Buzz Stocks: Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF, National Bank of Greece SA, and Herbalife Ltd.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEARCA:GREK), National Bank of Greece (ADR) (NYSE:NBG), and Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 29, 2015 at 9:28 AM
Updated on Jun 29, 2015 at 9:41 AM

U.S. markets are sharply lower in electronic trading, after Greece failed to reach a debt resolution with its creditors over the weekend. Among specific equities in focus are Athens exchange-traded fund (ETF) Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEARCA:GREK), financial firm National Bank of Greece (ADR) (NYSE:NBG), and nutritional supplement specialist Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).

  • GREK is bracing for a 15.3% plunge out of the gate -- and on pace to surrender support atop the $10 mark -- after banks in Greece were shuttered and capital controls were implemented. Over the weekend, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a referendum on a proposed bailout package for the country, sending rumors spiking over a possible "Grexit." The ETF has been in a downward spiral for some time, shedding nearly half its value year-over-year to churn near $11.78. In the options pits, long calls have been preferred over puts, per Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.68. Premium on the ETF's front-month options are currently pricing in lofty volatility expectations, too. GREK's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 95% ranks in the 80th annual percentile.

  • After closing at $1.28 on Friday, NBG is reeling ahead of the bell, down 25% -- and on its way toward record-low territory. Banks in Greece will remain closed through the week, with ATMs -- which will reopen tomorrow -- allowing a 60 euro limit on cash withdrawals. On the charts, the National Bank of Greece has been in a steady decline over the past 12 months, shedding roughly 65%. Option traders, meanwhile, have been buying to open puts over calls at a rapid-fire rate in recent weeks. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, NBG's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.33 sits in the 86th percentile of its annual range. Echoing this is the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.89, which rests higher than 79% of all similar readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual.

  • Bill Ackman is at it again. This time, the activist investor is demanding HLF CEO Michael Johnson release a 2005 video in which he supposedly called the company a "lottery ticket." At last check, the shares were off 1.2% in electronic trading, after settling last week at $53.75. Longer term, HLF has performed well in 2015, up more than 42% -- and true to form, is set to end June on a high note. Short sellers, however, are unconvinced Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) can sustain this momentum. More than 29% of the stock's float is sold short, representing 18.8 times HLF's average daily trading volume.

Want an even earlier advantage on the biggest news before the bell? Sign up now to get Schaeffer's Opening View delivered straight to your inbox!


A Schaeffer's exclusive

6 Sectors for Summer

Access your FREE insider report before it's too late!


  
 

Partnercenter


NEW! Explore Schaeffer’s Partners' deals and get connected to top online brokerages with deals tailored exclusively for our readers.  Get answers to your questions regarding transfer fees, commission rates, programs and available discounts related to online trading services.

MORE | MARKETstories


Huge New Legal Marijuana Market Has Shortage Crisis
250 million Europeans have access to medical marijuana. There's already a shortage....
Tiffany Stock Drops as Takeover Talks Dissipate
LVMH was to acquire Tiffany & Co in a billion-dollar deal
Coty Stock Glows Up with Possible Kardashian Cosmetics Line
The trendy cosmetics company is in talks with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West over a line of beauty products
The Next Big Player in U.S. MJ Boom
Most pure-play marijuana stocks in the U.S. trade on the Over-the-Counter stock exchange.