Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Highs & Lows: Yahoo!, UBS, and RadioShack

While YHOO and UBS marched to new highs, RSH dropped to a new annual low

by 11/23/2012 12:26 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Black Friday is shaping up to be a good time for buyers both on and off the Street. As consumers flood retailers in search of holiday deals, investors look just as interested in equities, as the major markets are decidedly higher this afternoon. With only one hour to go in this abbreviated session, the number of stocks reaching new highs is easily overshadowing those at new lows. There are 97 new peaks and 13 bottoms on the NYSE, while the Nasdaq has seen 31 highs and 12 new nadirs. Among the equities charting notable moves are Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO - 18.54), UBS AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS - 15.83), and RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH - 1.90).

  • Just moments ago, Internet mogul YHOO leapt to an 18-month best of $18.59, adding to its healthy run on the charts. In 2012, shares have jumped some 14% and outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 25 percentage points over the past three months. Should YHOO continue to flex its technical muscle, the stock could grab attention from the bearish brokerage holdouts. Of the 23 analysts following the security, only five have doled out "buy" or better endorsements. Furthermore, the average 12-month price target of $18.78 is a slim premium to today's new high.

  • Another name that is burning up the charts, but has garnered some negative sentiment, is Swiss banking firm UBS, which has tacked on 30% year-to-date, and has outpaced the broader SPX by more than 38 percentage points during the past 60 sessions. In today's action, the shares rallied to $15.89 their loftiest price since August 2011. Elsewhere on the Street, bearish options trading appears to be getting heavier. Speculators on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 3.20 puts for every call, signaling that traders on these exchanges have shown a healthy appetite for bearish bets over bullish throughout the past 20 days. Moreover, UBS' 10-day put/call volume ratio of 4.74 lands just five percentage points away from an annual high, implying that traders on these exchanges have rarely purchased puts over calls at a faster clip during the past year.

  • Maybe the holiday shopping will be kind to electronics retailer RSH currently, the struggling equity is wavering near an all-time worst of $1.90, which was tagged right out of the gate this morning. Technically speaking, the shares have not been much to look at this year, sawing off 80% since January, and lagging the SPX by nearly 25 percentage points over the past month. In regards to this overall weakness, there is plenty of negativity still weighing on the shares. Despite a 6% drop in short interest during the most recent reporting period, it still accounts for a sizeable 37.6% of the security's float. In fact, at RSH's typical pace of trading, it would take 12 sessions for all of these bearish bets to unwind.

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