Puts Pop on Sinking Moderna Stock

There's been a bearish shift in Moderna stock's options pits

Digital Content Manager
Feb 14, 2022 at 1:51 PM
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Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) is down 12.3% at $141.52 this afternoon, following reports that the firm's CEO Stephane Barncel sold 10,000 shares of its stock, amounting to roughly $1.8 million. Barncel disappeared from Twitter just one day later. Some investors have become suspicious, though the sale was part of the CEO's previous plans to sell stock gradually. Separately, reports came out this weekend that the vaccine company is in talks with the British government to set up a research and manufacturing facility in the U.K. 

Moderna stock has lost a whopping 44.2% this year already, and today's drop has the security pacing for its lowest close in nearly a year. Pressure at the 20-day moving average has also kept a lid on shares, though the $140 level could still step in as a floor, as the area helped capture a pullback in May of last year. 

mrna feb 14

Options bears are targeting the sinking stock. So far today, 115,000 puts have exchanged hands, which is three times the intraday average. The most popular contract is the February 140 put, followed by the 130 put in the same series, with positions being opened at both. 

There's already been a bearish shift in the options pits. In fact, MRNA sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) that stands higher than all but 1% of readings from the past year. This implies options traders have rarely picked up puts at a quicker clip. 


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