Earnings Season Highlights

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A collection of noteworthy post-earnings reactions
Published on Aug 31, 2015 at 9:42 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:39 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on oil-and-gas issue Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL), copper producer Southern Copper Corp (NYSE:SCCO), and beauty salon operator Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on SDRL, SCCO, and RGS. 

  • SDRL is adding to its recent losses, after Global Hunter Securities lowered its price target by $1 to $9. The shares are down 6.5% today at $7.40, bringing their 12-month loss to 80%. In the meantime, bears have taken notice. Short interest on Seadrill Ltd increased 12.7% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now accounts for 10% of the stock's float. 

  • A downgrade to "neutral" from "overweight" from J.P. Morgan Securities has SCCO 3.6% lower this morning at $26.37. The brokerage firm also reduced its price target on the shares to $31.50 from $37. The majority of analysts on the Street share this tepid outlook on Southern Copper Corp; four of seven covering firms say the stock is just a "hold." The equity is now 6.5% lower in 2015, with its 40-day moving average providing fierce overhead pressure since late May. 

  • RGS is down 3.8% this morning to hit $11.26, and is fresh off a six-year low of $11.15. The shares are reacting to a downgrade to "sell" from "neutral" at Northcoast. Regis Corporation has underperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 26 percentage points during the past three months, and has shed more than one-third of its value year-to-date. Against this backdrop, RGS' 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) sits comfortably in oversold territory, at 21.20. 


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Published on Sep 1, 2015 at 9:40 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:38 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on commodity stocks Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX)Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on FCX, CVX, and XOM. 

  • FCX's recent batch of put buyers are likely cheering this morning, with the stock down 4.3% at $10.19, after a downgrade at Citigroup. Specifically, the brokerage firm cut the stock to "neutral" from "buy," while lowering its price target by $8 to $12, saying the sector hasn't reduced production enough to account for falling prices. It's probably not just options bears who are happy, though. Short interest jumped over 44% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now accounts for a healthy 6.1% of the equity's available float. Year-to-date, Freeport-McMoRan Inc is down roughly 56%. 

  • CVX has given back 2.9% to trade at $78.67, after HSBC reduced its price target to $97 from $125, but kept its "buy" assessment. Many on the Street share HSBC's bullish opinion on the stock, with six out of 15 brokerage firms calling Chevron Corporation a "buy" or better -- even with the shares roughly 30% lower in 2015. If analysts begin to throw in the towel amid ongoing technical struggles, it could spark extended losses for CVX.  

  • Lastly, XOM is off 3% in early trading -- putting the shares at $72.99 -- as HSBC lowered its price target to $77 from $90. The stock has underperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) during the past three months amid oil's decline, which may explain why short-term speculators have targeted puts over calls. For instance, Exxon Mobil Corporation's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.08 -- higher than 86% of all such readings from the past year, signaling a put-skewed bias among traders targeting options with a lifespan of three months or less. 

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Published on Aug 28, 2015 at 9:39 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:38 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on software specialist Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), oil-and-gas issue Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL), and specialty retailer Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on ADSK, SDRL, and ARO.

  • Last night, ADSK reported a drop in second-quarter revenue and downwardly revised its full-year forecast -- prompting a round of negative analyst attention. BofA-Merrill Lynch, for example, lowered its price target to $45 from $48, while Wedbush cut its target price by $6 to $51. Against this backdrop, the stock is 4.8% lower out of the gate at $47.61, widening its year-to-date deficit to over 20%. In the options pits, it appears traders have been bracing for a post-earnings plop. Autodesk, Inc.'s 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.48 ranks in the 87th annual percentile. Simply stated, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip. 

  • It's been a volatile week for SDRL, which has been tracking the whipsaw price action in the commodities market. Today, the shares are down 3.3% to $7.14, following a price-target cut to $7 from $10 at Credit Suisse. While the brokerage firm said the company was being "proactive" in lowering its debt ratio, it hasn't done enough. Overall, the shares have surrendered more than 40% year-to-date, and there's plenty of room for more price-target cuts to come down the pike. Currently, Seadrill Ltd's  consensus 12-month price target of $12.98 stands at an 82% premium to current levels.

