Stocks quoted in this article:
Stocks are mostly lower in the final hour of the shortened holiday session, as a deal for the looming fiscal-cliff looks more and more unlikely. Against this backdrop, though, the number of equities at new highs is overshadowing those at new lows. The NYSE currently counts 48 peaks and 16 bottoms, while the Nasdaq has seen 30 tops and eight lows. Among the names charting notable moves are Tellabs, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLAB - 2.62), Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS – 33.28), and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX - 18.89).
- TLAB retreated to the $2.48 level this morning, marking its worst price since November 1993. The stock has been in a downtrend for 2012, lopping off 37% since January and pressured by its 10-month and 20-month moving averages. Sentiment surrounding this underperformer is noticeably pessimistic, as nine out of 10 analysts have doled out "hold" or worse suggestions for the telecom concern. Elsewhere on the Street, there appears to be a significant upswing of bearish attention in the options arena. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) reveals a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 19.83, which shows that nearly 20 puts have been bought to open for every call throughout the past two weeks.
- Possibly affected by its beleaguered sector peer Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), NUS has been having some technical troubles of its own. In fact, the shares have endured another pullback today -- one in a string of recent dips -- tagging a 19-month nadir of $32.36 earlier in the session. And there could be more downside ahead, should the uncharacteristically upbeat brokerage bunch succumb to the stock's 33% year-to-date deficit. All seven of the covering analyst maintain a "strong buy" for NUS, while the consensus 12-month price target sits at $62.25, which is a whopping 92% premium to today's fresh low.
- Building products producer LPX soared to a five-year high of $19.08 in early trading. Today's technical milestone only highlights the stock's impressive chart showing in 2012, with the shares adding more than 134% on a year-to-date basis. Investors remain unconvinced of the equity's sustainability, though, per data from the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. The stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.58 ranks higher than 89% of similar readings taken in the past year, indicating puts have been bought to open over calls at an accelerated clip in recent months. Additionally, short interest currently accounts for nearly 13% of the equity's available float, and it would take almost seven days to cover these shorted shares, at LPX's average daily trading volume.