Buzz Stocks: Partnerre, Nokia, and OraSure Tech

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

Aug 3, 2015 at 10:26 AM
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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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