Buzz Stocks: Monsanto Company, Herbalife Ltd., and Ford Motor Company

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)

Sep 14, 2016 at 9:21 AM
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U.S. stock futures are higher, as oil bounces back from yesterday's steep sell-off. Among specific names in focus are fertilizer firm Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), Bill Ackman foe Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), and auto stock Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).

  • HLF has tacked on 3.3% in electronic trading, after majority shareholder Carl Icahn said he has sought permission from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to purchase as much as 50% of the nutritional supplements specialist. Additionally, Icahn said Herbalife Ltd. is "certainly a candidate to go private," and that although notorious HLF adversary Bill Ackman is "smart," it is "absurd to have a major short position" on the stock.

    Icahn and Ackman have been butting heads on HLF for some time now, and looking at the charts, it appears Icahn is currently on top. Since hitting an annual low of $42.26 in mid-February, the shares have added nearly 42% atop a trendline connecting a series of higher lows -- and closed last night at $59.84. Options traders, meanwhile, have been buying to open HLF calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.65 ranks in the 87th annual percentile.
  • F is eyeing a 1.7% drop out of the gate, after the automaker said increased costs will weigh on its 2017 financial results, and now expects the numbers to decline from 2016 levels. Today's projected price action is just more of the same for the stock, which is down 12.1% year-to-date. Plus, F's recent rally attempt was quickly halted near $12.75, with the stock settling last night at $12.38. Options traders have been quick to place bearish bets on Ford Motor Company, too. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.56 at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX sits just 4 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

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