Buzz Stocks: PepsiCo, Yahoo!, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Today's stocks to watch in the news include PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA)

Jul 9, 2015 at 9:24 AM
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Futures are pointed sharply higher this morning, buoyed by a bounce in Chinese markets. In company news, today's stocks to watch include beverage behemoth PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), digital content specialist Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and drug retailer Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA)

  • PEP is sitting 2.3% higher ahead of the bell, after the company topped expectations in the earnings confessional and upped its full-year profit outlook. A technical boost would be a welcome sight for shareholders, as PepsiCo, Inc. has advanced just 1.1% year-to-date, as of last night's close at $95.61. On the Street, analysts have been piling into the stock's bullish camp. In fact, 14 of 16 brokerages consider PEP a "buy" or better, versus two "holds" and not a single "sell" recommendation. If that's not enough, the equity's consensus 12-month price target of $106.10 stands in uncharted territory.

  • YHOO made headlines Wednesday afternoon when it announced it will venture into daily fantasy sports -- going head-to-head with sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. The move is being cheered this morning, with the shares up 2.7% pre-market. Longer term, however, Yahoo! Inc. has surrendered more than 26% in 2015 to rest at $37.23. As such, bearish betting has picked up at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Across this trio of exchanges, YHOO has racked up a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.75 -- in the 99th percentile of its annual range.

  • Finally, WBA is in the spotlight this morning after the pharmacy chain had a successful trip in the earnings spotlight and raised its full-year profit forecast. Also, the company named Stefano Pessina as CEO -- after a six-month stint as interim CEO -- and bought skincare brand Liz Earle from Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP). The collective news has Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc perched 2.6% higher ahead of the bell, and poised to add to its year-to-date lead of 12.7%. In recent weeks, the stock has been churning in the $83-$88 range, settling at $85.91 last night. In the options pits, short-term traders have been put-skewed toward WBA. The security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.07 ranks in the 79th percentile of its annual range.

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