  • ARO is off 9.2% this morning at $1.14, after the company -- unlike sector peer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) -- posted its 11th straight quarterly loss. Also pressuring the shares are price-target cuts at Jefferies (to $1.25), SunTrust Robinson (to $1.35), and Mizuho (to $1.50). Today's price move is just more of the same for a stock that's shed nearly 51% year-to-date, and bottomed at a record low of $1.02 on Monday. As such, short sellers have been cashing in their winning bets, with short interest down 6.2% in the latest reporting period. However, these bearish bets still account for more than a quarter of Aeropostale Inc's available float, or 10.7 times the stock's average daily trading volume.

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Published on Aug 27, 2015 at 9:27 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:38 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on pharmaceutical firm Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), financial management firm Workday Inc (NYSE:WDAY), and semiconductor concern Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on ABT, WDAY, and AVGO.

  • ABT is making noise this morning, denying rumors that it's in pursuit of St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ). What's more, Abbott Laboratories Inc is pointed 3.8% higher ahead of the bell, despite a price-target cut to $51 from $55 at Goldman Sachs. Most analysts are in ABT's corner, with 11 of 17 offering up "buy" or better endorsements. Until the past week's broad-market bloodshed, ABT was in the black year-to-date, and flirting with all-time highs north of $50, but ended yesterday at $43.98.
  • WDAY is bracing for a 2.8% slump, as the analyst crowd reacts to a lackluster current-quarter billings outlook. Roughly a dozen brokerage firms slashed their price targets on Workday Inc, with UBS slicing its target by $31 to $85. Short sellers will likely be pleased, though, as short interest accounts for 9.1% of WDAY's total float, representing almost 12 sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average daily trading volume. On Wednesday, WDAY ended at $72.40, down 11.3% in 2015.

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Published on Aug 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:37 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in today on chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), energy issue Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), and solar stock Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on MU, SLB, and SUNE.

  • MU is down nearly 59% year-to-date at $14.44, and analysts are starting to take notice. Just a day after Susquehanna lowered its price target on the stock -- pressuring it to a two-year low of $13.50 in the ensuing session -- Mizuho Securities slashed its price target to $16 from $20.50. More negative notes could be in store for Micron Technology, Inc., too. Of the 28 analysts tracking the underperformer, 17 have doled out "buy" or better ratings, with not a single "sell" opinion on record. Plus, MU's consensus 12-month price target of $26.89 stands at an 86% premium to Monday's close.

  • SLB and at least a couple of its sector peers drew the ire of UBS this morning. Specifically, the brokerage firm cut its price target on Schlumberger Limited by $10 to $100 -- though this is still more than 35% above last night's settlement at $73.87. Meanwhile, option traders are extremely put-focused toward the equity, which boasts a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.00 -- with long puts doubling calls among options expiring in the next three months. More significantly, this SOIR ranks in the top percentile of its annual range. On the charts, SLB has done little to warrant any confidence, losing 13.5% year-to-date and hitting a two-year low of $73.02 yesterday.

  • SUNE plunged to an annual low of $9.04 yesterday before settling a penny higher at $10.73 -- but still down 45% on the year. Monday's epic reversal wasn't enough to spare the shares from a downgrade to "neutral" at UBS. Elsewhere, short sellers have been piling on Sunedison Inc for quite some time, with more than 72 million shares sold short, or 27.3% of its total float. At SUNE's average trading volume, it would take roughly one week to repurchase all these bearish positions.

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Published on Aug 26, 2015 at 9:43 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:37 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on oil-and-gas issue Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), food delivery service GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB), and alternative energy concern Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on SLB, GRUB, and TSL.

