Friday's Best and Worst Stocks: JNPR, DLTR, WYNN, and WFM

Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) and Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) have managed to buck Friday's bearish trend, while Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) have not

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 24, 2015 at 1:48 PM
Updated on Sep 24, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Fridays have been a terrible day to own stocks in 2015, as evidenced by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF's (SPY) average Friday loss of 0.2% -- easily the worst of all the trading days. However, not all equities have been affected by this negative price action, with networking specialist Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) and discount retailer Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) managing to buck the bearish trend in a big way. On the flip side, casino concern Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) and organic grocer Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) have turned in two of the worst Friday performances so far this year.

JNPR, for instance, has averaged a Friday return of 0.3% in 2015, and has been positive 61.1% of the time. Longer term, the shares are up almost 12% year-to-date. Although the equity is trading 1.3% lower today at $25.03 amid broad-market headwinds, it could find a foothold atop its 200-day moving average -- a trendline that has served a mostly supportive role for JNPR since late January.

In the options pits, put buyers have been active in recent weeks, per JNPR's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.92 -- in the 91st annual percentile. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at a near-annual-high clip. Should Juniper Networks, Inc. resume its longer-term uptrend, an unwinding of these bearish bets could propel the shares higher.

DLTR is also succumbing to today's broader bearish bias, down 1.9% at $68.55, and paring its year-over-year gain to 23%. The stock could be poised to shift gears tomorrow, though, if history repeats itself. Specifically, DLTR has been positive roughly 64% of Fridays in 2015, averaging a return of 0.1%.

Short sellers, meanwhile, have been upping the bearish ante of late, with short interest surging 22.8% in the past two reporting periods. However, this still only accounts for 2.9% of Dollar Tree, Inc.'s available float, and would take just over two days to cover, at average daily trading volumes.

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WYNN tumbled to a fresh five-year low of $59.75 earlier, but was last seen off 0.4% at $60.01 -- extending recent analyst-induced downside. This is just more of the same for a stock that's shed 60% year-to-date, and the equity may add to these losses tomorrow, if past is precedent. In fact, WYNN has averaged a Friday loss of 0.8% in 2015, and has been positive less than 20% of the time.

Nevertheless, option traders have been initiating long calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip in recent weeks, per WYNN's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.62 -- in the 71st annual percentile. A capitulation by these option bulls in light of Wynn Resorts, Limited's technical struggles could send the shares to lower lows.

WFM is down 1% this afternoon at $31.08, and just a chip-shot away from its Aug. 24 four-year low of $30.18. This just echoes the equity's withstanding trajectory, with WFM staring at a 38% year-to-date deficit. What's more, the shares have shed 0.6%, on average, on Fridays in 2015, and have been positive just one-quarter of the time.

Against this backdrop, option traders have been quick to place bearish bets. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, for example, WFM's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.97 is docked at an annual high. Plus, Whole Foods Market, Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.08 ranks just 5 percentage points from a 52-week peak, meaning short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed as they are now.

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To see which stocks you should be watching on Wednesday, click here. Meanwhile, here's a list of Thursday's best- and worst-performing equities.

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