Fresh High Doesn't Convince All Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) Traders

Short-term puts have been popular on Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB)

Mar 18, 2015 at 11:55 AM
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Puts have been preferred in Biogen Idec Inc's (NASDAQ:BIIB) options pits, per the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.22, which ranks higher than 87% of similar readings taken in the past 12 months. Simply stated, short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual. Echoing this is BIIB's total put open interest of 50,847 contracts -- which is in the 80th annual percentile (versus total call open interest of 42,625, which rests in the 40th percentile of its annual range).

Today, however, it's calls that have the lead over puts. By the numbers, 2,092 calls have changed hands -- 1.7 times the average intraday clip -- compared to fewer than 1,400 puts. The stock's March 450 call has seen the most action, and it appears as though new positions are being purchased here. In other words, traders expect BIIB to rally north of $450 -- and into uncharted territory -- by week's end, when front-month options expire.

Meanwhile, on the put side, the equity's March 410 strike has received notable attention. There seems to be some buy-to-open activity happening at this out-of-the-money put, as traders roll the dice on BIIB breaching the $410 mark by this Friday's close.

Technically speaking, BIIB has been a standout, boasting a 23.7% year-to-date lead. What's more, the shares hit their highest perch on record earlier -- $427.99 -- but thanks to broad-market headwinds, were last seen 1.4% lower at $420.00.


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