Buzz Stocks: Vertex , Macy's, and The Williams Co

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

May 13, 2015 at 9:25 AM
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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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