Buzz Stocks: Pfizer Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc, and Angie's List Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), and Angie's List Inc (ANGI)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 1, 2016 at 10:11 AM

U.S. stocks are struggling to hold on to their pre-market gains, even after the Markit purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) hit its highest level in a year. Among specific equities in focus today are drug stocks Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), as well as consumer review service Angie's List Inc (NASDAQ:ANGI). Here's a quick look at what's driving PFE, VRX, and ANGI.

  • PFE is down 1.2% at $31.34, after the blue-chip drugmaker narrowly missed the consensus earnings estimate, and reduced its 2016 profit guidance. This is just the latest setback for the stock, which has pulled back sharply from its early August 12-year high of $37.39. Today's losses could weigh heavily on Pfizer Inc. option bulls, of which there are many. In fact, during the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), PFE has racked up a top-heavy call/put volume ratio of 10.71. Not only does this ratio indicate calls have been bought to open at nearly 11 times the rate of puts, but it also outstrips all comparable readings from the prior year -- suggesting an extreme preference for bullish bets over bearish.
  • VRX has surged 5% to trade at $18.74, after Bloomberg reported two of the drugmaker's former top executives are being investigated for accounting fraud. The early jump comes just a day after the stock touched a fresh six-year low of $17.75, and ahead of next Tuesday morning's earnings report. On the sentiment front, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc remains in the bearish crosshairs of analysts. Specifically, two-thirds of the 15 brokerage firms tracking the shares have designated them a "hold" or a "strong sell."
  • ANGI is up nearly 2% at $7.85, after the company announced its decision to explore strategic alternatives. The news is overshadowing Angie's List Inc's disappointing third-quarter earnings and revenue figures. Technically speaking, though, the stock remains on a more than 16% year-to-date deficit, and was rejected earlier by its descending 20-day moving average. If short sellers have their druthers, that trendline will continue to pressure the shares. Nine percent of the stock's float is dedicated to short interest, which would take nearly four weeks to cover, at ANGI's average daily trading volume.

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