  • J.P. Morgan Securities chimed in on a number of energy-related names, and for SLB, this resulted in a price-target cut to $87 from $101, which still represents expected upside of 21.7% to the stock's current perch at $71.47. What's more, the shares earlier touched an annual low $70.51, after Schlumberger Limited unveiled a nearly $15 billion purchase. Longer term, the security has shed 16% year-to-date. Should the shares continue to struggle, more downbeat analyst attention could come down the pike. Currently, 71% of brokerage firms maintain a "buy" or better rating on SLB, while the average 12-month price target of $101.19 stands in territory not charted since last October.

  • Barclays cut its rating on GRUB to "equal rate" from "overweight" and reduced its price target by $10 to $32. As a result, the shares are down 5.1% at $26.22. Coming into today, the stock had already given back roughly 24% in 2015. Against this backdrop, Wall Street has been growing increasingly wary of GrubHub Inc. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), GRUB's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.59 sits just 3 percentage points from a 52-week peak. Elsewhere, short interest surged almost 84% over the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for 16.7% of the stock's available float.

  • Axiom isn't buying TSL's big bounce from yesterday, and initiated coverage on the stock with a "sell" rating. Nevertheless, the shares are up 0.9% at $8.57, disregarding the bearish brokerage note, as well as another sharp sell-off in China. On the sentiment front, speculators are more put-skewed than usual toward options set to expire in three months or less. Specifically, Trina Solar Limited's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.82 ranks in the 83rd percentile of its annual range.

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Published on Aug 24, 2015 at 9:53 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:37 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on oil-and-gas issue Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and biotherapeutic firm Vital Therapies Inc (NASDAQ:VTL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on HAL, GM, and VTL.

  • After closing at $35.69 on Friday, HAL has dropped 5.5% to trade at $33.72, and earlier touched an annual low of $30.93. Weighing on the stock is a continued sell-off in crude oil, as well as price-target cuts to $51 from both Susquehanna and Raymond James. Longer term, HAL has shed 42% since being swiftly rejected by its 320-day moving average last November. Option traders, meanwhile, have been betting on a bounce. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Halliburton Company's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.14 sits in the 75th annual percentile. In other words, calls have been bought to open over puts at a quicker-than-usual pace.

  • China's recent volatility has spread quickly to stocks with exposure to the mainland. GM is one such name, and in the past two months, the security has surrendered nearly 19% to trade at $28.17. What's more, the stock hit a two-year low of $24.62 out of the gate, after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage of GM with an "underweight" rating and a $27 price target, citing the risk China has created. Should the shares continue to struggle, more uninspiring analyst notes could be on the horizon -- which may translate into a fresh wave of selling pressure. Currently, eight out of 13 analysts maintain a "buy" or better recommendation for General Motors Company, with not a single "sell" to be found. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $40 stands at a 42% premium to current levels.

  • VTL has given back 77.4% to trade at $4 -- and touched a record-low of $3.51 -- after reports the company has halted late-stage trials for its liver therapy, ELAD, were met with a round of bearish brokerage attention. Credit Suisse, for example, lowered its outlook to "neutral" from "outperform" and its price target to $9 from $25. Elsewhere, SunTrust Robinson cut its rating to "neutral" from "buy," and slashed its price target by $45 to $5. William Blair also chimed it, reducing its rating to "market perform" and its target price to $5. Another round of negative analyst attention could come down the pike. All three brokerages covering Vital Therapies Inc maintain a "strong buy," while the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $35.60 is now a moonshot away. 

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Published on Aug 12, 2015 at 10:10 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:36 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in today on lighting firm Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE), watch concern Fossil Group Inc (NASDAQ:FOSL), and diagnostic company Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYGN). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on CREE, FOSL, and MYGN.

  • CREE is 1.1% lower in early trading, sitting at $24.96 -- and just off a three-year low of $23.36 --  after releasing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Cree, Inc. reported a larger-than-expected loss of 19 cents per share on $382 million in revenue. In the wake of this news, Canaccord Genuity lowered its price target on CREE to $21 from $28. Technically, CREE has spent the past few months wallowing below resistance from its 10-week moving average. Option players were preparing for a larger post-earnings move from CREE, per recent action on the equity's near-term at-the-money straddle.
  • Watchmaker FOSL is down 3.4% at $60, and just touched a four-year low of $56.96, after the firm lowered its full-year sales forecast. As a result, Fossil Group Inc was hit with no fewer than four price-target cuts, the worst of which came from Nomura, which hacked its target to $56 from $75. Technically, FOSL has lost 45% since the beginning of the year, retreating beneath resistance at its 10-week moving average. Most analysts are already in the bears' corner, with just two of nine offering up "buy" or better opinions.

