Stocks quoted in this article:
Stocks haven't traveled too far from their Friday perches, but the few steps they have taken have been in negative territory. At last check, Wall Street is struggling to shake off this morning's unsubstantiated claims that the European Central Bank (ECB) will end its bond-buying program. Even though the major market indexes are trading below breakeven this afternoon, the number of equities reaching new highs overshadows those at new lows. On the NYSE, there are 115 securities at 52-week peaks, and only 8 lows. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq counts 70 annual highs, versus 29 lows. Among the stocks making record-breaking runs today are Angie's List Inc (NASDAQ:ANGI - 9.80), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL - 662.49), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB - 19.89), and Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI - 2.57).
- First up, ANGI today peeled back to the $9.70 mark -- its worst price since it went public on Nov. 17 of last year. In fact, the stock hasn't been doing so well on the charts, losing nearly 39% in 2012, and lagging the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 33 percentage points over the past 40 sessions. There seems to be plenty of negativity already priced into the Internet stock, as evidenced by its 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.04 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). What's more, short interest accounts for 18.4% of the security's available float. At its average pace of trading, it would take more than four weeks for all of these bearish bets to unwind.
- Next up, AAPL continues to extend its impressive technical journey, notching an all-time best of $664.75. This feat not only magnified the stock's 60% year-to-date return, but it gave AAPL the largest-ever market capitalization for a U.S. company in intraday action. With this, the tech giant's market cap hit $622.5 billion, which toppled the previous record held by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Dec. 30, 1999 market cap of $620.58 billion. Upbeat sentiment for this high-flyer appears to be in ample supply, as only one of 40 analysts has dished out a middling "hold." Elsewhere, the options pits are packed with bulls, as evidenced by the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.85 on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX.
- The hits just keep on coming for the beaten-down FB. Just this morning, the social-media outlet dropped to $18.75 -- its lowest point since its May IPO. Looking at the technical backdrop, we see that the stock is off roughly 55% from its post-IPO high, and has underperformed the SPX by 46 percentage points over the past three months. And there could be more downside, should this poor price action persist. There remain 14 "buy" or better endorsements versus 12 "holds" and one "strong sell," while the average 12-month price target of $36.40 is a 94% premium to today's fresh bottom. Yet, things could be turning around for FB, as the shares have rallied roughly 4.8% on the heels of a late-morning upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at Capstone.
- Wrapping things up, SIRI added to its notable 40.1% year-to-date increase, and tagged a four-year peak of $2.64 earlier in the session. Amid this press higher, the options pits are positively aligned. During the past 10 days, speculators on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX have bought to open 10.19 calls for every put. This ratio arrives in the 59th percentile of its annual range, signaling that the current preference for calls is simply business as usual. However, short sellers could be responsible for some of the call buying of late, picking up optimistic options to hedge their pessimistic positions. Short interest on the equity rose 13.8% during the past month, and now makes up 9.9% of SIRI's available float. Late last night, ISI Group lifted its price target on the web-based radio broadcaster to $3 from $2.80. The consensus 12-month price target sits at $2.79, which represents a slight premium to today's multi-year top.