Buzz Stocks: Apple Inc., Zulily Inc, and AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news feature Apple Inc. (AAPL), Zulily Inc (ZU), AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AVEO)

Aug 17, 2015 at 9:56 AM
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Following an up-and-down week, U.S. stocks are following oil lower. In company news, today's stocks to watch include Dow component Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), online retailer Zulily Inc (NASDAQ:ZU), and pharmaceutical firm AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVEO).

  • According to a report in The Guardian, AAPL's self-driving car project (Project Titan) is real and much further along than expected. Reportedly, Apple Inc. staffers have met with officials from a former naval base near San Francisco -- a base that is being transformed into a high-security testing ground for self-driving vehicles. Meanwhile, David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital reduced its holdings of AAPL in the second quarter, though other big hedge funds added to their positions. On Friday, AAPL finished below its 50-week moving average for a second straight week; the last time this happened was September 2013. Bearish sentiment has grown toward AAPL, as its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.80 rates higher than 72% of the readings taken in the past 52 weeks. However, 20 of the 32 analysts tracking AAPL rate it a "buy" or better. At last check, AAPL is up 0.3% at $116.24.
  • ZU shares were halted in pre-market trading, as news broke that the company is going to be acquired by Liberty Interactive Group (NASDAQ:QVCA), owner of QVC. The cash-and-stock deal is valued at $2.4 billion. QVCA will dish out $18.75 per share for Zulily Inc. -- a 49% premium over ZU's Friday close of $12.57. According to reports, ZU will remain in Seattle and will continue to be run by its management team. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2015. In early trading, ZU is trading just below the QVCA bid price, up 47.2% at $18.50. Short sellers are likely ruing their positions, as short interest accounts for almost 31% of the stock's float.

  • Finally, AVEO announced an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) for the development and commercialization of AVEO's AV-380 and related antibodies. AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will receive an upfront payment of $15 million and will be eligible to receive other payments and reimbursements totaling $311 million -- assuming the product successfully advances. AVEO more than doubled out of the gate, but has trimmed its lead to 82.1%, to sit at $2.14.

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