Buzz Stocks: Cognizant Tech, McDonald's, Dow Chemical Co

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH), McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), and Dow Chemical Co (NYSE:DOW)

May 4, 2015 at 9:29 AM
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Futures are pointed higher, as traders eagerly await speeches from a pair of Federal Reserve officials. Meanwhile, among equities in focus are IT service provider Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH), fast-food giant McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), and science and technology firm Dow Chemical Co (NYSE:DOW).

  • CTSH is up nearly 8% in electronic trading, after the firm's first-quarter earnings handily beat estimates, thanks to increased spending by healthcare and financial customers in North America. Technically speaking, the stock has performed well in 2015, tacking on 12.3%, and hitting a March 20 all-time high of $64.69 along the way. More recently, the equity settled last week at $59.14 -- just north of its 20-week moving average. On the sentiment front, short-term speculators are more call-skewed than usual, per Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.79, which ranks lower than 76% of all similar readings taken in the past year.

  • MCD CEO Steve Easterbrook unveiled the company's new turnaround plan this morning, including releasing a video on McDonald's Corporation's website outlining a handful of its goals. On the charts, the stock has been gaining ground since hitting an annual low of $87.62 in mid-December, up 11.6% at $97.80. Additionally, the equity is currently enjoying support atop its 60-day moving average -- a trendline that's helped usher the shares higher since mid-February. While option traders have been eyeing more upside, there's still plenty of room on MCD's bullish bandwagon. Specifically, 68% of analysts maintain a "hold" or worse rating on the stock, leaving room for a round of upgrades, should MCD continue to bounce back both on and off the charts.

  • DOW announced this morning it plans on cutting up to 3% of its workforce, hoping to save roughly $1 billion over the next three years. As a result, the company will take an impairment charge of $330 million to $380 million in the current quarter. The stock has done well this year, up 13.3% to trade at $51.69. Option traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been gambling on additional gains, as well. In fact, the equity's 50-day call/put volume ratio across these three exchanges sits at 3.04 -- in the 83rd percentile of its annual range.

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