Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL - 660.59), Chinese Internet provider Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU - 24.00), and discount retailer Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG - 48.83). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- As AAPL prepares to reveal the new iPhone 5 today, the equity received a price hike to $750 from $725 at Mizuho Securities this morning. With a year-over-year advance of roughly 72%, -- along with the fact that the security has bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) on a relative-strength basis during the past 60 sessions -- it's not surprising that AAPL calls outstrip puts. In fact, the stock's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio checks in at 1.87. In other words, calls bought to open have nearly doubled puts during the past month.
- QIHU -- which sits on a year-to-date gain of about 53% -- saw its price target lifted to $32 from $30 at ThinkEquity ahead of the opening bell. The equity has also outperformed the SPX by more than 54 percentage points during the last two months. In the options pits, calls are the options of choice, as evidenced by the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 7.27 -- indicating that traders have bought to open more than seven calls for every put during the past two weeks. This ratio is just three percentage points shy of a bullish annual peak, meaning speculators have rarely purchased calls over puts a faster pace.
- Piper Jaffray started coverage of DG with an "overweight" rating today, a move that could add to the equity's 52-week climb of more than 35%. Despite this technical prowess, near-term traders are still showing an affinity for puts over calls. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.15, signaling that puts outpace calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ratio is docked in the 81st percentile of its annual range, conveying that short-term options players have been more bearishly aligned toward DG just 19% of the time during the past year.