Buzz Stocks: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Macy's, Inc., and The Williams Companies, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX), Macy's, Inc. (M), and Williams Companies Inc (WMB)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 13, 2015 at 9:25 AM

U.S. stocks appear ready to rebound this morning, with futures signaling a fast start. In company news, today's stocks to watch include drugmaker Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), department store chain Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M), and energy issue Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB).

  • VRTX is charging north on news that a Food and Drug Administration panel is recommending the company's cystic fibrosis therapy, Orkambi, for approval. Specifically, the shares are perched 6.8% higher in electronic trading, after closing yesterday at $124.08. Looking more closely at the charts, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated boasts a year-over-year lead of 86%, and has been grinding higher recently atop its 120- and 160-day moving averages. Along the way, the stock hit a record high of $137.50 on April 23, on the heels of buyout buzz.

  • M is sitting 2.4% lower ahead of the bell, after the company reported first-quarter results that missed the Street's estimates. In other news, the retailer raised its share buyback plan by $1.5 billion, and its quarterly dividend by 15%. On the charts, Macy's, Inc. is sitting slightly below its year-to-date breakeven mark, resting at $65.33, after pulling back from an early April record peak of $69.98. Meanwhile, traders at the International Securities (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been buying to open puts over calls at a breakneck pace in recent weeks. M's 10-day put/call volume ratio across those exchanges is 2.60 -- higher than 88% of comparable readings from the past year.

  • WMB announced it will buy affiliate Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) in an all-stock deal worth nearly $14 billion. As such, Williams Companies Inc shares are soaring in electronic trading, up 5.6%, after closing at $50.10 yesterday. Longer term, WMB has advanced 11.5% year-to-date, and has been trending higher since taking a bounce off its 32-month moving average. Option traders remain unconvinced, though. WMB's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 2.11 ranks in the 88th percentile of its annual range, meanings speculators have been buying to open puts over calls at a much faster-than-usual rate.

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