Buzz Stocks: Facebook, Inc., Ocwen Financial Corporation, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Today's stocks to watch include Facebook Inc (FB), Ocwen Financial Corp (OCN), and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 24, 2015 at 9:26 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Stocks are poised for a start in the black, with investors preparing for a fresh round of economic data, including new home sales. Among the equities in focus are social network Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), financial services provider Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN), and natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK).

  • FB is up 0.4% in pre-market trading amid reports that the company is in negotiations with news publishers to host their content directly on its site. The equity has simply been on fire lately, adding close to 7% in March to close yesterday at $84.43, after touching an all-time high of $84.96 earlier in the day. Analysts are bullish on Facebook Inc, with 28 of 30 covering brokerage firms rating it a "buy" or better. Additionally, FB's average 12-month price target of $92.14 represents a 9% premium to current trading levels.

  • OCN is falling fast in electronic trading, dropping 5.7% after the New York Stock Exchange warned the company it is not in compliance with listing standards. This negative development is overshadowing the company's agreement to sell $25 billion worth of mortgage servicing rights. The security has already had its fair share of technical issues, underperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 40 percentage points during the past three months, finishing yesterday at $8.80. Options players have placed bearish bets in response, with Ocwen Financial Corp's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 4.64 ranking higher than 86% of all similar readings from the past year. Elsewhere, short interest accounts for 32% of OCN's float.

  • CHK cut its budget for capital expenditures in 2015 due to falling commodity prices. However, Carl Icahn upped his stake in the firm for the first time in two years -- to 11% from 9.9%. Investors have responded positively, with the shares seeing a 2.6% jump ahead of the opening bell. It's a boost Chesapeake Energy Corporation desperately needs, as it's lost 28% in 2015 to settle yesterday at $14.11. In fact, the shares hit a two-year low last week. In the options pits, speculators have grown more put-skewed than normal, according to the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.85. This reading ranks higher than 83% of all comparable figures from the past year.

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