Buzz Stocks: Schlumberger, Athersys, and

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Schlumberger Limited (SLB), Athersys, Inc. (ATHX), and Inc (ADR) (WUBA)

Apr 17, 2015 at 9:31 AM
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U.S. stocks appear poised to plummet this morning, as traders react to a fresh batch of earnings reports and China's new short-selling rules. In company news, today's stocks to watch include oil-and-gas concern Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), biotech firm Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX), and Chinese e-commerce issue Inc (ADR) (NYSE:WUBA).

  • The shares of SLB are 3.1% higher in electronic trading, after the firm reported first-quarter figures and announced it will lay off another 11,000 employees, in addition to the 9,000 layoffs the firm made in January. In addition, Schlumberger Limited expects to cut production and exploration spending, especially in North America. On the charts, SLB shares are up 21.5% from their Jan. 14 annual low of $75.60, to close yesterday at $91.89. However, traders have favored puts over calls in the options pits lately, as SLB's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.22 reads in the 99th percentile of its annual range. Echoing this indicator is the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.90, which is higher than all equivalent readings from the past year. Simply stated, short-term speculators have never been this put-heavy on SLB over the past 12 months.

  • News that ATHX's stroke treatment drug MultiStem failed mid-stage study testing has the shares down over 56% ahead of the bell. It's been a rough week for Athersys, Inc.; heading into today's session, the shares were already down 28% week-to-date, landing at $2.18 yesterday. Some traders are likely cheering the plummet, as ATHX's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.90 stands higher than 99% of all similar readings taken over the past year. Likewise, the equity's SOIR of 0.74 stands higher than 96% of all other readings from the past year.

  • The shares of WUBA are 6.1% lower in pre-market trading, after the firm confirmed that it is purchasing a 43% stake in sector peer for $412.2 million in cash and approximately 34 million ordinary shares. Technically speaking, Inc has been an outperformer, with the shares up over 57% year-over-year to close Thursday at $67.57. What's more, the equity notched an all-time high of $69.24 just yesterday. Despite this positive price action, puts have been popular in the options pits, as WUBA's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.01 stands in the 74th percentile of its annual range. Elsewhere, short interest accounts for 22.7% of WUBA's available float, which would take nearly seven sessions to cover, at average trading volumes.

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