Buzz Stocks: Sony, Microsoft, and Tesla Motors

Today's stocks to watch in the news include SNE, MSFT, and TSLA

Dec 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM
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Futures are pointed higher this morning, ahead of what's expected to be a low-volume post-holiday session. Meanwhile, among specific equities in focus are electronic issue Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), software specialist Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

  • After reversing its decision to not air "The Interview," SNE's controversial film opened to multiple sold-out crowds throughout the country on Christmas Day. The company had previously said it would cancel the release due to threats from the group responsible for hacking Sony Corp (ADR) earlier this month. As more than 300 movie theaters across the U.S. showed the film yesterday, SNE's PlayStation experienced network outages, with hacker group Lizard Squad claiming responsibility. Since bottoming out at a month-to-date low of $19.71 last week, the shares have rebounded 8.2% to trade at $21.32. However, option traders remain skeptical, as evidenced by SNE's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 4.03, which ranks just 2 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • Users of MSFT's Xbox Live also experienced connection problems on Christmas Day, with the aforementioned hacker group taking responsibility for these outages, as well. On the charts, MSFT has put in a solid performance in 2014, and has rallied nearly 29% to trade at $48.14. Should Microsoft Corporation shake off yesterday's technical glitch, and the equity extend its momentum, another round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could fuel the fire. At present, 11 out of 24 covering analysts maintain a "hold" or "sell" suggestion toward the outperformer, while the average 12-month price target of $49.84 is just a chip-shot away from current trading levels.

  • TSLA CEO Elon Musk last night confirmed a battery upgrade for the company's Roadster that will allow the model to run nonstop for up to 400 miles on a single charge. More details are expected to be released later today, per a Christmas tweet from Musk. Technically speaking, TSLA has struggled since hitting an all-time high of $291.42 in early September, with the shares off nearly 24% to linger at $222.26. Against this backdrop, options traders have been growing increasingly wary of the equity. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, for example, TSLA's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.31 ranks higher than all other readings taken in the past year. Echoing this put-skewed stance is TSLA's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.54, which sits in the 90th annual percentile. Simply stated, short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed toward Tesla Motors Inc as they are now.

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