Buzz Stocks: Partnerre Ltd, Nokia Corporation, and OraSure Technologies, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Partnerre Ltd (PRE), Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK), and OraSure Technologies, Inc. (OSUR)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Aug 3, 2015 at 10:26 AM

U.S. stocks are mostly lower as traders continue to monitor the rough start seen by overseas markets. In company news, today's stocks to watch include insurance concern Partnerre Ltd (NYSE:PRE), telecom firm Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), and biotech OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSUR).

  • PRE touched a new all-time high of $138.95 this morning, and was last seen 2.2% higher at $138.88, after investment group Exor announced that it signed a deal to buy Partnerre Ltd for $6.9 billion. The agreement ends a prolonged battle for PRE with Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS). PRE has been a solid performer, riding higher along support from its 10-month moving average. This trendline has provided rather solid support the beginning of 2012. While the stock prospers, option players and analysts maintain a skeptical air. PRE's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.48 indicate short-term puts outnumber calls in the options pits. As for analysts, 11 of the 12 tracking PRE rate it a "hold." 
  • NOK is down 0.7% at $7, bringing its year-to-date loss to nearly 11%. A group of German carmakers is purchasing Nokia Corporation (ADR)'s Here digital mapping business for 2.8 billion euros (roughly $3.1 billion). The consortium of carmakers includes Audi, BMW, and Daimler, and it hopes to develop technology that will help create self-driving cars. NOK continues to bounce sideways between the $6.40 and the $7.40 regions. Against this backdrop, option buyers have picked up NOK puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip during the past 10 weeks. The equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 0.57 -- just 3 percentage points from an annual peak.
  • Our final stock is OSUR. OraSure Technologies, Ltd. is 2.4% higher at $5.06, following news that it received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization for its OraQuick® Ebola Rapid Antigen TestShares of OSUR have dropped more than 50% in 2015, due to pressure from their 10- and 20-week moving averages.  As such, near-term option players are more put-heavy than usual; the stock's SOIR of 0.47 registers in the 98th percentile of its annual range.

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