Buzz Stocks: Apple Inc., Yahoo! Inc., and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Today's stocks to watch include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX)

Jan 6, 2016 at 9:28 AM
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U.S. stocks could be in for a tough day, after North Korea successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. Among the equities in focus are tech juggernaut Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Internet giant Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). 

  • AAPL is looking at a 2.2% drop at the open -- and a potential dip below the century mark for the first time since late August -- on reports the company is cutting back production on its iPhone 6s. Speaking more broadly, this could bring even more pain to the company's suppliers. AAPL shares have struggled in recent months, underperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 12 percentage points over the previous 40 sessions to trade at $102.71. We'll see if any of this shakes analyst confidence. Right now, 23 brokerage firms call Apple Inc. a "buy" or better, compared to nine "holds," and zero "sells." It's not all gloom and doom, though -- the company did say New Year's Day was the biggest sales day in its App Store's history
  • YHOO has given back 1.4% in electronic trading, after activist investor Starboard Value sent a letter to the company's board indicating its lack of faith in the firm's leadership and desire for front-office changes. Yahoo! Inc. has been under fire for some time now. At $32.20, YHOO is 33.7% lower year-over-year. As such, option bears have made their move. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at 1.72 -- just 1 percentage point from an annual high. 
  • Between Bill Ackman trimming his stake in the firm, and the health issues of its CEO, it's been a tough time for VRX. However, the company is at least addressing the latter issue, with reports indicating Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc has named Howard Schiller its interim CEO while Michael Pearson remains hospitalized. Ackman applauded the move, saying, "We think Howard will do an outstanding job and have enormous confidence in him." Elsewhere, Susquehanna reinstated coverage on the equity with a "neutral" rating and $105 price target, pressuring the shares 3.4% lower pre-market after they closed Tuesday at $100.86. In the meantime, option traders have kept the faith. VRX's 50-day call/put volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX is 1.44, outranking 88% of similar marks from the past year.

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