Buzz Stocks: Alcoa Inc, Fastenal Company, and SAGE Therapeutics Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), and SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SAGE)

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:21 AM
Updated on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:23 AM

U.S. stocks are trekking deeper into uncharted territory, following a strong start to second-quarter earnings season. Among equities in focus today are aluminum stock Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), construction equipment supplier Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), and biotech SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SAGE).

  • AA is up 3% at $10.44, after the company reported better-than-anticipated second-quarter earnings. The shares of Alcoa Inc also received $1 price-target hikes from J.P. Morgan Securities and Stifel, to $10 and $13, respectively. Today's surge has Alcoa breaking out above $10.20, a level that has largely contained the shares since late last year. What's more, AA stock is now up 6% year-to-date. On the sentiment front, short interest fell 1.4% in the most recent reporting period, but these bearish bets still make up 10.1% of AA's float, which would take about 7.4 days to cover, at the equity's average daily volume.
  • FAST is down 3.5% at $43.78, after the company reported second-quarter earnings that missed the mark. Nevertheless, the shares of Fastenal Company are still up 7.3% year-to-date, and appear to have found a foothold in the $43.50 region -- a level that supported FAST in mid-June. Short sellers, meanwhile, have been jumping ship, with short interest down 3.4% in the last two reporting periods. However, 11.6% of FAST's float is still sold short -- or 14.6 times FAST's average daily trading volume -- leaving ample sideline cash to help boost the shares, should they resume their longer-term uptrend.
  • SAGE is up 35.8% at $45.71, after its postpartum depression drug, SAGE-547, met its mid-stage study goal. Despite this meteoric rise, SAGE has struggled over the long term, down 22% year-to-date -- and today's surge is running out of steam near the 320-day moving average, a trendline not conquered on a daily closing basis since Jan. 5. In the options pits, SAGE Therapeutic Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.57 sits at the very bottom of its annual range. In other words, short-term option players are the most call-biased they've been in the past 12 months.
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