Stocks quoted in this article:
All three major market indexes are down approximately 1% at last check, as global economic fear finds its way back to the Street. Despite the broad-market indexes sitting squarely in the red, there is a mixed bag of equities reaching new heights, compared to those wallowing to new lows. At last glance, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has 77 securities recording new nadirs, while the Nasdaq has 36 falling to fresh bottoms. Among the stocks sinking to new lows in today's session are Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM - 6.68), E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC - 7.40), and RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH - 3.72).
Is it all that shocking that RIMM has once again fallen to a new multi-year nadir? The stock fell to $6.57 in early trading -- its lowest point since October 2003. The BlackBerry maker's fundamental follies continue to weigh on the equity, with the shares down nearly 75% on a year-over-year basis. Option players, however, have been picking up RIMM calls, as opposed to puts, in recent weeks. The security's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE)/Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)/NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.13 ranks in the 87th percentile of its annual range, suggesting calls have been bought to open over puts at an accelerated clip in recent weeks. However, with short interest accounting for 17.6% of the stock's float, this uptick in call volume may simply be short sellers picking up hedges in case RIMM experiences a dead-cat bounce at some point.
ETFC was hit with a barrage of downgrades and price-target cuts late Thursday and early Friday, following the online broker's ill-received second-quarter earnings results. These bearish brokerage notes have caused the stock to slide 5.4% today, finding a new all-time low of $7.32 in the process. Today's post-earnings price slide brings the equity's year-over-year deficit to a dismal 49.7%. Plus, over the course of the past 60 trading sessions, ETFC has lagged the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 26 percentage points, on a relative-strength basis. As it turns out, short-term speculators are on the optimistic side of the fence, as evidenced by the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.37. This ratio ranks in the 42nd percentile of its annual range, suggesting that near-term traders are more call-heavy than usual toward the stock.
It certainly is a day for familiar faces. Long-time chart laggard RSH once again found a new all-time bottom of $3.62 in early trading. RSH has since pared its earlier losses, and is now trading nearly 2.2% higher. This afternoon's bout of positive price action doesn't negate the stock's withstanding technical struggles, as RSH has lost 70.8% over the previous 52 weeks. It's no wonder that sentiment surrounding the security is steeped in pessimism. Short interest accounts for a brow-raising 43.2% of the stock's float. Additionally, just one analyst out of 20 believes RSH to be a "buy."
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