Buzz Stocks: Humana, Potash Corporation, Celladon Co

Today's stocks to watch include Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM), Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT), and Celladon Corp (NASDAQ:CLDN)

Jun 26, 2015 at 9:30 AM
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Although Chinese stocks took a beating, domestic equities appear ready for a strong end-of-week finish. Among the equities in focus are health insurer Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM), fertilizer concern Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT), and biotech stock Celladon Corp (NASDAQ:CLDN).

  • After getting a boost yesterday -- along with the rest of the healthcare sector, thanks to the Supreme Court's "Obamacare" decision -- HUM is on the way up again in electronic trading, adding 1.4%. Traders are reacting to a report from Bloomberg that said the company is close to being acquired by sector peer Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET). Prior M&A rumors are part of the reason Humana Inc is up more than 37% in 2015, settling at $197.08 yesterday -- though option traders remain put-focused. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.18, higher than 72% of readings from the past year. This means put open interest outweighs call open interest among options expiring in three months, and that short-term traders are more put-skewed than normal.

  • POT is moving slightly lower ahead of the bell, on reports the company is in talks to buy German rival K+S AG. With its close at $31.89 yesterday, Potash Corp./Saskatchewan is almost 10% below its year-to-date breakeven mark. There remains a short-term bullish trend in the stock's options arena, however. POT's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 15.17 sits at an annual high.

  • CLDN is getting annihilated in pre-market action -- and on track for a record low this morning -- after the company announced it has suspended development of its gene therapy drug Mydicar, and that it may be forced to liquidate if it doesn't find a buyer. The shares are already 89% lower in 2015, settling at $2.20 yesterday, and analysts are steering clear. All of the brokerage firms tracking Celladon Corp say it's a "hold." Still, CLDN's SOIR of 0.40 reveals short-term call open interest heavily outweighs put open interest.

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