  • MYGN has rocketed 6.3% higher to $33.02, after reporting fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.  However, weaker-than-expected guidance prompted price-target cuts from JMP Securities (to $50 from $46) and Goldman Sachs (to $24 from $25). Myriad Genetics, Inc. is in prime position for a short-covering rally, as 47% of its float was sold short. 

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Published on Aug 21, 2015 at 9:53 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:36 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on computer hardware specialist Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), energy issue Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), and organic grocer The Fresh Market Inc (NASDAQ:TFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on HPQ, CVX, and TFM.

  • HPQ is getting hit with bearish brokerage notes, after the company posted mixed quarterly results. Specifically, no fewer than five analysts lowered their price targets on the stock -- including Cantor, which cut its target price to $29 from $33. Amid these negative notes, Hewlett-Packard Company fell to a new annual low of $26.94 out of the gate, but has since moved 5.8% higher to $28.94. Year-to-date, though, the shares are still staring at a 28% deficit. Option traders have been banking on even more downside, as well, based on data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). HPQ's 10-day put/call volume ratio across this trio of exchanges is 1.18, higher than 91% of all other readings from the previous year.

  • CVX has been swooning in sympathy with crude oil, and this morning touched a nearly five-year low of $78.81. At last check, though, the shares were down 0.1% at $79.18, following a price-target cut to $99 from $115 from SocGen. Nonetheless, short-term option traders are pretty call-skewed right now, based on Chevron Corporation's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.01 -- which ranks in the 22nd annual percentile. Should CVX continue to struggle, an unwinding of these bullish holdouts could result in additional headwinds.

  • On the heels of lackluster second-quarter results, TFM is getting pummeled by Wall Street. Specifically, BB&T lowered its rating to "hold," William Blair downgraded the stock to "market perform," and no fewer than eight analysts slashed their price targets on the stock. Out of the gate, The Fresh Market Inc has slid almsot 20% to trade at $21.31 and into record-low territory. While the shares are on today's short-sale restricted list, short sellers have been upping the ante in prior weeks. During the latest reporting period, short interest on TFM increased 7.8%, and now accounts for over 28% of the equity's float. At the stock's typical daily trading levels, it would take more than four weeks to buy back all of these positions.

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Published on Aug 20, 2015 at 9:43 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:35 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on blue chip Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and media mogul Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on DIS, MU, and TWX.

  • DIS saw its rating and price target reduced to "market perform" and $114, respectively, at Bernstein. Option traders are skeptical, too. During the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Walt Disney Co has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 0.89 -- higher than 83% of comparable readings from the past year. In other words, speculators have bought to open puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip. On the charts, 2015 has been a roller coaster. DIS ran to an all-time peak of $122.08 earlier this month, before gapping lower on earnings. At last check, the stock was lingering near $103.96 -- still 10% above its year-to-date flatline -- but is down 2.3% out of the gate, and on track to close south of its 200-day moving average for the first time since mid-October.

  • MU, which has lost more than half of its value this year, received a downgrade to "neutral" at Baird -- which also slashed its price target to $15 from $36. Additional negative analyst attention could come down the pike, too. Currently, 18 of 28 analysts rate Micron Technology, Inc. a "buy" or better -- with not a single "sell" to be found -- while its consensus 12-month price target of $27.65 stands at a 78% premium to current levels. At last check, MU was down 4.1% at $15.25, and fresh off a nearly two-year low of $15.05.

