Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
Stocks quoted in this article:

In anticipation of finally getting a chance to see The Hangover this weekend, my thoughts turn to Las Vegas and, therefore, casino stocks. It appears that I am not the only one taking an interest. Boyd Gaming Corp (BYD) appeared on today's put scan while MGM Mirage (MGM) popped up on the call scan. Of course, no discussion of casino stocks would be complete without also looking at Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) and Wynn Resorts Limited (WYNN).

To evaluate the sentiment profile, you can always go directly to our stock quotes page and dig into the data. However, for quick comparisons, I like to create a new Watch List and then select my favorite indicators. The screenshot below shows the percent of the float sold short, the percent of analyst ratings as buys, and the percent rank of the Schaeffer's Put/Call Open Interest Ratio (SOIR). (If you aren't familiar with any of these indicators, the links will take you to more information in our Education section.)

I like the Watch List view because it allows me to quickly compare the stocks to each other and at the same time gauge the overall sentiment on the group. (Since I can save the list I can also use this to easily keep tabs on the sentiment going forward. ) As a whole, I would say there are little signs of overt optimism. Each stock carries what I would call a relatively high level of short interest and all of the SOIRs are in the upper half of their yearly ranges. Las Vegas Sands has the highest level of buy ratings but even there we only see about half the Street at buys.

Regular readers of our site will quickly point out though that sentiment needs to be evaluated in the context of price action. With that in mind, here are the weekly charts that show the last year's worth of action.

Charts Courtesy of Thomson Reuters

I am not trying to gloss over the fact that these stocks were crushed in 2008. They were, that is a fact. However, there are times when the baggage of the past needs to put aside to focus on the future. For the last 9 months or so there have been varying degrees of positive price action. Shares of LVS and WYNN still appear to be holding uptrends. Shares of BYD and MGM are a bit softer but they are still well above their lows.

As we head into 2010, I will be watching how the trends unfold. Based on the sentiment indicators, few seem to be optimistic. Therefore, there is a good chance that positive price action can catch some off guard and pull some of the sideline money in to help fuel the trend.

And yes, for the record, I know that "Vegas Baby, Vegas!" is a quote from Swingers but I haven't seen The Hangover yet so I don't know any current Vegas quotes. Anyone have any scenes/quotes to recommend I pay special attention to?


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