Buzz Stocks: Goldman Sachs Group Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc, and IBM Corp.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Oct 18, 2016 at 9:56 AM

U.S. stocks are trading higher as stocks react to an onslaught of earnings reports. Among equities in focus today are bank stock Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), healthcare company UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), and fellow blue chip International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM).

  • GS is up 2.3% at $172.91, after delivering an earnings beat -- just the latest in a series of solid bank results. Increased trade revenue, along with cost-cutting measures, helped GS achieve its second straight quarterly win. The shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc are now trading in territory not charted since January, and have added 25% since their post-"Brexit" low of $138.20 on June 27. Some option bulls are likely cheering today's earnings win, with GS's 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 2.37 sitting in the 87th percentile of its annual than range, suggesting a larger-than-usual appetite for bullish bets of late.

  • UNH is up 5.9% at $142.09, after delivering an earnings beat and upwardly revising its full-year forecast. UNH is now up over 20% in 2016, and is within striking distance of its all-time high of $144.48, tagged in mid-July. Meanwhile, in UnitedHealth Group Inc's option pits, puts have been the name of the game as of late, with UNH's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.72 sitting in the 69th percentile of UNH's annual range.

  • IBM is sitting out the blue-chip earnings rally, down 3.9% at $148.67, after reporting its 18th straight quarter of declining revenue. Although the tech stock's revenue did beat analyst expectations, operating gross margin fell in the quarter. Since delivering earnings last night, IBM has been hit with no fewer than five price-target cuts, including a slash to $135 from $140 by Barclays. The stock is still up 8% in 2016, but is currently on pace to close below its 32-week moving average for the first time since early March. Near-term IBM traders have been especially put-skewed as of late, with International Business Machines Corp. sporting a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.29, which sits higher than 87% of all other readings from the past 12 months. 

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