Buzz Stocks: Sunedison Inc, Freeport-McMoRan Inc, and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras

Today's stocks to watch include Sunedison Inc (SUNE), Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX), and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (PBR)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 4, 2016 at 9:55 AM

U.S. stocks have turned lower, after an initial tick higher following today's nonfarm payrolls report. Among equities in focus are solar energy stock Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE), natural resource concern Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), and Brazil-based oil interest Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR).

  • SUNE has surged 17% to $1.78, after the company announced a settlement in which it will pay $28.5 million to resolve all disputes concerning the termination of Sunedison Inc's plans to purchase Latin American Power Holding. The stock had been struggling this week, after the company announced a delay in its annual financial report and suspended its quarterly dividend. But today's rally could run out of steam at SUNE's 10-week moving average, which has led the shares more than 94% lower during the past nine months. Considering the stock's long-term struggles, it's not surprising to find 43% of SUNE's available float is wrapped up in short interest.
  • FCX is up 2.9% at $9.38, after Lundin Mining Corporation entered an agreement to purchase Freeport-McMoRan Inc's stake in the Timok project for up to $263 million. FCX has been a strong performer 2016, up 36.8%, and a short squeeze could add fuel to the fire. Short interest accounts for more than 18% of the stock's total float. Plus, the shares could stand to benefit from some renewed optimism among analysts, too, as 11 out of 14 brokerages still rate the equity a lukewarm "hold."
  • PBR is 11.9% higher at $5.28 today, bringing its year-to-date gain to 20.4%, with Brazil-exposed stocks gaining ground. Brazil's former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was detained for questioning this morning, as police investigate a bribery and money laundering scheme that they say financed the ex-leader's rise to power, along with that of his political party. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has been making a series of lower highs and lows for the past six years, and touched a 13-year low of $2.71 in late January. But the shares are on pace for a whopping 54% weekly gain, rallying yesterday amid reports that its board approved talks to sell its stake in Petrobras Argentina. PBR could be in for a round of upgrades if the rally continues -- currently, not a single analyst rates the stock better than a "hold."
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