Stocks quoted in this article:
Stocks have seemingly forgotten yesterday's rally and are trading south of breakeven in mid-afternoon action, as Wall Street digests euro-zone woes and a lackluster retail sales report. Against this backdrop, 42 securities on the NYSE have touched new annual lows today, compared to 38 at fresh 52-week highs. Similarly, the Nasdaq has racked up 37 new lows, along with 27 annual peaks. Among the stocks making notable moves in today's trading are Genon Energy Inc (GEN), Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (SMG), Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA)
Notable Stocks at Annual Lows
- Genon Energy (GEN - 1.37) dipped to $1.33 this morning -- its lowest price since October 2002 -- following UBS' decision to upgrade the electric company to "neutral" from "sell," but reduce its price target to $1.50 from $1.75. During the past three months, GEN has lagged the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by roughly 42%, and has backpedaled more than 63.5% during the past 52 weeks. It should be no surprise then to see that only 30% of brokerages maintain a "strong buy."
- After Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG - 40.46) warned yesterday that it will fall short of its fiscal-year guidance, the shares dropped to a near three-year-low of $35.49. Over the past 12 months, the stock has lopped off 21.9%, while its Relative Strength Index (RSI) arrives at a lean 33. However, most analysts are already skeptical of SMG, as 10 out of 11 consider it a "hold" or worse.
- Electronic Arts (EA - 12.60) retreated to a 12-year worst of $12.48 just moments ago, and appears to be on track to close the week under $13 for the first time since June 1999. Today's slide has deepened the shares' year-over-year loss of roughly 45%. Despite EA's technical woes, 12 out of 19 analysts maintain "buy" or better endorsements, with not one "sell" to speak of.
Notable Stocks at Annual Highs
- AT&T (T - 34.99) jumped to a near four-year best of $35.06, benefitting from a bullish brokerage note. Specifically, Jefferies raised its price target to $36 from $33. This newly adjusted target sits above the average 12-month price target of $33.18, which represents a discount to today's new high. Plus, the blue-chip giant could get an additional boost via upgrades, as there 17 "hold" or worse ratings, versus 12 "buy" or better recommendations.
- Verizon (VZ - 43.06) reached $43.25 today, marking its highest price in over a decade. This uptick was ignited following a report that the wireless titan has approved Novatel Wireless' (NVTL) Enabler machine-to-machine module for use on its network. With that, the shares are within range of settling the week atop the $43 level for the first time since March 2002. Despite its 20.7% year-long upswing, though, the stock is still plagued by downbeat brokerages. There are 16 "holds" and one "strong sell," compared to 13 "strong buys." A fresh bout of upgrades could translate into a contrarian boon for VZ.
- Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA - 8.14) climbed to $8.65 -- its highest point since January 2008 -- as CNBC's Jim Cramer recommended the biotech firm as shelter from the ongoing European debt crisis. ARNA has been quite the standout on the charts, skyrocketing more than 526% during the past year, and outpacing the broader SPX by 363% over the past 60 sessions. But this exceptional price movement hasn't fully convinced the mostly neutral analyst group. Currently, there are six "hold" or worse suggestions, and four "strong buys," which leaves ARNA susceptible to upgrades in the near term.