Buzz Stocks: Alphabet Inc, DISH Network Corp, and Lexmark International Inc

Today's stocks to watch include Alphabet Inc (GOOGL), DISH Network Corp (DISH), and Lexmark International Inc (LXK)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 20, 2016 at 9:25 AM

U.S. stocks are signaling a flat start, as traders react to the latest blue-chip earnings reports. Among equities in focus today are tech giant Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), TV programming peddler DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), and printing specialist Lexmark International Inc (NYSE:LXK).

  • European Union (EU) antitrust regulators officially charged GOOGL with abusing its "dominant" position in the mobile market via its Android operating system. "Based on our investigation thus far, we believe that Google's behavior denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players," said Margrethe Vestager, antitrust commissioner for the EU. Of course, this bad press didn't stop Moffett Nathanson from bumping its price target on Alphabet Inc stock up to $900, representing all-time-high territory. This enthusiasm is common among the brokerage crowd, as 31 of 33 analysts rate the shares a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" opinion to be found. Last night, GOOGL settled at $776.25, just below its year-to-date breakeven mark. Coming up tomorrow night, the tech firm will report first-quarter earnings.
  • In the throes of a carriage-deal dispute with Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), DISH delivered better-than-expected quarterly earnings per share, but revenue fell just shy of the consensus estimate, due to a steeper-than-forecast drop-off in pay-TV subscribers. Ahead of the bell, DISH Network Corp is pointed 4% higher. Longer term, 2016 has been a bloodbath for the stock, which is down more than 17% to trade at $47.32. Not surprisingly, short-term options traders are far more put-focused than usual at the moment. DISH's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.19 ranks just 2 percentage points from a 12-month high.
  • LXK is signaling a more than 10% jump at the open, after the firm agreed to be bought by a consortium of Chinese investors, led by Apex Technology, for $3.6 billion, or $40.50 per share. Last night, the stock settled at $34.66, but its expected gap higher will put it in territory not charted since July. Call buying has been all the rage lately at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Lexmark International Inc's 10-day call/put volume ratio across those exchanges is 109.93, which ranks in the 93rd percentile of its annual range.
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