Buzz Stocks: Nokia, Sony Corp, JA Solar Holdings

Today's stocks to watch in the news include NOK, SNE, and JASO

Andrea Kramer
Nov 18, 2014 at 9:24 AM
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Major market indexes are headed higher this morning, thanks to an overseas lift. Among the equities in focus are mobile phone maker Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), consumer electronics issue Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), and alternative energy concern JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO).

  • NOK is pointed 2.4% higher ahead of the bell, after the Finnish firm announced a new tablet set to debut early next year. The shocker: The N1 will run on Google Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android, and will compete with the Nokia Lumia 2520, sold by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which bought Nokia Corporation's (ADR) handset unit. (Got all that?) In any event, the N1 is expected to retail for $249, and will launch in China ahead of the Lunar New Year in mid-February, before it hits shelves in other countries. Today's expected uptick could have a few options players running scared, as the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.08 sits just 8 percentage points from an annual high, implying that short-term traders are much more put-biased than usual. An unwinding of pessimism in the options pits could translate into additional upside for NOK, which landed at $7.67 on Monday.

  • SNE is poised to open with a 5% lead, thanks to upbeat comments from CEO Kazuo Hirai. Specifically, the chief executive said the Japanese firm hopes to lift movie entertainment sales by more than one-third over the next three years. Technically speaking, SNE has advanced 17.2% in 2014, and now sits at $20.26 -- just pennies from its annual high of $20.71, tagged a week ago. During the past 10 weeks, however, options traders have been upping the bearish ante. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.42 stands higher than 99% of all other readings from the past year, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts over calls. Sony Corp (ADR) will host another briefing late Monday, Nov. 24, where the company is slated to unveil plans for its electronics division.

  • Finally, JASO is ready to rally 8.1%, as traders cheer solid quarterly earnings. The Chinese solar firm unveiled its fourth straight quarterly profit and raised its shipment forecast for 2014, citing strong demand for solar panels and modules, and announced plans to buy back shares. JASO has been a laggard on the charts of late, underperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 22 percentage points during the past two months. As such, the equity -- which docked at $7.80 yesterday -- sports a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.39, in the 82nd percentile of its annual range. In simpler terms, option buyers were picking up JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip heading into earnings.

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