S&P Survivor Circle: GMCR, NTAP, WFM, and LLY

Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR), NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), and Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) were among the best-performing S&P 500 Index (SPX) stocks

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Aug 25, 2015 at 12:48 PM

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and its index compadres are in rebound mode today, after wrapping up their worst three-day stretch in ages. While my colleague Alex Eppstein just weighed in on four of the worst-performing SPX components during the recent sell-off -- which could point to some buying opportunities -- we're going to analyze four of the S&P Bloodbath survivors: java giant Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR), data storage issue NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), and big-cap pharma stock Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY).

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Aside from AGL Resources Inc. (NYSE:GAS) -- which surged on buyout news -- GMCR was the best-performing SPX member over the past three sessions, adding 3.7%. Today, GMCR is adding to its recent momentum, up 2% at $52.30. Of course, the shares still have a ways to go before filling in their early August, post-earnings bear gap, which sent the stock plunging to two-year lows around $45. 

Perhaps GMCR dodged the broad-market headwinds because it was already so oversold. As of yesterday, the equity's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) stood at 28. 

Juxtaposed with the stock's long-term struggles, it's no surprise to find skepticism on Wall Street. Fourteen of 16 analysts maintain tepid "hold" or "sell" ratings, while short interest accounts for close to 10% of Keurig Green Mountain Inc's total available float. 

NTAP was also one of the four SPX components to move higher over the past three sessions, advancing 0.3%. More specifically, NTAP surged in the wake of an earnings win last Thursday, and clung to some gains in the subsequent sessions, though the equity did hit a two-year low of $28.88 yesterday. 

Today, NTAP is up 1.1% at $30.21. Longer-term, however, the security -- like GMCR -- has struggled on the charts, surrendering 27% in 2015. The stock is facing a fierce foe in its descending 10-week moving average, which has pressured the equity lower since early January -- NTAP's last run-in with resistance in the $44 region.

Again, it's no surprise to find pessimism prevails. Just four of the 26 analysts following the stock deem it worthy of a "buy" or better rating. Likewise, the security's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits at 2.23 -- higher than 81% of all other readings from the past year. In other words, option buyers have picked up NetApp Inc. puts over calls at a rapid-fire rate during the past two weeks.

WFM managed to shed just 3% over the past three sessions -- not bad, relatively speaking. The shares have added another 2.8% to sit at $32.71, but are staring down their 10-day moving average, which hasn't been toppled on a daily closing basis since before WFM's post-earnings bear gap late last month. 

As with GMCR, perhaps WFM sellers weren't as aggressive since the stock was already oversold. The security's 14-day RSI sits at a puny 21, and the shares are just off a three-year low of $30.18, tagged yesterday. 

With Whole Foods Market, Inc. down more than 35% in 2015, it would likely take a major turnaround to spook the bears. Short interest grew 11% during the past two reporting periods, and 18 of 24 analysts maintain lukewarm "holds." 

Finally, LLY was the 13th best-performing SPX component over the past three sessions, surrendering only 3.6%. Unlike its aforementioned peers, LLY stands out on the charts, as the stock has enjoyed a longer-term uptrend.

The shares are up 0.7% at $81.28 today, and have added 17.9% in 2015. Plus, the equity's recent pullback was contained by support at its 20-week moving average, which has ascended into the $80 neighborhood.

For the most part, the sentiment jibes with Eli Lilly and Co's technicals -- seven of 12 analysts consider the stock a "strong buy," and short interest dropped by nearly one-third during the most recent reporting period. However, an exodus of option bears could add fuel to LLY's fire. The stock's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.83 registers in the 72nd percentile of its annual range.


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