Buzz Stocks: Dow Chemical Co, Freeport-McMoRan Inc, and Wynn Resorts, Limited

Today's stocks to watch include Dow Chemical Co (DOW), Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN)

Dec 9, 2015 at 9:36 AM
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After two straight days of losses, U.S. stocks are lower again, with traders' attention remaining on crude oil. Among the equities in focus are chemical specialist Dow Chemical Co (NYSE:DOW), natural resource interest Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), and casino concern Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN). 

  • DOW is up 9.7% at $55.76, and just off a decade-plus high of $55.68, amid reports that it's in merger talks with fellow chemical giant DuPont (NYSE:DD). Together, Dow Chemical Co and DuPont are valued at around $120 billion. The deal -- which would be a biggie -- could be announced this week, sources say. DOW has performed well so far this year, adding 22.5%. And on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), options traders are showing a strong bullish preference, as DOW sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.3 -- in the 98th annual percentile -- indicating more than three calls bought for each put.
  • After initially dropping in pre-market action, FCX is up 4.5% at $7.04, after the company suspended its annual dividend and cut its oil-and-gas capital expenditures (capex). Freeport-McMoRan Inc CEO James Moffett said the company is "taking further actions to strengthen our financial position during a period of weak and uncertain market conditions." Near-term options traders have been showing a heavier-than-usual preference for puts over calls lately; FCX's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.23 is higher than 85% of comparable readings from the past year. And it's little wonder -- the stock has lost about 70% of its value in 2015, despite activist investor Carl Icahn taking a major stake, and hit a 13-year low of $6.63 on Tuesday.
  • WYNN is up 8.2% at $66.87, after chairman and CEO Stephen Wynn revealed that he bought 1 million shares on the open market, bringing his total holding in the Las Vegas-based casino to 11.1 million shares, and making him the company's largest shareholder. Wynn Resorts, Limited recently edged higher despite disappointing data out of Macau, but still sits on a 54.8% year-to-date loss. Only five of 15 analysts following WYNN rate it better than a "hold," and options traders seem to agree. The stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX is 0.8 -- higher than 93% of readings in the last 12 months.

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