Buzz Stocks: Abercrombie & Fitch, NephroGenex, Neonode

Today's stocks to watch include ANF, NRX, and NEON

Andrea Kramer
Dec 31, 2014 at 9:26 AM
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U.S. stocks are poised to end the year on a high note, despite a steeper retreat for crude oil and a higher-than-forecast rise in weekly jobless claims. Among the equities in focus are retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), drugmaker NephroGenex Inc (NASDAQ:NRX), and touch interface developer Neonode, Inc (NASDAQ:NEON).

  • ANF is pointed 1.5% higher ahead of the bell, thanks to a legal win. Three months after one judge rejected a settlement challenging the pay of former CEO Michael Jeffries, another federal judge recommended approval of the revised terms, which she said "confer a substantial benefit" upon Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shareholders. On Dec. 8, the session before announcing the retirement of the controversial CEO, ANF was sitting in five-year-low territory at $26.19. Since then, however, the stock has tacked on roughly 10% to land at $28.76 on Tuesday. Still, option players remain wary, with put buying hitting fever pitch over the past two weeks on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Specifically, ANF sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 8.15 on the exchanges -- an annual high.

  • NRX is set to triple in value out of the gate this morning, after settling at $4.65 yesterday. Bolstering the stock is a round of upbeat drug data, after its pyridorin drug was found to be cardiac-safe in treating diabetic nephropathy. Nephrogenex Inc debuted at $12.12 in mid-February, but has since shed roughly 62% of its value, with recent rebound attempts halted by its 32-week moving average. In light of today's anticipated jump, though, the equity is poised to hit all-time highs north of $15.

  • Finally, NEON jumped nearly 22% yesterday, and is set to add another 12% at the open, amid hopes for a solid showing at next month's highly anticipated Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Specifically, Cowen & Co. yesterday said Neonode, Inc is expected to debut touch-screen technology for PC products at the event. Should NEON extend its advance on the charts, the stock will take likely take out its 200-day moving average for the first time since March -- and could spook the shorts. Short interest accounts for 26.6% of NEON's total available float, representing 19 sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average pace of trading -- plenty of fuel for a short-covering rally.

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