Options Traders Swarm PFE, BNTX After Vaccine News

Both equities notched annual highs following the news

Assistant Editor
Nov 9, 2020 at 1:10 PM
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This morning, we covered two pharmaceutical stocks that exploded after announcing some more-than-optimistic coronavirus vaccine news. Specifically, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) both soared to fresh annual highs, while the latter achieved a new record all-time high, after an interim analysis of a phase 3 study showed their COVID-19 vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in participants who were not previously infected with the virus. Below, we'll dig into how today's news has impacted the equities' intraday options activity.

PFE was last seen up 9.6% to trade at $39.90, and locked in a shift to positive momentum concerning the stock's after its year-to-date lead was boosted to 1.6%. As a result, calls are flying off the shelves. So far today, over 421,000 calls have exchanged hands -- six times the intraday average and volume pacing in the top percentile of the last 12 months -- versus 56,000 puts. The most popular today is the weekly 11/13 39-strike call, followed by the 40-strike call from the same series, with new positions being opened at both contracts.

Meanwhile, BioNTech stock is up 11.4%, last seen trading at $102.46, and easily locked in a new all-time high of $115. Additionally, BNTX now boasts an impressive 453.4% year-over-year rise. Unsurprisingly, calls are a hot item for options traders, though there's some notable put action taking place as well. At last check, over 12,000 calls and 4,100 puts have crossed the tape, which equates to six times the intraday average, with volume pacing in the 100th percentile of its annual range. Most popular by far is the November 120 call, followed by the 140 call in the same series, with positions being opened at both. 

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