Buzz Stocks: Spark Therapeutics Inc, Twitter Inc, and Sunedison Inc

Today's stocks to watch include Spark Therapeutics Inc (ONCE), Twitter Inc (TWTR), and Sunedison Inc (SUNE)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Oct 5, 2015 at 10:28 AM

U.S benchmarks are are up big as traders look at the potential bright side of Friday's disappointing nonfarm payrolls report. Today's equities in focus are gene therapy concern Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE), social media platform Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and clean power company Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE).

  1. Shares of ONCE are 26% higher at $55.35, after the company announced that its eye disorder treatment improved patients' sight in clinical testing. Spark Therapeutics Inc plans to file for marketing approval next year. While this morning's upward gap is impressive, the stock has still dropped 30% since tagging an all-time high of $79.50 in late March. Elsewhere, short sellers have been stocking up on bearish bets, as 12% of the equity's float is sold short, representing eight days' worth of pent-up buying demand, at typical volumes. This means we could be at the start of a short-covering rally, as bears may be liquidating their pessimistic positions amid ONCE's surge.
  • TWTR is in the news again today after announcing that it is giving co-founder Jack Dorsey another chance as the company's CEO. This news seems to have pleased Wall Street, as shares of Twitter Inc are 1.6% higher at $26.73 -- though the advance is being contained by their 10-week moving average. Longer term, though, the equity has been in the dumps -- surrendering one-quarter of its value in 2015. Bearish option players have stocked up as TWTR has dropped, as demonstrated by the firm's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.44 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the 99th annual percentile. Conversely, 11 analysts still rate the stock a "strong buy" -- suggesting a round of downgrades could exacerbate its longer-term losses.
  • SUNE is 10.3% higher at $9.13, after the company announced a new global initiative intended to optimize the company's chances for long-term profitable growth. Despite its early jump, the stock has had an extremely rough few months, plunging 73% since hitting a seven-year high of $33.45 in late July. Short interest has increased during this slump and 36% of SUNE's float is now sold short. However, 11 of the 14 analysts tracking SUNE rate it a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" in sight. Downgrades from this bullish crew could result in further downside pressure on the already struggling stock. 

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