Buzz Stocks: Plasmatech, AcelRx Pharma, UBS Group

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Plasmatech Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PTBI), AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ACRX), and UBS Group AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS)

May 5, 2015 at 9:39 AM
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Stocks have taken a turn for the worse, as traders digest the latest international trade data. Meanwhile, among specific equities in focus are drugmakers Plasmatech Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PTBI) and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ACRX), as well as investment issue UBS Group AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS).

  • PTBI is up nearly 65% in early trading, after George Soros' hedge fund unveiled a roughly 5% passive stake in the firm. Today's bull gap has put the stock into positive year-to-date territory, and at last check, PTBI was lingering near $4.71. On the sentiment front, short interest spiked in the latest reporting period, but still accounts for less than 1% of Plasmatech Biopharmaceuticals Inc's available float.

  • After being temporarily halted in electronic trading, ACRX has plunged 24% out of the gate -- and to a new annual low of $3 -- following reports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined the company's request to discuss its pain treatment, Zalviso. What's more, the FDA once again requested more information for the treatment, which prompted price-target cuts from RBC (to $7) and Jefferies (to $3.50). Technically speaking, it's already been a struggle for the shares, which are down 70% year-over-year . AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc could be at risk of additional price-target reductions, too, considering the equity's average 12-month price target of $7.37 represents expected upside of 135% to the stock's current perch at $3.13.

  • UBS is flirting with a 5.7% lead at the open to trade near $21.55 -- and is on pace to notch its loftiest close since late November -- following the firm's strong first-quarter earnings report. Separately, UBS Group AG said it is working with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) to resolve forex-rigging allegations. Heading into today's session, UBS was already sporting an impressive 19.4% year-to-date gain. In the options pits, short-term speculators have shown a distinct preference for calls over puts, per the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.26. In other words, call open interest outweighs put open interest by a 4-to-1 ratio among options expiring in three months or less.

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