Buzz Stocks: J C Penney Company Inc, WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc., and Tesla Motors Inc

Today's stocks to watch include J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:WX), and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:24 AM

U.S. stocks are lower ahead of the open, as traders await the latest batch of economic reports. Among the equities in focus are retailer J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), China-based pharmaceutical stock WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:WX), and electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

  • JCP is ready to move 7.1% higher at the open, after the company posted strong second-quarter numbers and affirmed its full-year outlook. The stock has already outperformed in 2015, tacking on 24.5% to land at $8.07. Going into earnings, many options traders were betting against J C Penney Company Inc. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) , JCP's 10-day put/call volume ratio stands at an annual high of 2.18. In other words, put buying (relative to call buying) hasn't been more popular at any other point in the past year. 

  • On top of impressive second-quarter revenue figures, WX is getting a pre-market lift from news the company will merge with New WuXi Life Science Limited in a $3.3 billion agreement. Looking back, WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. hit a seven-year high of $46.14 on May 14, and remains 22.7% above breakeven year-to-date, at $41.32. Speculators had been betting on a breakout. During the past 50 days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, more than 7,000 calls have been bought to open, compared to just 422 puts. 

  • TSLA yesterday answered its post-earnings skid by announcing a $500 million stock offering. Apparently, that wasn't enough, as Elon Musk and Co. have increased the offering by 30%, to raise about $642 million. Tesla Motors Inc is now sitting 1.8% in the black in electronic trading. The shares settled at $242.51 yesterday, nearly 21% below their average 12-month price target of $293.07. Elsewhere, 60% of covering brokerage firms say TSLA is a "hold" or worse. The equity is 9% higher since the start of the year. 

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