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)

Jan 22, 2016 at 9:29 AM
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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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