Buzz Stocks: H & R Block Inc, Global Blood Therapeutics Inc, and Tesla Motors Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include H & R Block Inc (HRB), Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (GBT), and Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jun 10, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Global woes and sinking crude oil are weighing on U.S. stocks this morning. Among equities in focus today are tax specialist H & R Block Inc (NYSE:HRB), biotech stock Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT), and electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

  • HRB is up 1.3% at $21.83, after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations, and announced it would boost its quarterly dividend to 22 cents per share. Longer term, H & R Block Inc has had a rough year, giving up 34% in 2016. That said, today's upbeat news could send bears to the exits. Short interest on HRB has been on the rise for months, and now accounts for more than 10% of the stock's total float. Options traders have been betting against HRB more than usual, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.97 ranks higher than 94% of the past year's readings.
  • GBT has added 7% to trade at $23.69, on news of positive results in an early trial of its sickle-cell disease treatment. While all three covering analysts already hold "buy" or better ratings on Global Blood Therapeutics Inc, the stock could stand to benefit from a short-squeeze situation. Specifically, the 16.2% of GBT's total float sold short would take nearly eight sessions to buy back, at the stock's typical daily pace. The shares are still off 45% relative to their closing price on their first day of public trading last August. However, GBT seems to have found an ally in the form of its 80-day moving average, which has provided support since early April -- with the stock moving steadily higher since then.
  • TSLA is sitting 1.6% lower at $225.68, as the company battles claims that there may be a defect in the suspension of its Model S sedan. Tesla Motors Inc has also denied accusations that it's dissuaded customers from reporting the issue, calling them "preposterous." This morning's dip may have a recent string of option bulls biting their nails. The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX has risen to 1.28, in the 83rd percentile of its annual range. With the loss, TSLA shares are now down 6% year-to-date.
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