Buzz Stocks: Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Zafgen Inc, and Apple Inc.

Today's stocks to watch include Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS), Zafgen Inc (ZFGN), and Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Jan 20, 2016 at 9:26 AM
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U.S. stocks are headed for a rough start, due to a global sell-off and sinking crude prices. Among the equities in focus are financial concern Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), biotech issue Zafgen Inc (NASDAQ:ZFGN), and tech blue chip Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). 

  • After reporting quarterly earnings this morning, GS is pointed 1.6% lower from its Tuesday close of $156.82. Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported revenue that beat expectations on the Street, but a $5 billion settlement payment ate into earnings. The company recently reached the settlement with the Department of Justice and other law enforcement as a result of its mortgage practices leading up to the financial crisis. Today's dismal report will have GS option bulls sweating -- the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.30 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands higher than 92% of all readings from the past year.
  • ZFGN is ready to surge 40.9% at the open, after finishing Tuesday at $5.62 -- not far above an all-time low of $5.34, hit last week. Zafgen Inc has been floundering amid a scandal, as two patients died in a trial for its new obesity drug. But today the company released positive data on the same drug, which was successful in treating patients with Prader-Willi syndrome before the trial was halted. ZFGN is sending its study results to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for consideration, but some traders are hoping the rally will be short lived. Short interest on the security spiked 42% during the last two reporting periods, and currently accounts for more than 18% of ZFGN's total available float.
  • Amid concerns of slowing sales growth, AAPL has applied to open stores in India -- a plan that doesn't seem to have traders especially excited, as Apple Inc. is pointed 1.2% lower ahead of the bell. The stock has been struggling over the past few months, and could open around $95 -- a level the shares haven't explored since the late-August swoon. AAPL has been heating up in the option pits lately, with call open interest at an annual high. And outside the options market, sentiment seems to be improving -- short interest on AAPL fell 37% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now accounts for just 1.2% of the stock's available float. AAPL closed at $96.66 on Tuesday.

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