Stocks quoted in this article:
U.S. stocks are mixed today, as Wall Street digests the latest round of less-than-motivating economic data. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) were sitting in the red, while the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite (COMP) had found a perch above breakeven. Despite today's precarious price action, stocks at new annual highs are easily outweighing stocks at new annual lows. In fact, the NYSE has seen four equities tag 52-week bottoms, while securities on the NASDAQ have tallied 21. Among the stocks sinking to new lows in today's session are Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM - 7.47), First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG - 7.52), and Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ:ROVI - 18.80).
- Following last week's dismal earnings report, as well as an equally dire outlook, struggling BlackBerry maker RIMM sunk to an eight-year low of $7.14 today. The stock was slapped with a double-dose of bearish brokerage attention this morning, with Societe Generale downgrading RIMM to "sell" from "hold," and Deutsche Bank slashing its price target by $5 to $8. Although rebounding from its session lows, RIMM has lost 74.2% of its value over the last 52 weeks. Unsurprisingly, short sellers piled on by 15.6% over the last two reporting periods, and short interest now accounts for a brow-raising 15.1% of the stock's float.
- FNFG continues to feel the effects of its recently announced plans to sell $3.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities, which triggered no fewer than two price-target cuts late last week. FNFG has stair-stepped its way to an all-time low of $7.44 in today's session, as a result of the unwanted analyst attention. The equity's chart troubles are further highlighted by its 44% year-over-year decline. More recently, however, FNFG has been ushered lower beneath its 10- and 20-day moving averages. Additional downgrades and/or price-target hikes could be on the way, should the stock continue to struggle. Seven out of 14 covering analysts still maintain a "strong buy" toward the equity, while the consensus 12-month price target of $9.27 represents a bold 24% premium to today's intraday bottom.
- Digital entertainment group ROVI is wallowing in the red, with the stock dropping more than 4%. Over the previous 12 months, the shares have sawed off a staggering 67.4%. Since March, the security has struggled beneath its 10-day moving average -- a trendline that pressured ROVI to a three-year low of $18.79 in today's session. Given the security's technical troubles, it's no surprise to see short-term speculators accumulating puts on the stock. In fact, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.59 ranks in the 96th percentile of its annual range. In other words, near-term traders have been more put-heavy toward ROVI just 4% of the time during the past year.
Click here to read the new highs list, including Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) brokerage-induced jump.