Stocks quoted in this article:
The major market indexes are wallowing in the red today. Instead of celebrating earnings news at home, Wall Street has turned a panicked eye across the pond. Despite the sell-off, there is no clear direction on the number of stocks finding new highs, versus those meeting new lows. At last check, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows 76 equities finding fresh tops, while the Nasdaq has 37 at annual peaks. Among the stocks reaching new heights in today's session are eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY - 44.97), athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN - 93.80), and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON - 87.35).
Despite EBAY downwardly revising its third-quarter and full-year fiscal forecasts, JPMorgan hiked its price target on the stock to $50 from $39, and raised its rating to "overweight" from "neutral." As a result, the equity soared to a six-year high of $45 this afternoon. EBAY is up 2.1% in the final hours of trading, adding to its impressive 48.1% year-to-date advance. Should the equity continue to tack on gains, an additional round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could be in store. Eight out of 27 covering analysts still maintain a lukewarm "hold" recommendation toward EBAY, and the consensus 12-month price target of $46.33 is just a stone's throw from the stock's current perch.
ATHN is having a very good day. The insurer's better-than-expected second-quarter earnings results paved the way for early morning upgrades and price-target hikes from the likes of Lazard and UBS. The stock has jumped 7.1% in today's trading, tagging a new all-time best of $97.25 in the process. ATHN's withstanding technical prowess is nothing to scoff at, with the shares nearly doubling in value in the previous 12 months. The equity could find some additional tailwinds from skeptical speculators who bet against the stock. Short interest currently accounts for 22.3% of ATHN's float. In fact, it would take more than two weeks to cover these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily trading volume.
Agricultural concern MON has stair-stepped its way to a three-year high of $87.59 in the first half of the session. The stock was up 0.7% at last check, adding to the 24.8% it's added on a year-to-date basis. MON's technical tenacity is further highlighted by its 10-day moving average. This trendline has ferried the equity higher since late May. The security is now on pace to finish its first daily close above the $87 mark since May 20, 2009.
Click here to read the new low list, including Research In Motion Limited's (NASDAQ:RIMM) continued slide.