Early Edge: SunPower, Pacira Pharma, Procter & Gamble

Stocks making headlines include SunPower Corporation (SPWR), Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (PCRX), and Procter & Gamble Co (PG)

Apr 16, 2015 at 10:51 AM
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U.S. stocks are mostly lower this morning, as traders have one eye trained on Greece and another on the earnings carousel. Among the equities making an early splash on the Street are solar energy issue SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), drugmaker Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX), and big-cap conglomerate Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG).

  • SPWR jumped out of the gate, after the firm said it's partnering with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to build a pair of solar power projects in China, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. The stock rallied as high as $34.75 before cooling off, and was last seen with a 1% lead at $33.72. Even before today, SPWR was a broad-market standout, outperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 35 percentage points during the past three months. Still, short interest accounts for 11.3% of SunPower Corporation's float, and would take nearly a week to buy back, at the equity's average daily trading volume -- ample fuel for a short squeeze to propel the shares even higher. In the options pit, meanwhile, SPWR calls are trading at four times the average morning pace, with potential buy-to-open action detected at the weekly 5/1 31-strike call.

  • PCRX, on the other hand, has surrendered 7.2% to sit at $85.71, after the firm was slapped with a subpoena from the Department of Justice. Specifically, the feds are requesting documents related to the marketing practices of Exparel, Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc's post-surgery pain drug. After toying with all-time highs north of $120 in February, PCRX suffered a dramatic FDA-induced bear gap, and has spent the subsequent weeks stair-stepping lower. Meanwhile, PCRX options are crossing at 45 times the average intraday pace, and it looks like some bears are buying to open the April 85 put -- most active on the day.

  • PG is flirting with modest gains at $83.53, amid reports that its beauty business could fetch bids next week. From a longer-term perspective, PG remains 8.3% lower year-to-date, and is struggling to surmount its 10-week moving average, which has rejected rebound attempts since late January. Short-term option players are more put-heavy than usual ahead of Procter & Gamble Co's earnings release next Thursday, as the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.68 stands higher than 93% of all other readings from the past year. It's more of the same today, with PG puts trading at twice the typical morning rate, and potential buy-to-open action spotted at the April 85 put.

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