Buzz Stocks: Best Buy Co Inc, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Western Refining, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Best Buy Co Inc (BBY), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), and Western Refining, Inc. (WNR)

Nov 17, 2016 at 9:17 AM
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U.S. stocks look like they'll get off to a mixed start, amid a raft of economic data. Among specific equities in focus today are retail stocks Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), as well as energy interest Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR). Here's a quick look at what's driving BBY, WMT, and WNR.

  • BBY is set to gap nearly 7% higher out of the gate, after the retailer's earnings results and same-store sales came in better than expected. Yesterday, the stock hit an annual high of $40.60 before settling at $40.45, on a 34.7% year-to-date gain. Based on Best Buy Co Inc's technical strength, it's surprising to see how bearishly aligned the brokerage community is. Specifically, 11 of 15 analysts rate BBY a "hold" or worse.
  • WMT posted an earnings beat, but its comparable-store sales fell short of estimates. The news isn't being well received on Wall Street, with the shares down nearly 3% in electronic trading. Longer term, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has struggled since flirting with the key $75 level in mid-August, down 5% at $71.39. Options traders have nonetheless been bullish. During the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators have bought to open 2.37 WMT calls for every put -- a ratio ranking in the 81st percentile of its annual range. If the retailer can't right its proverbial ship, a capitulation among bullish bettors could translate into headwinds.
  • WNR is up nearly 22% ahead of the bell, after Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) agreed to buy the oil refiner for over $4 billion, or $37.30 per share. This is a home run for Western Refining, Inc. shareholders, who have watched the stock drop over 14% year-to-date at $30.50. Bullish options speculators should be in celebration mode, too. WNR sports a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 14.56, registering just 13 percentage points from an annual high.

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