Buzz Stocks: QUALCOMM Incorporated, Arrowhead Research Corporation, and Sears Holdings Corporation

Today's stocks to watch in the news include QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM), Arrowhead Research Corp (ARWR), and Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD)

by Griffin Kruse

Published on Apr 13, 2015 at 9:42 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

U.S. stocks have edged higher out of the gate, despite lackluster Chinese trade data. In company news, today's stocks to watch include communications firm QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), biopharmaceutical issue Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR), and retailer Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD).

  • According to The Wall Street Journal, activist investor Jana Partners is trying to convince QCOM to spin off its chip-making business from its patent-licensing wing. Additionally, Jana Partners -- which is one of QUALCOMM, Inc.'s largest shareholders -- is also requesting that the company reduce costs, lower executive salaries, and increase stock buybacks. At last check, the shares of QCOM have added 2.7% to sit at $71, but are still staring up at resistance from their 160-day moving average. The brokerage bunch is optimistic on QCOM, though, as 62% of covering analysts rate the shares a "buy" or "strong buy." Should the stock resume its recent downtrend, a round of analyst downgrades could spell headwinds for the shares.

  • ARWR announced this morning that the FDA has cleared the company to move forward with a mid-stage trial of ARC-520, its new drug for treatment of chronic hepatitis B. The news has the shares of Arrowhead Research Corp up 4.3% at $8.25. Meanwhile, sentiment in the options pits has reached an optimistic peak, as ARWR's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 30.07 is the highest equivalent reading taken over the past year.

  • SHLD has agreed to create a new real estate venture with Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG). In response, the shares of Sears Holdings Corp are 1.4% higher at $43.51, bringing their year-to-date lead to 32%. Traders have been picking up puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip, though, as SHLD's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.93 stands in the 83rd percentile of its annual range. Mirroring this indicator is the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 4.52, which is higher than 92% of all similar annual readings. Said another way, near-term speculators have rarely been this put-heavy on SHLD over the past 12 months.

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