Buzz Stocks: XOMA Corp, OvaScience Inc, and Baidu Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA), OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS), Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU)

Dec 22, 2016 at 9:26 AM
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U.S. stock futures are hovering near breakeven this morning, despite a better-than-expected reading on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). Among specific equities in the spotlight today are drug stocks XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA) and OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS), as well as search specialist Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU). Here's a quick look at what's driving XOMA, OVAS, and BIDU.

  • XOMA is up 16% in pre-market trading, amid news the company has named Jim Neal as its CEO, cut 57 jobs, and agreed to two royalty interest acquisitions with Healthcare Royalty Partners II. This would be a rare upside move for a stock that's been crushed in 2016, with the shares sliding almost 80% to trade at $5.50, hitting an all-time low of $4.70 back in October. In the meantime, analysts have taken a mostly wait-and-see approach, with all five covering brokerage firms rating XOMA Corp a "hold." 

  • OVAS is on pace to lose nearly one-third of its value when the market opens, after the company last night announced a major restructuring that includes reducing its workforce by 30%, leading to the departure of its CEO and COO. Like XOMA, OvaScience Inc has performed terribly in 2016, shedding 70% of its value and hitting record lows earlier this month, before settling Wednesday at $2.97. Short sellers have evidently been cashing in amid the stock's decline, too, as short interest on OVAS has been falling steadily since peaking in October 2015. Still, 15% of the equity's float remains wrapped up in short interest. 

  • News that BIDU could be planning an initial public offering (IPO) for, its streaming video site, has the stock pointed 1% lower in electronic trading. At $163.92, the shares have underperformed in recent weeks, falling since their near-term peak of $197.80 from late September. Short-term options traders have thus taken a put-skewed stance. This is according to Baidu Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.21, which ranks in the 93rd percentile of its annual range. 

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