Buzz Stocks: Level 3 Communications, Inc., Baker Hughes Incorporated, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT), Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI), and Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA)

Oct 31, 2016 at 9:50 AM
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U.S. stocks are higher ahead of this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Among specific equities in focus today are telecommunications stock Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT), oil-and-gas stock Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI), and biotech Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA). Here's a quick look at what's driving LVLT, BHI, and ARIA.

  • LVLT is up 4.8% at $56.66, after news broke that Centurylink Inc (NYSE:CTL) will be purchasing the telecommunications firm in a deal valued at $34 billion. The stock has surged over 20% since last Thursday, with the shares now within a chip-shot of eight-year highs tagged in July, when a round of buyout rumors hit the Street. A number of option bears are likely kicking rocks after this announcement, with Level 3 Communications, Inc.'s (NYSE:LVLT) 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sitting in the 67th percentile of its annual range, suggesting bearish buyers have been more keen on LVLT than usual over the past two weeks.

  • In other M&A news, BHI is up 1.2% at $59.88 -- and earlier touched a new annual high of $62.16 -- after confirming chatter that it would be combining its oil-and-gas business with General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). This move puts BHI up over 28% in 2016. Near-term option traders are likely cheering today's move, with Baker Hughes Incorporated's  (NYSE:BHI) Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.73 sitting in the bottom 8% of its annual range, suggesting near-term traders have rarely been more call-skewed over the past 12 months.
  • ARIA is trading 3% higher at $9.04, following news that its New Drug Application (NDA) for lung cancer treatment brigatinib had been accepted for review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ARIA has dropped sharply since notching an annual high of $14.34 earlier this month, as lawmakers circle pharmaceutical companies regarding price hikes. In the option pits, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) puts have been hot as of late, with ARIA's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the ISE/CBOE/PHLX of 1.38 sitting higher than 89% of all other readings from the past 12 months, suggesting bearish sentiment has been more prevalent than usual.

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