To New Heights: Starbucks, Neurocrine, Prothena

Stocks hitting new highs today include Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:NBIX), and Prothena Corporation PLC (NASDAQ:PRTA)

Jun 17, 2015 at 11:25 AM
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With domestic equities off to a strong start today, several names are hitting new highs, including coffee giant Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), as well as biotech concerns Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:NBIX) and Prothena Corporation PLC (NASDAQ:PRTA). Here's a look at what has SBUX, NBIX, and PRTA moving higher. 

  • SBUX touched an all-time peak of $53.47 earlier, and was last seen 0.3% higher at $53.13, after the company announced it will be closing all of its La Boulange bakery stores. The shares have been relentless this year, tacking on 29.5%, thanks in part to a mass exodus of bearish traders. Specifically, since the start of the year, short interest on Starbucks Corporation has been cut nearly in half. Elsewhere, option traders foresee more upside, as 3.37 calls have been bought to open for every put during the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). 

  • NBIX is benefiting from a price-target hike at Baird, which set its mark at $54 -- territory the stock hasn't explored in nine years. The brokerage firm also underscored its "outperform" opinion. The shares have already hit their highest point in that time span earlier, touching $47, but were last seen at $45.97, gaining 1.5% on the day. It's nothing new to see analysts backing Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., as all seven brokerage firms tracking the security say it's a "strong buy." Others on the Street don't share this enthusiasm. The 7.4% of NBIX's float that's sold short represents over seven sessions' worth of trading, at the security's normal daily volume. 

  • Month-to-date, PRTA has added nearly 32%, including today's 11% pop to trade at $51.87. Moreover, the stock earlier hit an all-time high of $52.98, and is sitting near the top of the Nasdaq winner list, after the company reported strong clinical results for its Parkinson's disease drug, PRX002.  This is probably good news for Prothena Corporation PLC option traders, as close to 800 calls have been bought to open on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX during the past two weeks, compared to just 13 puts. 

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