Stocks On the Move: Gilead Sciences, Inc., Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., and Weight Watchers International, Inc.

GILD, OREX, and WTW are among the stocks on the move today

Jan 4, 2017 at 2:13 PM
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U.S. stocks are comfortably higher, with all eyes on the Fed meeting minutes. Among specific equities in focus today are drug stocks Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX), as well as weight-loss expert Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW). Here's a quick look at what's moving GILD, OREX, and WTW.

  • GILD has jumped 3.3% to trade at $76.61, after the drugmaker named Alessandro Riva its new oncology chief. The stock is desperate for gains, considering it was flirting with triple-digit territory this time last year. So far, the new year has rewarded Gilead Sciences, Inc., up 7% in 2017 after losing over 29% in 2016. If options traders have their druthers, this recovery will continue. GILD's 20-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at a top-heavy 4.05, with long calls quadrupling puts.
  • The top stock on the Nasdaq is OREX, shooting over 64% higher at $3.40. Buoying the shares is the company's new "Brains Behind Weight Loss" campaign, aimed at demonstrating how the brain factors in to dropping weight. Despite today's bullish gap, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. has been a long-term mess on the charts. On a year-over-year basis, the stock has shed more than four-fifths of its value. Understandably, short sellers have been piling on. Roughly 21% of OREX's total float is sold short, which would take two weeks to cover, at the stock's average trading rate.
  • WTW is the top gainer on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), following a price-target hike to $28 from $25 at Sidoti & Co, which cited a "strong marketing campaign featuring the dramatic weight loss of its superstar spokesperson and investor" Oprah Winfrey. Specifically, Weight Watchers International, Inc. has gained 21% at $13.41, further bolstered by last night's Oprah tweet, in which she reiterated the efficacy of the weight-loss program. Earlier, in fact, the shares were trading north of their 320-day moving average for the first time since early August. Suffice it to say, bearish options bettors may be feeling the pain. WTW's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio sits at an annual high of 3.42.
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