Stocks quoted in this article:
Following a string of consecutive losses, the major equities markets are in rally mode today, catching a lift from China's GDP report. As the upswing remains strong, both the Dow and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are poised to reach breakeven for the week. With that in mind, the number of stocks at new annual highs is far surpassing the number of stocks at new lows. The NYSE has tallied only 17 equities at fresh lows, while the Nasdaq reports 21 annual lows. Among the equities sliding to new lows are Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR - 12.34), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ - 18.94), and Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE:LXK - 20.63).
- FNSR last night was started at "hold" by Needham Research, which pushed the shares to a near two-year low of $12.13 this morning. Indeed, the stock doesn't have much going for it on the charts, slipping roughly 29% over the past year, and lagging the broader SPX by almost 28 percentage points during the past 60 sessions. However, analysts appear to be ignoring FNSR's technical predicament, as the telecom company boasts four "strong buys," one "buy," and two lukewarm "holds."
- HPQ backpedaled to a more than eight-year worst of $18.77 earlier today, continuing to fall on Thursday's price-target cut by Barclays. During the past 52 weeks, the security has hacked off 46.7%. Despite this weak price action, there was a glut of calls in the options pits, as evidenced by the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.04 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio arrives in the 81st percentile of its annual range, signaling that traders on these exchanges have purchased bullish bets over bearish at an accelerated clip over the past couple of weeks. However, there could be a less-than-bullish reason for this call-heavy activity. Short interest jumped 4.2% during the past month. With buy-to-open call volume and short interest rising in tandem, it's possible that short sellers are picking up optimistic options simply to hedge their pessimistic positions.
- LXK declined roughly 15.5% to $20.26 -- its lowest price since October 2009 -- after the printing and imaging business slashed its second-quarter guidance on weaker-than-expected demand. LXK's technical backdrop is bleak, to say the least. Over the past 12 months, the stock has lost almost 30%, and has underperformed the broader SPX by 22 percentage points throughout the past 60 sessions. In fact, negativity is par for the course among the brokerage bunch, as all nine analysts consider the security a "hold" or worse.
Click here to read the new highs list, including D.R. Horton, Inc.'s (NYSE:DHI) analyst-inspired jump.