Buzz Stocks: Plug Power Inc, Dollar General Corp., and Google Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news are PLUG, DG, and GOOGL

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 4, 2014 at 9:26 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Futures have reversed course and are headed lower, following a disappointing report on weekly jobless claims. Among specific equities in focus are fuel cell specialist Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG), discount retailer Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), and tech titan Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

  • PLUG is ready to rally more than 12% out of the gate, following news of a freshly inked $20 million, multi-year contract with a number of "major North American telecommunications provider[s]." It's been a volatile year on the charts for the stock, but after all is said and done, PLUG has more than doubled in value, and closed last night at $3.50. Amid the ups and downs, option traders have kept the faith, and over the past 50 sessions, speculators at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 8.27 calls for every put. With 22.5% of Plug Power Inc's float sold short, though, a portion of this call buying may be at the hands of short sellers hedging their bearish bets.

  • DG is set to open lower, after the company reported lackluster third-quarter earnings, cut its full-year revenue outlook, and reaffirmed its commitment to purchase Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) -- which has already agreed to be acquired by Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR). Technically speaking, DG has tacked on 10.6% year-to-date, and at last night's close of $66.69, was within striking distance of its Nov. 21 all-time peak. Should the equity resume its quest for record highs, an unwinding of skepticism in the options pits could assist DG in its journey. Specifically, the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.27 ranks in the bearishly skewed 88th annual percentile. Plus, DG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.47 rests higher than 92% of similar readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed toward Dollar General Corp. as they are now.

  • GOOGL is becoming more kid-friendly, and is reportedly launching new versions of its search engine that will be compatible with what those 12 and under are "Googling." The news has sent the stock lower in pre-market trading, but this just continues the equity's lackluster technical showing, with the shares sitting 4.3% below where they started the year. More recently, Google Inc has been in a steady decline since late September, led lower by its 40-day moving average. If the equity maintains this downward trajectory, a round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts could translate into a fresh wave of selling pressure. Of the 31 analysts covering the shares, 27 maintain a "buy" or better rating, with not a single "sell" to be found. Additionally, the consensus 12-month price target of $650.02 stands at a 21% premium to last night's close at $536.97.

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