What happened

Shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) closed down 11.5% on Tuesday, recovering from earlier in the day when, at one point, the stock was down as much as 29%.

There didn't seem to be any reason for today's decline, and both of the intraday declines and recoveries were associated with higher-than-usual volume. This suggests that day traders were just toying with the stock, and today's volatile valuation had nothing to do with fundamentals.

So what

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to hold an advisory committee meeting on Oct. 12 to review AcelRx's pain medication Dsuvia. The agency usually publicly posts its review of the marketing application two business days before the meeting, so investors should get to see the agency's opinion next week.

The FDA also sends the company an advance copy so it can prepare for the meeting. AcelRx already has received the review, and at the Cantor Fitzgerald Global Healthcare Conference yesterday, CEO Vincent Angotti said the review was "very fair in the characteristics of the product."

Some of today's volatility might be due to investors trying to read into what "very fair" means. If you think about it long enough, it's easy to come up with bull and bear arguments based on that fairly neutral unprompted statement.

Yellow folder with under review stamped on it

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Long-term investors can ignore the daily gyrations of AcelRx's share price. Eventually, the company will trade on fundamentals. These include the FDA review documents and the advisory committee's recommendation next week, an FDA decision expected on or before Nov. 3 (although that's more of a goal than a deadline for the FDA), and finally, actual sales of Dsuvia, assuming it's approved. Everything between now and then is just noise.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.