Buzz Stocks: Micron Technology, Inc., Nokia Corporation, and Natural Health Trends Corp.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), and Natural Health Trends Corp. (NASDAQ:NHTC)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:29 AM
Updated on Jul 14, 2015 at 3:21 PM

U.S. benchmarks are awaiting direction from today's host of market-moving events. Meanwhile, among specific equities in focus are semiconductor concern Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), tech issue Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), and personal care product specialist Natural Health Trends Corp. (NASDAQ:NHTC).

  • In the latest round of M&A news, MU is reportedly set to receive a $23 billion bid from Tsinghua Unigroup -- a state-owned tech company in China. This equates to $21 per MU share -- or a 19.3% premium to last night's close at $17.61 -- and would be the biggest takeover by a China-based company to date. While shares of MU are pointed higher in electronic trading, they still remain a long-term laggard -- shedding nearly half their value year-to-date. In spite of Micron Technology, Inc.'s withstanding technical troubles, 21 out of 27 analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating. In fact, Morgan Stanley this morning upped its outlook on MU to "equal weight" from "underweight." Should the equity resume its downtrend, or should the rumors not pan out, a fresh round of bearish brokerage notes could apply additional pressure.

  • After selling its mobile phone division to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last year -- a deal that hasn't worked out so well for MSFT -- NOK has sparked rumors it could be ready to throw its hat back into the handset ring. However, when asked about its plans to re-enter the market, Nokia Corporation responded with an "It's complicated." Separately, car-ride service Uber has reportedly lost its bid for NOK's mapping service. On the charts, the stock has been bouncing between $6.30 and $7.30 since taking an earnings-induced tumble in late April, and settled last night at $6.71. Meanwhile, in the options pits, the equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.62 ranks in the 98th annual percentile. Simply stated, puts have been bought to open over calls with more rapidity just 2% of the time within the past year.

  • NHTC is poised to pop 16% out of the gate, after the company offered up a strong second-quarter revenue estimate. Today's projected price move only echoes the technical tenacity of a stock that's nearly tripled in value year-to-date. What's more, NHTC hit a record high of $44.75 in late June, and was last seen lingering at $32.80. Speculators, meanwhile, have shown a preference for puts over calls among options set to expire in three months or less. Specifically, Natural Health Trends Corp.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) is currently docked at a top-heavy 1.45.
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