Buzz Stocks: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Sony Corp (ADR), and Walgreen Company

Today's stocks to watch in the news include AAPL, SNE, and WAG

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 23, 2014 at 9:06 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Markets are poised to extend their record-setting run ahead of a busy day on Wall Street. Among specific equities in focus are iPhone purveyor Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), media titan Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), and drugstore chain Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG).

  • AAPL yesterday launched its inaugural automated security update for Macintosh computers to guard against vulnerabilities which could allow hackers remote access. According to a spokesperson for Apple Inc., "The update is seamless. It doesn't even require a restart." AAPL's trek up the charts has been fairly seamless in recent months, as well, thanks to a lift from its 80-day moving average. In fact, since climbing atop this trendline in late April, the shares have rallied nearly 51% to their present perch at $112.94. Short-term speculators have displayed a growing appetite for puts over calls, though, as evidenced by the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.08, which ranks 4 percentage points from a 52-week peak. An unwinding of these bearish bets in the face of AAPL's continued climb could translate into additional gains.

  • Speaking of hackers, recently compromised SNE is threatening to sue Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) over users who have been posting screenshots of the firm's stolen emails. In a letter, SNE said it will hold TWTR legally responsible if "stolen information continues to be disseminated by Twitter in any manner." On the charts, it's been a tough month for SNE, which is down 5.5% to trade at $20.78, and option bears have been piling on at a rapid-fire rate. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, SNE's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 5.62 ranks in the 99th annual percentile. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls with more rapidity just 1% of the time within the past year.

  • WAG is ready to rally more than 2% out of the gate, after the company posted a better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter profit. Heading into today's session, the stock is up 29.3% year-to-date, and, not surprisingly, sentiment around the Street is skewed toward the bullish side. However, there are still pockets of pessimism to be found. Specifically, WAG's consensus 12-month price target of $69.82 stands at a discount to last night's close at $74.27. Going forward, a round of post-earnings price-target hikes could translate into a fresh wave of buying power for Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG).

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