Buzz Stocks: Navistar International Corp, Pier 1 Imports Inc, and SUPERVALU INC.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Navistar International Corp (NAV), Pier 1 Imports Inc (PIR), and SUPERVALU INC. (SVU)

Sep 8, 2016 at 9:18 AM
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U.S. stocks could struggle today, after the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to sit on its hands. Among specific equities in focus are truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV), home retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR), and grocery stock SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU).

  • NAV has slumped 3.8% in pre-market trading, just two days after gapping higher on major investment news. Pressuring the stock ahead of the open is the firm's surprising third-quarter loss and weaker-than-expected sales -- not to mention a Department of Defense subpoena. Technically speaking, Navistar International Corp shares are sitting pretty following the aforementioned bull gap, closing yesterday at $19.02 -- and more than doubling on a year-to-date basis. Yet, short interest on the stock is sky-high. Specifically, 23% of NAV's float is sold short, representing 12 days' worth of trading activity, at the equity's typical volumes.
  • PIR is even worse off, cratering 13.5% in electronic trading on weak preliminary second-quarter results, including a 4.3% drop in same-store sales. What's more, CEO Alex Smith will abandon his post by year-end. Also shaking Pier 1 Imports Inc shares, Oppenheimer, Raymond James, and Credit Suisse lowered their ratings, while a handful of other analysts slashed their price targets. Since topping out at $7.70 in mid-April, the stock has been battered, settling Wednesday at $4.80. Not surprisingly, PIR's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is a top-heavy 6.53 -- only 8 percentage points from an annual peak.
  • SVU could be today's Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM). The latter sparked a sector-wide sell-off yesterday on a profit warning, and SUPERVALU INC. could now do the same. The budget grocery chain cited "softer than previously anticipated" second-quarter retail sales, and downwardly adjusted its full-year outlook. As such, SVU is off 9.5% ahead of the bell, and has already surrendered 19.3% year-to-date to trade at $5.47. This should come as good news to options traders, who have been betting more pessimistically than usual of late. The stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.72 ranks in the bearishly skewed 83rd percentile of its annual range.

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