Are Celgene Corporation (CELG) Option Traders Changing Their Tune?

Celgene Corporation (CELG) is muscling higher, sparking a rare wave of call buying

Mar 16, 2015 at 10:52 AM
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Biotech stocks are mostly higher this morning, and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) is no exception. The stock -- which will join the S&P 500 Index (SPX) after the close on Friday -- is up 1.7% at $119.77, and option traders are gambling on even more short-term upside for the equity.

Intraday call volume is running at nearly twice the average clip, and has outpaced CELG put volume by a margin of roughly 5-to-1. Possible buy-to-open activity has been detected at the March 120 call, as speculators bet on CELG to muscle north of $120 through the end of the week, which represents the front-month contracts' life span. In light of CELG's ascent today, delta on the call has jumped to 0.47 from 0.33 at Friday's close, implying a near 1-in-2 shot of the option expiring in the money.

Today's appetite for CELG's short-term calls marks a change of pace for the equity. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.35 sits just 6 percentage points from an annual peak, suggesting near-term traders have rarely been more put-biased during the past year.

On the charts, Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) is 6.8% higher year-to-date, and since touching a record high of $125.45 in late February, has pulled back to test the waters atop its 60-day moving average. This trendline has contained CELG's dips in 2015, and could continue to serve as support.

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