Buzz Stocks: Amazon.com, Inc., Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and CIGNA Corporation

Today's stocks to watch include Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), and CIGNA Corporation (CI)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jan 22, 2016 at 9:29 AM

As crude oil bounces back above $31 a barrel, U.S. stocks are set to start the day strong. Among the equities in focus are Internet retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), energy interest Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), and healthcare concern CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI). 

  • AMZN is poised to pop 2.5% at the open, after announcing that it will create thousands of jobs in Europe this year as it ramps up its expansion on the continent. Amazon.com, Inc., which closed Thursday at $575.02, has shed more than 17% since hitting an all-time high in late December. But option traders appear ready for a rebound -- at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX, the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.40 is higher than 94% of all readings from the past year. Analysts haven't been spooked by the shares' slump, either; 26 out of 32 still call AMZN a "buy" or better. The company will report quarterly earnings next Thursday.
  • News that the company will suspend preferred dividends in order to pay down debt has CHK pointed 6.4% higher in pre-market trading. Chesapeake Energy Corporation has been falling hard on the charts since mid-2014, and hit a 15-year low of $2.69 on Wednesday. The stock is far from a favorite with the brokerage crowd -- of 19 analysts providing coverage, only two rate it better than a "hold," with seven handing out "sell" ratings or worse. Meanwhile, today's rally could have some short sellers spooked. Currently, almost 42% of CHK's total available float is sold short, accounting for more than two full weeks of trading, at typical volumes. The stock settled at $3.55 on Thursday.
  • CI is down 2.5% ahead of the bell, on news that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) imposed sanctions, suspending enrollment for new customers in CIGNA Corporation's Medicare Advantage and other programs. CI, which settled at $140.13 on Thursday, added more than 40% in 2015, hitting an all-time high in June. And while the shares have pulled back some 18% since then, the equity has still outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 17 percentage points over the last three months. Near-term traders have been exceptionally put-heavy lately, however. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.50 is just 1 percentage point shy of an annual high. 

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