Buzz Stocks: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Kohl's Corporation, and Himax Technologies, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA), Kohl's Corporation (KSS), and Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR) (HIMX)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Aug 11, 2016 at 9:09 AM
Updated on Aug 11, 2016 at 9:18 AM

U.S. stocks are pointed higher ahead of the bell, boosted by an upbeat round of earnings. Among equities in focus today are retail stocks Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS), as well as semiconductor firm Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HIMX)

  • BABA is surging in pre-market trading, after the e-tailer's upbeat earnings report -- including a nearly 120% year-over-year increase in mobile revenue. In electronic trading, the stock was last seen 5.8% higher, putting it on track to top yesterday's annual high. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd could be on the verge of a short-squeeze situation, too. An astounding 100 million shares are sold short, which would take two weeks to cover, at the stock's average daily trading levels. Last night, BABA settled at $87.33.
  • KSS reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, sending the stock up 9% pre-market, after yesterday's close at $38.04. That said, the retailer also cut its full-year earnings outlook. Assuming Kohl's Corporation shares gap up, they'll open in the $41-$42 area, which recently proved a layer of resistance. Notably, this level corresponds with the stock's settlement prior to a pair of bear gaps in early May, triggered by the company's annual shareholders meeting and earnings announcement. Options traders have been betting on KSS to break out in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio registers at a top-heavy 2.75 -- just 10 percentage points from an annual peak, with long calls nearly tripling puts.
  • HIMX is fresh off an encouraging earnings report, which has the stock pointed 10% higher ahead of the bell. This is a much needed change of pace for the shares, which have been stair-stepping lower since their late-March highs at $12, finishing Wednesday at $8.13. Suffice it to say, Himax Technologies, Inc. short sellers are likely on pins and needles. A lofty 15% of the stock's float is sold short, representing two weeks' worth of pent-up buying power, at HIMX's usual trading levels.

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