Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Highs & Lows: Amazon.com, Pfizer, and CVS Caremark

AMZN, PFE, and CVS rallied to annual peaks

by 1/14/2013 1:21 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Markets are mixed this afternoon, as sluggish sales news for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is dragging the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) into the red. Despite this wishy-washy sentiment, though, the number of equities at new highs is far outreaching those at new lows. At last check, the NYSE has tallied 175 annual highs and a single annual low from FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE). Over on the Nasdaq, there are 91 annual highs and six annual lows, including a record low for Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ:BV). Among the names charting notable moves higher are Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN - 273.86), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE - 26.70), and CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS - 51.67).

  • AMZN leapt to an all-time best of $274.26 just before noon, and is looking to extend its overall uptrend. Currently, the shares are up some 2.2%, which has buoyed their year-over-year return to roughly 54%. While the brokerage bunch maintains a mostly bullish view of the tech concern -- there are 21 "buy" or better endorsements, eight "holds," and no "sell" suggestions -- the options pits are riddled with skepticism. AMZN's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.40 ranks in the 82nd percentile of its annual range, which means that short-term options players have been more put-heavy just over a quarter of the time during the past year. Moreover, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.16, meaning 116 puts have been bought to open for every one call contract on the security.

  • Dow heavyweight PFE boosted its 52-week climb to 22.4% today, tagging a more than six-year acme of $26.88 earlier in the session. Looking at the sentiment backdrop, it seems that relatively few traders are betting on the stock to decline anytime soon. Short interest deflated by 16.8% over the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for just 0.8% of the equity's float, which points to a rather meager supply of sideline cash. Meanwhile, analysts appear confident in PFE's prospects, as 13 out of 15 brokerages have doled out "buy" or better recommendations.

  • CVS touched the $51.68 level for the first time ever today, marking a record high for the shares. The stock has performed quite well on the charts, outpacing the broader SPX by more than 6 percentage points over the past 60 sessions, and enjoying a 22.6% rally during the past year. As a result, though, CVS' Relative Strength Index (RSI) now resides at 76, which is in overbought territory. This suggests a near-term pullback may be in the cards for the pharmacy health care provider.

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