Is Now the Time to Buy NFLX, GILD, AMZN, and FSLR?

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) were among the worst-performing SPX stocks over the last three sessions

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Aug 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM

After a brutal three-day stretch, U.S. markets are finally bouncing back. But before we shift our gaze to the future, it may be helpful to take stock of what happened to individual equities during the broad-market bloodbath -- as it could inform decision-making going forward. In particular, we want to look at the S&P 500 Index's (SPX) biggest losers from the past three sessions, with a special focus on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR).

Below, you'll find a list of the 50 worst-performing SPX components from the last three days. Following the chart, we'll examine the four aforementioned stocks -- NFLX, GILD, AMZN, and FSLR -- to see what's been happening on the charts, and how the sentiment backdrop may inform the future.

150825worststocks

As of its close last night at $96.88, NFLX had lost 20.6% over the prior three sessions -- the second-largest pullback among SPX components. At midday, however, the shares are off to the races, up 7.3% at $103.97. In other words, the last few days created quite the buying opportunity for the risk-tolerant investor. Year-to-date, the stock has more than doubled in value, making it the top-performing SPX component.

On the sentiment front, however, short-term speculators have been extremely put-skewed toward the outperformer. Netflix, Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.53 ranks just 3 percentage points from a 12-month peak. In other words, among options with a shelf-life of three months or less, put open interest has outweighed call open interest by a wider margin just 3% of the time in the previous year. Should these doubters begin to hit the exits, NFLX could get a boost.

Moving along, heading into today's session, GILD was fresh off a three-day loss of 13.4% -- paring its year-to-date advance to less than 7%. At last check, though, the shares were 5.8% higher at $106.47, and testing their historically significant 40-week moving average. Should Gilead Sciences, Inc. muscle atop this trendline and resume its longer-term strength, option bears could be put on notice. Over the last 10 days, the equity has amassed a put/call volume ratio of 0.67 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- in the 84th annual percentile.

Meanwhile, AMZN suffered a three-day drop of 13.1%, but did find a foothold near its rising 100-day moving average. The shares gapped sharply higher earlier, and were last seen up 3.8% at $480.95 -- bringing the stock's year-to-date lead to roughly 55%, second best on the SPX. However, the security is still struggling to take back its perch atop its 10-week trendline.

On the Street, Amazon.com, Inc. has racked up a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.99, with traders buying to open puts and calls at about equivalent rates. Relatively speaking, however, this ratio is bearish -- outstripping nearly four-fifths of comparable readings from the last 52 weeks. A capitulation among these skeptics could put more wind in AMZN's sails.

Finally, FSLR dropped 12.7% over the last three days, landing it in negative year-to-date territory. This morning, the stock has jumped 3.8% at $45.26, muscling back atop that breakeven level. However, option traders have been rolling the dice on additional downside for First Solar, Inc., based on data at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. Specifically, the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio across those exchanges is 1.10 -- higher than all but 10% of readings from the past year.

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