Buzz Stocks: Nike Inc, Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR)

Today's stocks to watch include Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS)

Mar 23, 2016 at 9:28 AM
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U.S. stocks are signaling a flat open this morning, as traders eye oil and earnings. Among equities in focus today are athletic apparel stock Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), drugmaker Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and banking firm Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS).

  • NKE is looking at a roughly 5% post-earnings drop when the market opens -- almost exactly the swing that option traders were predicting. The company's fiscal third-quarter earnings topped the Street's expectations, but revenue was slightly weaker than expected. Yet, while some brokerages trimmed their price targets on Nike Inc since yesterday's close, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs upped theirs, with the latter setting its target in all-time-high territory at $76. If the shares can shake off this potential post-earnings dip and resume their long-term trajectory, there's potential for more analysts to follow Goldman Sachs' bullish lead. Specifically, despite NKE's roughly 29% year-over-year advance to trade at $64.90, the stock's average 12-month price target stands just above at $70.81. 
  • GILD is off 2.5% in electronic trading, after a federal jury ruled against the company and in favor of fellow drug firms Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) in a patent dispute over GILD's hepatitis C treatment. MRK is now seeking over $2 billion in damages from Gilead Sciences, Inc. At $93.72, GILD was already down 7.4% in 2016, and today's potential price action could have quite a few shorts cheering. In fact, short interest on the shares jumped by nearly 70% in the past two reporting periods. 
  • CS has had a miserable year, and the banking giant is continuing its efforts to turn things around. Specifically, the firm announced additional cost-cutting efforts, saying it'll slash 2,000 more jobs, bringing the grand total to 6,000 job cuts thus far. Plus, CEO Tidjane Thiam said a first-quarter loss should be expected, but wouldn't give guidance for 2016. Ahead of the open, Credit Suisse Group AG is edging 1.8% higher -- and made strides across the pond -- but the shares have still underperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 33 percentage points in the past three months to trade at $14.75. In response, option traders have been placing bearish bets, with 1.56 puts bought to open for every call during the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). 
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