Buzz Stocks: Alcoa Inc., RadioShack Corporation, and MetLife, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch include Alcoa Inc (AA), RadioShack Corporation (RSH), and Metlife Inc (MET)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 13, 2015 at 9:09 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Futures are higher this morning, after aluminum giant Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) kicked off fourth-quarter earnings season on a high note. Also on today's radar will be electronics retailer RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) and insurance issue Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET).

  • AA is up 2% in electronic trading -- which could spell good things for the broader-equities market going forward -- after the company's fourth-quarter profit and revenue handily topped consensus estimates. "In 2014 we delivered Alcoa's strongest operating results since 2008; we enter 2015 on solid footing, poised to continue transforming and growing," said CEO Klaus Kleinfeld in the earnings release. Heading into today's session, the stock was already sporting an impressive 60% year-over-year lead to trade at $16.17 -- which may have prompted yesterday's bullish brokerage note -- yet short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual. Specifically, Alcoa Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.92 ranks in the 86th percentile of its annual range.

  • RSH is poised to pop more than 10% out of the gate, on reports Salus Capital Partners has offered the struggling chain a $500 million life jacket -- similar to a debtor-in-possession loan used to fund operations while in bankruptcy. RSH has until Thursday to accept the proposal. Amid its ongoing fundamental woes, RSH has had a rough go on the charts. Specifically, the equity has spent almost all of the past four months churning in penny-stock territory, and closed Monday at $0.39. Not surprisingly, all five analysts covering RadioShack Corporation have slapped it with a "hold" or "strong sell" rating, and roughly a quarter of the equity's float is sold short.

  • MET said it plans to file a lawsuit against U.S. regulators who claim the country's largest insurer should fall under the oversight umbrella of the Federal Reserve, per the Dodd-Frank Act. CEO Steven Kandarian said this new federal standard for it and its sector peers "could lead and is likely to lead to higher costs for middle class consumers of insurance products without any additional safety being provided to the system." Technically speaking, it's been a slow start to the year for Metlife Inc, which is down nearly 7% to $50.43. Options traders have been rolling the dice on more downside, too, as evidenced by the equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.02, which ranks 8 percentage points from an annual bearish peak.

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