Call Traders Ride GBT Stock's Surge to Fresh Highs

The FDA yesterday approved the company's sickle cell disease treatment

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 26, 2019 at 11:03 AM

Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT) earlier hit an all-time high of $69.69 after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's drug for sickle cell disease, and though the shares have given up almost all these gains -- possibly because their 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 76 was showing overbought conditions even before today -- they're still up 0.9% today at $60.51, and have added more than 31% since jumping from familiar support at the $46 level just earlier this month. All this upside has likely been good news for options traders.

Data shows that almost 1,200 calls were bought to open during the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to fewer than 100 puts, helping drive the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) to 0.29. Not only does this SOIR show call open interest among contracts expiring within three months more than tripling put open interest, but it ranks in the bottom quartile of its annual range, meaning such a call-tilt is rare.

In today's action, it looks like some of these bulls could be closing their positions at the December 70 call, since most of the nearly 900 contracts that have crossed here were at the bid price, and implied volatility is lower. Meanwhile, new positions are opening at the December 65 call, though traders may be selling to open positions to be on a technical ceiling for the equity in the coming weeks.

Finally, analysts are overwhelmingly bullish on GBT stock, and more bullish attention has come through since yesterday's close. Among the handful of firms who upped their views on Global Blood Therapeutics was Instinet, which set a price target of $112 -- 85% above current levels.


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