Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Highs & Lows: Eldorado Gold, Symantec, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals

HNZ, MDVN, and VRTX hit new annual highs, while EGO, SOHU, and SYMC fell to new annual lows

by 5/14/2012 2:06 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The major market indexes are wallowing in red ink this afternoon, as traders respond to economic fears from overseas and last week's hedging loss from JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Consequently, stocks at new annual highs are lagging the number of stocks at new lows. The NYSE has seen 28 securities at 52-week highs, compared to 89 fresh lows, while the Nasdaq has racked up 22 annual highs, and 87 lows. Among the equities hitting notable technical milestones in today's trading are Eldorado Gold Corporation (EGO), Symantec Corporation (SYMC), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VRTX).

Notable Stocks at Annual Highs

  • H. J. Heinz Company (HNZ - 55.14) topped out today at $55.18, its best price since November 1998. HNZ has only tacked on 4.4% over the past 52 weeks, but its Relative Strength Index (RSI) now stands at 70. However, analysts are split when it comes to the foods giant, as half of the 16 brokerage firms following the stock maintain a "buy" rating.

  • Following news that Citigroup added Medivation, Inc. (MDVN - 87.75) to its "top picks" list, the stock soared to a new all-time high of $88.22. The equity is sitting on an extraordinary year-over-year gain of more than 234%. MDVN's RSI rests at a tame 56, while seven analysts out of eight consider it a "strong buy."

  • Earlier today, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VRTX - 64.91) jumped to $65.37 -- its highest peak in more than 11 years -- after being upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at J.P. Morgan. VRTX has added a modest 7.9% over the past year. The stock's RSI is seated at a fairly lofty 78, in overbought territory, and 71% of analysts have doled out a "buy" recommendation.

Notable Stocks at Annual Lows

  • Eldorado Gold Corporation (EGO - 11.07) tagged a two-year low of $10.96 in early trading, deepening its 52-week decline of 24.1%. Meanwhile, its RSI of 32 is nearing oversold territory. Downgrades could push the stock lower, as 92% of brokerage firms maintain a "buy" or better endorsement.

  • Sohu.com, Inc. (SOHU - 45.22) dropped as far south as $44.28, marking its worst price since July 2010. SOHU has given up more than 45% on a year-over-year basis, and its RSI is docked at 36. Five of 11 analysts have doled out a "strong buy" recommendation for the Chinese Internet issue.

  • Goldman Sachs this morning dropped its rating on Symantec Corporation (SYMC - 15.40) to "sell" from "neutral," which knocked the shares to $14.74 -- their lowest price since September 2010. This downgrade-induced slide has amplified SYMC's 23% 12-month decline. Currently, the equity's RSI stands at a relatively slim 27, and 12 out of 17 analysts consider it worthy of a "buy" rating.

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