Buzz Stocks: Apple Inc., Allergan plc, and Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc

Today's stocks to watch include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN), and Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL)

by Josh Selway

Published on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Domestic equity benchmarks are in the black this morning, as oil futures surge higher. Meanwhile, tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), pharmaceutical stock Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN), and hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) are among the equities in focus today.

  • The battle between AAPL and the government over the tech giant's ability and willingness to unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters from the San Bernardino terrorist attack is heating up. Apple Inc. has until Friday to counter a court order requiring the firm to offer "reasonable technical assistance" to the FBI, while CEO Tim Cook has been invited to Washington to testify on the company's behalf. AAPL released a letter to its customers last week, but presidential candidate Donald Trump still suggested consumers should boycott the company. Despite all this, the shares up 0.3% at $96.37 this morning, likely disappointing a recent crop of option bears. If this technical strength persists, AAPL could see additional upside from an unwinding of this option trader pessimism. 
  • AGN has gained 1.2% this morning at $278.52, after the company's fourth-quarter earnings topped the Street's expectations. Today's pop probably didn't surprise analysts, since 92% have "buy" or better ratings on the stock, despite its 10.9% year-to-date slide. Options traders have also been extremely bullish toward Allergan plc. AGN's 10-day call/put volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 3.66. 
  • LL is getting crushed by a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that claims customers exposed to the company's formaldehyde-laden flooring are at a greater risk to cancer than previously suspected. The stock has given back 20.6% at $11.28. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc has given back almost 84% year-over-year, and could face further pressure on the charts amid a fresh round of bearish analyst attention. Specifically, not one of the 11 brokerage firms covering LL says it's a "sell." 
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