Options Volume Hot On Newly Upgraded Drug Stock

VKTX has more than doubled in 2018

Managing Editor
Nov 19, 2018 at 2:04 PM
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The shares of Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) are up 1.8% to trade at $11.86, getting a boost from Raymond James, who upgraded the biotech name to "strong buy" from "outperform. The analyst in coverage waxed optimistic on the potential of the company's liver disease drug. And in response to the bull note, options traders today are piling on.

At last check, about 6,900 call options have changed hands, double what's typically seen at this point in the day, with volume pacing for the 97th percentile of its annual range. Leading the charge are the December 14, 15, and 16 calls, where new positions are being opened.

More broadly, the rate of call buying relative to put buying has been quicker than usual, albeit amid limited absolute volume. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows 6,512 calls were bought to open in the last 10 days, compared to just 3,110 puts.

In mid-September, Viking Therapeutics stock gapped higher, and while the shares have pulled back since then, they appear to have found support at their 160-day moving average, an area that coincides with its pre-bull gap levels from September. Overall, VKTX has more than doubled in 2018.

Daily Stock Chart VKTX

 

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