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U.S. markets are mixed at midday -- with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) notching a new intraday record earlier -- as traders weigh another round of upbeat earnings against geopolitical concerns and a downwardly revised domestic growth outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Among specific equities in focus, development stage biopharmaceutical firm Puma Biotechnology Inc (NYSE:PBYI), surgical robot manufacturer Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), and biotechnology concern Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) are all seeing big moves on the charts today. Here's a quick roundup of how this trio of names is performing on the charts so far.
- PBYI is 289% higher today to trade at $229.72, after announcing upbeat late-stage trial results for its experimental breast cancer drug. Earlier the stock tagged a new record peak of $236.91 -- nearly 65% above its previous all-time high of $143.65, tagged on Jan. 22. From a contrarian perspective, additional upside could by on the horizon for Puma Biotechnology Inc, considering the consensus 12-month price target of $122.67 stands at a steep discount to present trading levels.
- Also seeing a notable move to the upside today is ISRG, thanks to last night's strong showing in the earnings confessional and subsequent round of bullish brokerage notes. At last check, the stock was up 14.7% at $449.74 -- easily filling in the earnings-induced bearish gap from late April. Diving deeper, some of today's rally could be attributable to short sellers. Although short interest declined 13.9% over the last two reporting periods, nearly 8% of the stock's float is still sold short, representing more than a week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at ISRG's average pace of trading. A continued capitulation by these bearish bettors could help propel Intuitive Surgical, Inc. even further up the charts.
- BIIB has charged 10.7% higher this afternoon to linger near $336.19, after reporting second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates by the largest margin in 10 years. What's more, the equity is now trading comfortably above previous congestion in the $330 area, suggesting a new layer of support may be forming. Heading into today's session, the security was already up an impressive 36.4% year-over-year, so it's not surprising to find sentiment tilted toward the bullish side. For starters, short interest accounts for a low 1.3% of the stock's float, and would take fewer than three sessions to cover, at BIIB's average daily pace of trading. Plus, 72% of covering analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating toward Biogen Idec Inc, with not a single "sell" to be found.