Stocks quoted in this article:
U.S. stocks are just barely north of breakeven this afternoon, with the major equity indexes taking a mid-week breather. Among the names making notable moves are apparel retailer Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR), firearm firm Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR), and telecom services specialist Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT). Here's a quick look at how EXPR, RGR, and LVLT are faring on the charts today.
- EXPR has surged nearly 14% to trade at $16.61, paring its year-to-date loss to 11%. The stock is capitalizing on a well-received earnings report, with Express, Inc. swinging to a surprise profit and topping second-quarter revenue expectations. The equity is likely benefiting from some short-covering activity today, as 6.8% of its available float is sold short -- representing 4.1 times EXPR's average daily trading volume.
- Following a dismal outlook from its sector peer, RGR has tumbled 3.9% to $49.05. Early this morning, CRT Capital downgraded the stock to "fair value" from "buy," and simultaneously lowered its price target to $55 from $75. Shares of Sturm, Ruger & Company have shed roughly one-third of their value in 2014, significantly underperforming the broader equities market. There could be more negative analyst notes in store, as the average 12-month price target for RGR stands at $59.00 -- a 20.3% premium to the equity's current price.
- LVLT has rallied 3.7% to trade at $44.58, thanks to an upgrade to "outperform" at Macquarie, as well as a price-target hike to $51 from $49. It's a rare bullish endorsement for Level 3 Communications, Inc., as only 17% of analysts tracking the shares have handed out a "strong buy" recommendation -- even though LVLT has notched a market-beating gain of 34.4% year-to-date. Meanwhile, a capitulation by the shorts could help the security extend its climb; currently, no less than 8.3% of LVLT's float is sold short.