Stocks quoted in this article:
Disappointment over the results of the latest European Central Bank (ECB) meeting has dragged the major indexes lower today, although a decent number of equities have shrugged off the market's sullen mood to touch new annual highs. At last check, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shows 71 stocks at new peaks, while the Nasdaq has 18 at fresh highs. Among the equities tagging 12-month highs in today's trading are The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS - 32.25), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT - 65.94), and Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ - 29.06).
- GPS has enjoyed an 8.4% surge today -- touching a new high of $32.75 in the process -- after revealing better-than-expected July sales. The fact that calls outpace puts is a no-brainer, considering the stock's year-to-date gain of nearly 74%. The equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 31.90 -- which ranks in the bullishly skewed 94th annual percentile -- denotes that traders have bought to open almost 32 calls for every put during the past two weeks. Even so, 13 out of the 23 analysts covering the stock still maintain "hold" or worse ratings, leaving plenty of room for upgrades down the road.
- Although ABT has erased its earlier gains, the stock still tagged a new peak of $67.13 after sector peer Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) reported disappointing drug news. However, despite the equity's commendable year-over-year advance of more than 31%, traders remain entrenched in ABT's bearish camp. In fact, the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 1.29, confirming that puts outnumber calls among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 86th percentile of its annual range, which means that short-term options traders have been more put-heavy toward the stock just 14% of the time during the past year.
- STZ was last seen trading near breakeven, but the stock managed to tag a new high of $29.53 earlier in the session, thanks to a price-target hike to $40 from $35 at UBS. Currently, the adult beverage maven boasts a year-over-year advance of almost 49%, and has bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by close to 43% during the past 40 sessions. Even so, puts still have the upper hand on calls, as data from the ISE/CBOE/PHLX shows a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 3.88 -- conveying that puts bought to open have nearly quadrupled calls during the past few months. This ratio is just one percentage point shy of a yearly acme, suggesting that traders have been picking up puts over calls at an almost annual-high clip.
Keep reading to see what was on today's new lows list.