Buzz Stocks: Tesla Motors Inc, Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Today's stocks to watch include Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA), Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (LL), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Nov 4, 2015 at 9:28 AM

U.S. stocks are set to extend their upward momentum, ahead of a busy day of Fed speeches and economic data. Among the equities in focus are electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL), and embattled biotech Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX).

  • After settling yesterday at $208.35, TSLA is poised to soar 8.4% -- and above recent resistance at its 10- and 20-day moving averages -- despite the company reporting its biggest loss in 10 quarters. Instead, traders are apparently cheering CEO Elon Musk's reports that Model X sales are up 50% year-over-year, Gigafactory production is ramping up ahead of schedule, and the company is "positioned for strong growth" in 2016. In addition, Tesla Motors Inc named former Google exec Jason Wheeler its new chief financial officer. TSLA's recent crop of option buyers will likely be pleased with the expected post-earnings ascent. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.15 on Tuesday stood higher than 74% of the readings taken in the past year, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls over puts ahead of the automaker's quarterly results. 
  • LL initially retreated after reporting a steeper-than-expected quarterly loss and naming a new CEO, but the stock has since reversed course to sit 5.4% higher ahead of the bell. Still, LL shares should remain more than 75% lower year-to-date, with most of those losses stemming from a damning "60 Minutes" report on unsafe China-made flooring, which originally aired back in March. Nevertheless, option buyers were upping the bullish ante ahead of earnings; the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.43 registers in the 75th percentile of its annual range. On Tuesday, LL settled at $14.22.
  • VRX -- also no stranger to scandal -- is headed for a 1.1% leap at the bell, even as a U.S. Senate panel launched a probe into inflated drug pricing, requesting documents from Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc, among others. Perhaps traders were encouraged by comments from activist investor Carl Icahn, who last night hinted that he might have a stake in VRX. On the charts, VRX has suffered tremendously since accusations of fraud by Citron Research, and the shares hit a two-year low of $88.50 on Oct. 21. Since then, VRX has attempted to battle back, but remains south of the century mark, ending at $97.86 yesterday. In the wake of all the drama, short interest on VRX spiked 81.5% during the past two reporting periods, but still accounts for only 3.4% of the stock's total available float.

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