What Rally? How These 3 High-Profile Stocks are Missing Out

While the broader market storms higher, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)​, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)​, and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) are wallowing in the red

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 22, 2016 at 1:17 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

As the broader market enjoys a rare rally, it's not sunshine and rainbows for all of Wall Street today. In fact, several high-profile stocks are trading lower. Among the losers are streaming media giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)​, blue chip General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)​, and restaurant concern Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG)​.

Starting with NFLX, the shares have lost 2% today, putting them at $100.30 -- just below the all-important 200-day moving average. Today's slide has brought a fresh batch of short-term traders to the table. To be more specific, call and put volume are both accelerated, and the weekly 1/22 series accounts for nine of the stock's 10 most popular strikes. At the top of the list is the 105-strike call, and if traders are buying to open positions here, it means they're betting on NFLX to top $105 by today's close -- a goal that looks increasing unlikely, given the option's delta of just 0.29.

To be sure, though, Netflix, Inc. still holds contrarian value. If the stock can overcome this brief batch of technical trouble and bounce from its 200-day moving average -- or the round-number century level -- the 48 million shares sold short could serve as fuel for a short-term rally. 

Moving on, GE is down 2.7% today at $27.82, after the company's quarterly results this morning. The firm beat the Street's earning expectations, but is being hurt by a sales miss and a decline in industrial revenue. Like most stocks, GE has taken a fall in recent weeks, but has found support at its 160-day moving average, a level that corresponds with the stock's early October bull gap. 

In the option pits, it appears speculators were not positioned well for the stock's drop. This is according to General Electric Company's Schaeffer's put/call volume ratio (SOIR) of 0.72. Not only does this reading suggest call open interest outweighs put open interest among options set to expire within three months, but it also lands in the 34th annual percentile. In other words, short-term speculators are more call-focused than normal. 

After taking an E. coli-induced tumble in recent months, CMG has actually performed well since hitting a two-year low of $399.14 on Jan. 12, gaining over 14% to trade at $456.10. However, the stock is back in the red today, off 1.1%. A trendline worth watching is CMG's 20-day moving average. The stock has been riding atop this level throughout the week, after it blocked the shares' breakout attempts back in November and December. 

Checking in on speculators, call buying has been all the rage lately. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.'s 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.18 sits only 5 percentage points from an annual high. Said differently, call buying has been much more popular than normal in the past two weeks, relative to put buying. 

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