Buzz Stocks: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Yelp Inc, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA), Yelp Inc (YELP), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

Nov 2, 2016 at 9:25 AM
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U.S. stocks are signaling a rocky start, with disappointing private payrolls data weighing on futures. Among specific equities in focus today are Chinese e-tailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), consumer review site Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), and drug stock Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). Here's a quick look at what's driving BABA, YELP, and VRX.

  • BABA reported better-than-expected earnings, and is now poised to pop 3.2% at the open. This comes just a day after the shares were pressured amid whistleblower rumblings. This morning's expected gains are nothing new for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which has advanced 24.5% year-to-date at $101.15. Meanwhile, the e-commerce stock could catch a tailwind if short sellers begin heading for the exits. Specifically, short interest accounts for 11% of BABA's float, which -- at the stock's average trading volume -- would take close to two weeks to cover.
  • YELP is perched 11.5% higher pre-market, following an unexpected quarterly profit and upbeat fourth-quarter guidance. Already at last night's close of $32.48, the shares were up nearly 13% year-to-date -- though, they've been pulling back since notching an early October annual high of $43.36. If Yelp Inc can resume its longer-term uptrend, there's room for potential analyst upgrades to add fuel to the fire. Of the 27 brokerage firms tracking the stock, 15 rate it a "hold" or a "strong sell."
  • VRX is staring at a pre-market loss of 3.6%, after the drugmaker announced it's in talks to sell its Salix stomach-drug unit and other assets. This would be more of the same for a stock that's plunged 76.5% year-to-date at $23.86. Suffice it to say, option bulls could get spooked by Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc's latest setback. During the past 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open 2.17 VRX calls for each put -- a ratio ranking just 3 percentage points from an annual high.

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