Buzz Stocks: Goldman Sachs, Blackstone Group, Amgen

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS), Blackstone Group LP (BX), and Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)

Apr 16, 2015 at 9:27 AM
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Despite an upbeat round of earnings from several financial firms, including blue chip Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and sector peer Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX), U.S. stocks are likely moving into the red this morning. In other company news, today's stocks to watch includes biotech firm Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN).

  • The shares of GS are 0.5% higher in pre-market trading -- within spitting distance of a six-year high -- after the firm posted first-quarter earnings that toppled analyst expectations and announced it is increasing its quarterly dividend to $0.65 per share. On the charts, Goldman Sachs Group Inc has been a technical beast, with the shares up nearly 28% year-over-year to close yesterday at $201.10. Accordingly, options traders have favored calls over puts lately, as GS' 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.98 ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. Said another way, speculators have bought to open calls over puts at a faster clip only 6% of the time over the last year.

  • BX is enjoying a lift this morning as well, up 3.4% ahead of the bell (to record-high territory), as traders react to news that the company doubled first-quarter earnings to a record $1.37 per share. Technically speaking, Blackstone Group LP has been a standout performer, with the shares up 21.3% year-to-date to finish Wednesday at $41.02. Not surprisingly, call buying in the options pits is approaching fever pitch. Specifically, over the past 10 days at the ISE/CBOE/PHLX, 17.22 BX calls were bought to open for every put, which is a higher ratio than 99% of all similar readings taken over the past year. The brokerage bunch is bullish on the equity too, as nine out of 10 covering analysts rate it a "buy" or "strong buy."

  • The shares of AMGN are 0.8% higher in electronic trading, following news that the FDA has approved its heart failure drug Corlanor. Looking back, Amgen, Inc. has been stellar on the charts, with the shares up 43.2% year-over-year to close yesterday at $165.47. Heading into today, calls have been slightly more prominent than usual in the options pits, as AMGN's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.41 is higher than 55% of all other readings from the past year. Elsewhere, the brokerage bunch is more skeptical of the equity, as over half of covering analysts rate it a "hold."


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