Bulls Pick Up Merck Stock After Surprise Quarterly Win

Call volume is running at eight times the intraday average

Digital Content Manager
Feb 1, 2024 at 10:59 AM
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Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) announced surprise fourth-quarter profits of 3 cents per share earlier, as well as revenue of $14.63 billion, both of which easily surpassed analysts' expectations. Strong demand for cancer drug Keytruda, as well as its HPV vaccine Gardasil contributed to the upbeat results.

MRK is up 2.4% to trade at $123.58 at last check, and earlier surged to an all-time high of $125.75. The shares are now on track for their fifth win in the last six trading sessions, with long-term support stemming from the 20-day moving average. MRK added more than 15% over the past 12 months, too.

Options bulls are chiming in on the results and subsequent record, with 34,00 calls across the tape so far today -- eight times the intraday average amount -- compared to a meager 9,472 puts. The most popular contract by far is the weekly 2/2 127-strike call, with new positions being sold to open there.

At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Merck stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.75 ranks higher than 92% of readings from the past year. In other words, the options pits are more bullish than usual.


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