Buzz Stocks: United Continental Holdings Inc, Facebook Inc, and Zillow Group Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and Zillow Group Inc (NASDAQ:Z)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jul 10, 2015 at 9:27 AM

U.S. stocks are poised for another pop, following encouraging developments out of China and Greece. In company news, today's stocks to watch include airline United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL), social network Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and online real estate portal Zillow Group Inc (NASDAQ:Z)

  • Just a couple days after grounding flights nationally, UAL said it anticipates its pretax second-quarter profit margin to land in the lower range of its prior outlook, as a stronger dollar deters travelers from overseas. On the charts, the stock has lost more than 20% year-to-date to trade at $53.26, but is 1.5% higher ahead of the bell. Despite United Continental Holdings Inc's long-term struggles, 10 of 13 analysts have designated it a "buy" or better, and its average 12-month price target of $77.10 stands in never-before-seen territory. This could pave the way for future downgrades and/or price-target reductions.

  • FB has reportedly held talks with record companies in an attempt to insert music videos into users' news feeds -- representing its latest foray into the video market. According to The New York Times, the social network is offering the labels better financial terms than YouTube, and is committed to stopping the use of unauthorized clips on the site. In electronic trading, Facebook Inc is 1.5% higher -- on track to add to its 10% year-to-date lead, as of last night's close at $85.88. More recently, since hitting an all-time peak of $89.40 in late June, the stock has been chopping around the $86-$88 range. Meanwhile, short-term option traders are centered on calls over puts, based on FB's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.55. Not only does this ratio indicate call open interest nearly doubles put open interest -- among options with a shelf-life of three months or less -- it also ranks in the call-skewed 16th percentile of its annual range.

  • Finally, Z is poised to drop 3.6% at the open, after the company announced Chief Financial Officer Chad Cohen is resigning, effective Friday, Aug. 7. Longer term, the stock was flirting with all-time highs near $165 this time last year, but has fallen 48% since then to rest at $85.26 -- pressured in recent weeks by its 10-week moving average. Meanwhile, short sellers have been boarding Zillow Group Inc's bearish bandwagon. Over 36% of the equity's float is sold short, and it would take more than two weeks to cover these positions, at Z's typical trading pace.

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