for 2023 as well. Prior to today's dip, the security was digging its way out of a Nov. 30, three-year low of $48.25, but long-term pressure at the 60-day moving average capped this recent positive price action.

Over at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Bristol-Myers Squibb stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.58 sits in the 91st percentile of annual readings. This means options traders are firmly bullish


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