  • Despite last week's "Sesame Street" news, TWX has been struggling of late. Since hitting a nearly 14-year high of $91.34 in mid-July, the shares have tumbled almost 17% to trade at $75.89 -- including today's 2.5% loss -- pressured by poorly received earnings. Bernstein has taken notice, cutting its rating to "market perform" and its price target to $90. Speaking more generally, though, the brokerage crowd is extremely optimistic toward Time Warner Inc, as 18 of 22 analysts have doled out "strong buy" recommendations. Also, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $97.03 hasn't been touched since July 2001. This could leave TWX vulnerable to another round of negative notes.

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Published on Aug 19, 2015 at 9:41 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:35 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on clean energy issue Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), online media maven Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Internet services provider Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on CSIQ, YHOO, and WWWW.

  • A dramatic fall in second-quarter profits, coupled with a disappointing current-quarter revenue forecast, has CSIQ in the bearish crosshairs. Specifically, Canaccord Genuity and Roth Capital cut their price targets to $40, while J.P. Morgan Securities lowered its target price to $36. Out of the gate, Canadian Solar Inc. has plunged 18.7% to $20.08 -- easily wiping out its year-to-date gain. This is excellent news for option bears. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), CSIQ's 50-day put/call volume ratio is registered at an annual high of 1.84, with long puts nearly doubling calls.

  • YHOO got hit with a price-target reduction to $56 from $62 at Cantor Fitzgerald. (Bernstein, meanwhile, upped its outlook on the shares to "outperform" from "market perform.) The price-target cut better reflects the stock's technical performance, with the shares plummeting 30% year-to-date to trade at $35.33 -- and facing consistent pressure from their 10-day moving average. In fact, one week ago, Yahoo! Inc. touched an annual low of $33.85. Amid this downtrend, option bears have been piling on. YHOO's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.50 ranks just 11 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • Following yesterday's revelation of a massive data breach, WWWW received a price-target cut to $31 from $32 at Piper Jaffray. As such, the shares are down 10.6% at the open to linger near $21.25. Heading into today's session, though, Web.com Group Inc had been a technical outperformer, rallying over 25% year-to-date, thanks to a recent bounce from its 80-day moving average. Meanwhile, the brokerage crowd is pretty optimistic toward the stock, with two-thirds of covering analysts doling out "buy" or better ratings -- and not a single "sell" opinion to be found. Also, WWWW's consensus 12-month price target of $28.55 sits in annual-high territory.

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Published on Aug 18, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:35 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on microblogging maestro Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), flash storage firm SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), and apparel retailer Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on TWTR, SNDK, and URBN.

  • While MKM Partners showed some love to TWTR rival Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the brokerage firm hit Twitter Inc with a price-target cut to $31 from $39. It was about time, too, considering the shares have surrendered 19% in 2015 to trade at $29.06, and earlier this month touched a record low of $26.87. Additional negative notes may be headed TWTR's way, too, which could apply further pressure. In spite of the stock's long-term struggles, 11 analysts still maintain "strong buy" endorsements, with not one doling out a "sell" opinion.

  • SNDK is off 3% pre-market after BofA-Merrill Lynch lowered its rating to "underperform." Short-term option traders appear to be skeptical, as well. SanDisk Corporation's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 1.20 -- just 9 percentage points from a 12-month peak. In other words, speculators targeting options expiring within three months have rarely been so put-skewed. From a technical perspective, this skepticism seems warranted. In 2015, SNDK has given up over 40% of its value, closing at $58.20 last night after recently being rejected by its 50-day moving average.

  • In spite of a strong showing in the earnings confessional last night, URBN is getting hit with negative notes, after the company warned of a potential same-store sales slowdown this quarter. Specifically, no fewer than seven analysts slashed their price targets on Urban Outfitters, Inc., with the deepest cut being handed down by FBR -- to $32 from $35. Accordingly, it looks like the stock will add to its 8.3% year-to-date deficit -- as of Monday's close at $32.23 -- down 1% ahead of the open. This should cheer short sellers. Nearly one-tenth of URBN's float is sold short, representing six days' worth of trading activity, at typical volumes.

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