Buzz Stocks: Tekmira Pharma, P&G, Tesla Motors

Today's stocks to watch in the news include TKMR, PG, and TSLA

Oct 24, 2014 at 9:28 AM
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U.S. stocks are poised to pare some of yesterday's gains, as traders weigh news of a confirmed Ebola case in New York City. One stock set to benefit from the escalating jitters is drugmaker Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:TKMR), while blue-chip conglomerate Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) and electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are garnering early attention for their own reasons.

  • TKMR is headed 3% higher in pre-market action, after landing at $19.82 on Thursday. Earlier this week, the company said it started limited manufacturing of its Ebola drug, which is expected to be available in early December. On the charts, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation has soared more than 148% in 2014, and recently bounced off support at its 80-day moving average. Analysts are in the bulls' camp, as four out of six have doled out "buy" or better ratings, and not one considers TKMR a "sell." Option buyers, meanwhile, have preferred calls over puts, as the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio sits at 1.68 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).

  • PG is pointed 2.5% higher, as traders digest the company's quarterly earnings report, as well as plans to spin off its Duracell unit into a separate company. Technically speaking, PG has blazed a slow and steady trail higher since early 2009, settling at $83.23 on Thursday. What's more, the stock boasts a year-to-date gain of 2.2%, compared to the Dow's gain of 0.6%. Nevertheless, option buyers were upping the bearish ante ahead of today's earnings release, as the security's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.36 stands just 1 percentage point shy of an annual pessimistic peak. Short-term speculators were paying a pretty penny, too, as the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 15% stands higher than two-thirds of all other readings from the past year, suggesting Procter & Gamble Co's short-term options are expensive right now, relatively speaking.

  • Finally, TSLA is slightly lower ahead of the bell, after Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) confirmed reports that it cut its stake in the electric automaker. Still, the shares of Tesla Motors Inc are up 56% on a year-to-date basis, and have outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) during the past three months. Plus, a mass exodus of option bears or short sellers could help TSLA resume its long-term ascent. The security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) rests at a 12-month high of 1.63, indicating a bigger-than-usual put bias among near-term options players. Meanwhile, short interest represents nearly 24% of the stock's total available float.


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