Options Bulls Blast Moderna Stock on Vaccine Tailwinds

MRNA is getting a boost from good news for its Covid-19 and flu shots

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock is up 6.5% to trade at $112.09 at last check, after a late-stage trial of its flu vaccine induced a stronger immune response against all four A and B strains of the virus in comparison to other flu shots. Plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday recommended broader use of its updated Covid-19 shot.

The 80-day moving average has kept a tight lid on the shares for most of the year, while the $120 region recently emerged as another ceiling. The security is fresh off an Aug. 16, three-year low of $95.02, and has shed 38.1% so far this year.

Nevertheless, short-term options traders are firmly bullish. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.66, which sits higher than 80% of readings from the past 12 months.

Drilling down to today’s options activity, 28,000 calls have crossed the tape, which is five times the intraday average, compared to 8,623 puts. Most popular is the September 115 call, with positions opening there.

Now looks like an opportune time to bet on Moderna stock’s next moves with options, per its Schaeffer’s Volatility Index (SVI) of 44% that sits higher than just 12% of readings from the last year. In other words, these traders are currently pricing low volatility expectations.

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