Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Stocks to Watch Wednesday: Zynga Inc, QUALCOMM, Inc., and Pfizer Inc.

Analyzing ZNGA, QCOM, and PFE ahead of tomorrow's trading

by 3/4/2014 4:49 PM
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Momentum names that made notable moves on Tuesday and could continue to do so into Wednesday's session include online gaming specialist Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), digital communications expert QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), and biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE). Here is a quick look at these stocks ahead of tomorrow's opening bell.


After flying to an annual high of $5.74 in today's session, Zynga settled with a 7.8% lead at $5.65. The stock has put forth a strong technical performance in 2014, advancing 48.7% so far. Nevertheless, a number of traders have turned bearish recently, as short interest grew by more than 45% during the latest reporting period. As such, 43.2 million shares -- or 6.2% of the equity's float -- are now sold short. Meanwhile, in ZNGA's options pits today, both calls and puts changed hands at a rate that tripled the daily norm, with a significant number of 10,000-block trades crossing at several front-month and May-dated strikes.


QUALCOMM bounced to a 14-year high of $76.79 this afternoon, after the company increased its quarterly dividend by 20% and upped its stock repurchase program by $5 billion. At the end of the session, QCOM shares maintained a 3.4% gain to perch at $76.11. Option players responded enthusiastically, picking up nearly double the typical daily amount of calls. Of particular interest were weekly and front-month calls, which accounted for eight of the 10 most active strikes of the day.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

Pfizer closed 2.2% higher today at $32.69, after tagging a fresh nine-year high of $32.74 earlier in the session. Over the past five-plus weeks, the stock has dominated the charts, tacking on more than 10% from its year-to-date low of $29.66, tagged on Jan. 27. It's not surprising, then, that PFE sports a 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 14.35, with long calls outnumbering long puts by a margin of more than 14-to-1 during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 99% of similar readings from the past year, indicating the recent rate of call buying, relative to put buying, is almost at an annual-high level.

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