Stocks quoted in this article:
U.S. stocks are modestly higher this afternoon, as traders express cautious optimism ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report. Among the equities in focus are social networking concern Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), java giant Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), and yoga apparel provider Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), which have all attracted the attention of analysts.
- FB is extending its quest for all-time closing highs, topping out at $42.76 so far today. Helping the shares higher was an upbeat analyst note, after Pivotal Research lifted its price target to $48 from $35. Over the past year, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has surged more than 129%, and has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 71 percentage points during the past three months. There could be more price-target hikes on the horizon, too, as the consensus 12-month price target of $39.09 represents a discount to the stock's current perch.
- Moving on, GMCR is down 0.4% at $86.00, despite scoring a price-target boost to $95 from $89 at Canaccord Genuity. From a longer-term perspective, the shares have more than doubled in 2013, ushered higher atop their 10-week moving average. In fact, GMCR just tagged a near-two-year high of $89.66 last week. Nevertheless, short interest makes up 24% of the stock's total available float, and would take more than six sessions to buy back, at GMCR's average pace of trading. Should Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) continue its ascent, a short-covering rally could translate into a contrarian tailwind for the equity.
- Finally, LULU is also shrugging off a price-target hike (to $78 from $73 at Credit Suisse), down 0.9% at $69.47. The stock is currently testing support atop its 50-day moving average, which hasn't been breached on a daily closing basis since July 31. On the sentiment front, Wall Street is bearish when it comes to Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU). The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.35 registers in the 79th percentile of its annual range, implying that near-term option traders are more put-heavy than usual right now. Plus, short interest accounts for 15.6% of LULU's total available float, representing 12 sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average pace of trading.