Stocks quoted in this article:
The market is mixed as investors express trepidation ahead of tomorrow's election. The Dow has been in negative territory nearly all day, but is trading just slightly below breakeven. Against this backdrop, the total number of stocks touching new annual highs has barely outpaced those at new lows. There have been 50 new peaks and 32 new lows on the NYSE today, while the Nasdaq is seeing 30 of each. Among the names charting notable moves are BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN - 48.40), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY - 14.74), and Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ:SKUL - 9.23).
- BMRN is spiking higher today -- up about 31% at last check -- after the company said a late-stage trial of its genetic disorder drug achieved the target goal. The shares hit a new peak of $49.52 amid the excitement and are now up roughly 42.7% in 2012. This new high is actually above the consensus 12-month price target among analysts ($47.63), so today's surge could spur some positive adjustments among the brokerage community. The move higher could also result in short-covering activity; more than 8% of the stock's float is currently sold short, and it would take nearly 10 days of trading (at the stock's average daily volume) to cover all existing short positions.
- On the other side of the fence, BBY dropped to a new nearly 10-year low of $14.58 today, bringing its year-to-date loss to more than 37%. As the company prepares for earnings later this month, some options players have been trying to catch a falling knife. In the past 50 sessions, 183 calls have been bought to open at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) for every 100 puts. This corresponding call/put volume ratio of 1.83 ranks higher than 89% of the past year's data, suggesting option speculation has rarely been more call heavy over the last 12 months. Some of these calls might be the result of short sellers heading their bets, however; short interest accounts for nearly 11% of the electronics retailer's float.
- Finally, audio accessory manufacturer SKUL is currently off nearly 8% and touched a new record low of $9.21 earlier today after reducing its full-year profit forecast and suffering a number of price-target cuts as a result. This trend could continue, as the average 12-month target of $20.29 is more than twice this new nadir. With the shares down more than 41% in the last 12 months, it's not surprising that more than 61% of the stock's float has been sold short. It would take a whopping 39 sessions to cover all existing shorted shares, at the stock's current pace of trading.