Buzz Stocks: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford Motor Company, and Western Digital Corp

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG), Ford Motor Company (F), and Western Digital Corp (WDC)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 7, 2016 at 9:21 AM

U.S. futures are pointed slightly lower, as stocks seem to be taking their cues from oil once again. Among specific equities in focus are burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), and data storage stock Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC).

  • CMG is sizzling in electronic trading, after Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management revealed it has taken a nearly 10% stake in the restaurant operator. More generally speaking, the stock has been punished by a rash of food-safety issues since topping out last October at $757, settling yesterday at $414.07. However, ahead of the open, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is pointed 5.8% higher. Short sellers could get burned, if these gains materialize. A lofty 17.3% of CMG's float is sold short, translating to over six sessions' worth of trading, at the stock's average daily trading level.
  • F stock is up 0.4% pre-market, after the automaker posted its best-ever August sales total in China, rising 22% year-over-year. Positive fundamental developments have been hard for Ford Motor Company to find lately, triggering heavy bearish betting in the options pits. For example, the stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio rests at an annual high of 2.25. This heavy skepticism is understandable, given Ford's 10% year-to-date deficit at $12.67.
  • WDC boosted its full-year outlook, setting up its shares to rally out of the gate. Yet, from a long-term perspective, things have been ugly for the tech stock. Year-over-year, Western Digital Corp has lost 43.3% of its value, leaving it potentially vulnerable to downgrades. Despite the stock's underperformance, two-thirds of covering analysts rate the shares a "buy" or better. If the brokerage crowd begins to throw in the towel on WDC, selling pressure could be exacerbated.

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