Buzz Stocks: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Peabody Energy Corporation, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX)

Apr 13, 2016 at 9:29 AM
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Stocks are pointed higher, on upbeat Chinese export data and a solid start to bank earnings from financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). Meanwhile, among other equities in focus today are coal interest Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), and biotech stock Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX).

  • JPM is 2.2% higher in pre-market trading after reporting first-quarter profit above expectations, despite a decline in revenue from its trading division. The stock closed at $59.28 on Tuesday, off more than 10% so far in 2016. And while analysts have been mostly optimistic -- 13 out of 18 rate JPMorgan Chase & Co. a "buy" or better -- recent put buyers may be nervous today. Should today's projected price move pan out, JPM may have to contend with overhead resistance at its 80-day moving average -- a level the shares haven't toppled on a closing basis yet this year.

  • BTU was halted in electronic trading after plummeting as much as 72% on news that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Peabody Energy Corporation, which settled at $2.07 Tuesday, has been on a five-year spiral since topping the millennium mark in early 2011, and hit a record low of $2.00 in mid-March. Bearish traders both in and out of the options pits have been quick to target the long-term laggard, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.85 is higher than 89% of all comparable readings in the past year. What's more, short interest currently accounts for over 63% of BTU's available float.

  • VRX is set to drop 2.8% at the open as traders respond to news that a large bondholder issued a notice of default after Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc missed the initial deadline to file its annual financial report. The stock ended Tuesday 2% higher at at $31.99, after the company was granted an extension to file its report, but remains 39% lower year-to-date. While short sellers have been piling on amid the equity's recent swoon, there's still plenty of room on VRX's bearish bandwagon. In fact, it would take less than one session to cover all of the stock's shorted shares.
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