Buzz Stocks: ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Qlik Technologies Inc

Today's stocks to watch include ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACAD), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), and Qlik Technologies Inc (QLIK)

Mar 28, 2016 at 9:30 AM
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U.S. stocks are set to follow crude futures higher this morning. Among equities in focus today are drugmaker ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD), as well as tech stocks Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Qlik Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:QLIK)

  • ACAD's Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP) drug, Nuplazid, was found to be effective, according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff members. J.P. Morgan Securities now believes approval is "likely" on the eve of tomorrow's crucial FDA meeting, given the "noted unmet need and the lack of any formally approved products for PDP." As such, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares are pointed nearly 15% higher in pre-market trading, after settling at $20.31 last Thursday. This represents a change of pace for the drug stock, which has surrendered 43% of its value year-to-date. On the sentiment front, option traders could get burnt by a gap higher. ACAD's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.43 across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks just 5 percentage points from an annual peak.
  • MSFT is reportedly in talks with private equity firms about teaming up on a buyout bid for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), which has been looking to unload assets. On the charts, Microsoft Corporation has been rallying since bouncing off its 200-day moving average in early February, up roughly 10% to trade at $54.21 -- a stone's throw from its late-December 16-year high of $56.85. Short-term option traders apparently have high hopes. MSFT's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 0.50, with calls doubling puts among options expiring in the next three months. Plus, the SOIR sits below 88% of all other readings from the past year, confirming the call bias. Likewise, the brokerage crowd remains decidedly bullish toward Microsoft.
  • QLIK is poised to jump 8.2% out of the gate, following reports the company has begun exploring strategic alternatives -- including a possible sale. Adding fuel to the fire, Baird, SunTrust Robinson, and RBC each raised their price targets on the stock. Meanwhile, at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, traders have been placing bearish bets over bullish at a rapid-fire rate, based on Qlik Technologies Inc's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 4.86 -- outstripping 92% of comparable readings from the last 12 months. QLIK settled at $26.69 last Thursday, up 69% from its five-year low of $15.77 on Feb. 12.
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