Buzz Stocks: Mylan NV, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Herbalife Ltd.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Mylan NV (MYL), Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (INO), and Herbalife Ltd. (HLF)

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 29, 2016 at 9:47 AM

U.S. stocks are higher out of the gate, as traders digest the latest update on inflation. Among specific equities in focus are biotech stocks Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO), as well as Bill Ackman foe Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).

  • Following last week's EpiPen price-gouging outrage, MYL said it will launch a generic version of its anaphylaxis treatment at a discounted price. While the stock is up 2.2% at $43.97 -- paring its year-to-date deficit to 19% -- this price move could be stymied in the $44 region, an area that has served as both support and resistance in 2016. Short sellers, meanwhile, have been quick to jump ship. Short interest plunged more than 24% in the last two-week reporting period. However, it would still take almost four sessions to cover the remaining 21.8 million shorted shares, at Mylan NV's average pace of trading.

  • INO said it has kicked off a clinical study of its Zika vaccine in Puerto Rico -- where a widespread outbreak of the virus has created a public health emergency. As a result, the shares are up 6.3% out of the gate at $9.41, widening their 2016 gain to 39.6%. Should the stock continue to trek higher, it could be ripe for a short-squeeze. Short interest edged up 2.7% in the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for a whopping 20% of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc's available float. At the equity's average pace of trading, it would take almost eight days to cover these bearish bets. In other Zika news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Switzerland-based Roche Holding "emergency use authorization" of its Zika test.

  • Carl Icahn's faith in HLF was called into question last week, although he has since refuted claims he tried to sell his shares to a group that included notorious Herbalife Ltd. short Bill Ackman. Icahn also said he continues "to believe in Herbalife," and has bought an additional 2.3 million shares in the firm. Additionally, Icahn believes Ackman has "developed a very bad case of Herbalife obsession." Against this backdrop, the stock is up 2.5% at $62.96. Longer term, HLF has added 49% since hitting an annual low of $42.26 in mid-February, and took a sharp bounce off its 200-day moving average on Friday. Put buyers have been active, though, and at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), HLF's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.41 ranks in the 78th annual percentile.

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