Buzz Stocks: Priceline Group Inc, Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc., and Apache Corporation

Today's stocks to watch include Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. (NYSE:PCL), and Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA)

Nov 9, 2015 at 10:13 AM
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U.S. stocks are lower this morning, after a major organization warned of a global economic slowdown. Among the equities in focus are online travel service Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), timber firm Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. (NYSE:PCL), and energy stock Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA).

  • PCLN is off 5.9% this morning at $1,364.27, in light of the firm's lower-than-expected current-quarter profit outlook -- which is overshadowing upbeat third-quarter results. This is likely making for a disappointing morning for the stock's option traders. Priceline Group Inc's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.51 is only 5 percentage points from an annual high, pointing to a near-extreme appetite for call buying lately. On the charts, PCLN is now set to close below its 10-day moving average -- which had been a steady level of support -- for the first time since Oct. 1. 
  • PCL has jumped 13.5% to $45.70 -- and earlier hit a nearly two-year peak of $46.70 -- on news the company will be bought by sector peer Weyerhaeuser Co (NYSE:WY) for over $8 billion. This is a brutal development for short sellers, as it would currently take close to three weeks for these bears to cover their bets, at the equity's typical trading levels. On the charts, Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. has gapped above the $41.50 area, which had acted as a technical speed bump for the better part of the last five months.
  • APA is up 10.5% to $52.69, after Bloomberg reported the company rejected an unsolicited takeover bid valued at over $18 billion from an unidentified buyer. Adding to the bullish price action, KLR Group bumped its price target on the security up to $72. Short-term option traders appear to be well-positioned for the news. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.57 is only 7 percentage points from an annual low, meaning speculators are more call-skewed than normal, when looking at options expiring in the next three months. This may have something to do with Apache Corporation's recent strength. Since hitting a decade-plus low of $35.79 on Sept. 29, the shares have added over 47%. 

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