Buzz Stocks: Duke Energy Corp, General Motors Company, and Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR)

Today's stocks to watch include Duke Energy Corp (DUK), General Motors Company (GM), and Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR) (CTRP)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Oct 26, 2015 at 10:06 AM

U.S. stocks are mixed this morning, due to a case of pre-Fed jitters. Among the equities in focus are energy firm Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK), automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and China-based travel service provider Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR)(NASDAQ:CTRP).

  • DUK is 2.4% lower at $71.95, after announcing that it is going to purchase Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NYSE:PNY) for roughly $4.9 billion. Duke Energy Corp offered $60 in cash for each PNY share -- a nearly 42% premium over PNY's Friday close. Shares of DUK have shed 13.9% in 2015, wilting under pressure from their 10-month moving average. Option bulls aren't deterred by stock's price weakness. The equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio checks in at 5.08, in the 98th percentile of readings taken in the past year. 
  • GM inched 0.8% lower to $35.68, even as it reached a tentative last-minute deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union to avert a strike. General Motors Company and the UAW reached the agreement at 11:43 PM ET Sunday, minutes before the union would be eligible to call a strike against the automaker. UAW will present the tentative deal to its national council on Wednesday, and -- if approved -- it could go to GM's 52,500 UAW-represented workers for a vote. Not long ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) secured a deal with the UAW. While GM has advanced roughly 45% since August's three-year low of $24.62 -- helped by last week's earnings report -- pessimism rules the option pits. GM's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the ISE/CBOE/PHLX of 0.97 is higher than 92% of the readings taken in the past 52 weeks.
  • CTRP jumped 25% to $92.92 -- and hit an all-time high of $97.29 -- bringing its year-to-date gain to 103%, thanks to news that it will team up with rival Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd (NASDAQ:QUNR). QUNR's largest shareholder, Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) will swap shares with Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR), giving CTRP a 45% voting interest in QUNR. As a result of the swap, BIDU will own 25% of CTRP. This news could cause some tension in the options pits, as CTRP's 50-day put/call volume ratio on the ISE/CBOE/PHLX comes in at 1.33, in the 99th percentile of its annual range. 

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