Buzz Stocks: American Airlines Group Inc, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras, and Apple Inc.

Today's stocks to watch include American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 22, 2016 at 9:27 AM

U.S. stocks are pointing to a lower open after this morning's attacks in Brussels. Among equities in focus today are airliner American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), Brazil-based oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR), and tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

  • AAL is set to lose almost 3% when the market opens, as this morning's deadly attacks in Brussels are weighing on travel stocks. American Airlines Group Inc has cancelled at least one flight from the region in response, while refuting reports that there were explosions near its check-in desk. On the charts, the shares have rebounded with the broader market in recent weeks -- though, at $43.47, they're still down roughly 21% in the past 12 months. As such, many traders continue to bet against the stock. Over the past two reporting periods, short interest on AAL increased by over 27%.
  • PBR is down almost 3% in pre-market trading, after the company announced a greater-than-expected quarterly loss -- the largest in the firm's history, in fact. What's more, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) said it would not be paying out its dividend for the second straight year. While the shares have underperformed on a long-term basis, they have managed to outperform the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 25 percentage points in the past three months, settling at $5.64 on Monday. This recent technical strength has been met with renewed confidence from option traders. Specifically, PBR's 10-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at a bullish 1.66. 
  • A day after its much-hyped product unveilAAPL is edging lower in electronic trading. Analysts have been weighing in since yesterday's event, with Credit Suisse saying the company's new iPhone SE could prove to be a "solid move for the iPhone business." Plus, at $105.91, Baird says the stock's valuation is still attractive. 

    However, it's Apple Inc.'s court case against the FBI that has Wall Street's attention this morning. That's because the government is now saying it may not need AAPL's help to unlock the iPhone in question. Today's court hearing has been postponed as a result, while AAPL's lawyer has said the company has no information on how the FBI might try to unlock the phone. All in all, the shares still appear to be comfortably atop the closely watched $100 level
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