There appears some confusion about what options tell about the future. I think the first issue was probably a mistake by Berk in the subject line. Instead of "$35 Spike has now opened..." I think he probably meant $35 STRIKE has now opened....
The highest strike last Friday was $30 and the OCC decided to add the $35 strike in March for today.
But to understand options without getting too much in the weeds CRMD has a historical volatility over the last month of 102. The March options are trading with an implied vol of around 217 or over 2 times even the last month's higher than normal volatility. Options are expensive because of the obvious FDA even we are waiting for.
There is a formula for figuring out what it means for pricing with one standard deviation (usually 68%). Take the number of days before the options expire (25)/365=.068. Take the sq root of that number= 0.2608. Multiply that number by implied vol then by stock price . So for CRMD we get .2608x 2.17x $17.17=$9.71. The call option market is saying (pricing) that there is a 68% chance that CRMD will be $17.17 +/- $9.71 in 25 days.
So roughly a 2/3 chance the stock will be $7.46 to $26.88. That is a range you can drive a truck through and still be wrong 1/3 of the time. Option sellers are demanding to be paid a lot for the risk of waiting for the FDA decision. Speculators don't want risk of owning stock so just buying the calls and stock owners not willing to give up perceived rewards of a positive FDA decision without being amply rewarded have decided about 217 implied vol prices those odds fairly at the moment.
As soon as the decision is announce forget about the implied vol, the options will quite quickly price the "event" as having happened, the stock will react and a new much lower implied vol will likely be priced into the stock and options.
Here is further explanation.
Volatility is a measurement of how much a company's stock price rises and falls over time. Stocks with high volatility see relatively large spikes and dips in their prices, and low-volatility stocks show more consistent gains and losses. Implied volatility can be used to project future changes in the price, and it's most often used by investors to evaluate prices on stock options.
It is calculated through a formula using several variables in market and stock price. Knowing a stock's implied volatility and other data, an investor can calculate the degree to which the price might change. But that doesn't forecast which direction the price will move.
Implied Volatility Caveat
Implied volatility is used as a tool to evaluate options, not stocks. Options are vehicles for buying or selling stock or other assets at a specific price at a specific date. Implied volatility helps investors discover a fair price for an option, which can be profitable even when the stock price declines.
Implied Volatility Annual Percentage Forecast
Determine the future date for which you want to use implied volatility to judge a stock's price. Implied volatility is measured as a percentage and is forecast annually. It gives the statistical probability of what a stock's price might be in the future, as measured over a normal distribution graph or bell graph.
Using this graph, the implied volatility shows how far the stock price could change over one "standard deviation," which usually equals 68 percent. For example, a $10 stock with a 20 percent implied volatility has a 68 percent chance to be priced between $8 and $12 one year from now.
Other Factors Influencing Implied Volatility
Find the stock's implied volatility percentage using a financial news website or your online brokerage. Also locate other important information about the stock, some of which could be listed under the stock's "option chain." Investors also need to know the stock's current price and the number of days until the forecast price date. When calculating for options trading, investors need the number of days until the option expires.
Calculating Stock Price's Standard Deviation
First, divide the number of days until the stock price forecast by 365, and then find the square root of that number. Then, multiply the square root with the implied volatility percentage and the current stock price. The result is the change in price.
For example, a $10 stock with a 20 percent implied volatility that expires in six months (183 days) would have a 68 percent chance of rising or falling by approximately $1.41.
Historical Vs. Implied Volatility
Once volatility is no longer "implied" -- it becomes "realized" -- an investor can look at historical volatility. Over a given period, a security's movement regarding its price offers a comparison from its historical volatility to its implied volatility. This comparison may help investors make investing decisions.
Limitations of Implied Volatility
Investors can use implied volatility to help judge market sentiment of a company stock, but it doesn't always take into account certain market factors. Because implied volatility considers historical data and certain market conditions, it doesn't forecast larger market swings based on investor emotions. Investors should consider multiple indicators and data to evaluate stock purchases and investment decisions.