Buzz Stocks: Sears Holdings Corp, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., and Genocea Biosciences Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD), Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (HALO), and Genocea Biosciences Inc (GNCA)

Jan 5, 2017 at 9:26 AM
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U.S. stocks appear set for a slight pullback today, as traders eye a deluge of economic data. Among specific equities in the spotlight today are retail interest Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), as well as biotech stocks Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) and Genocea Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:GNCA). Here's a quick look at what's driving SHLD, HALO, and GNCA.

  • SHLD is set to add 11% at the open on news the company is selling its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK) for $900 million cash. The announcement may be welcome to shareholders, who have watched Sears Holdings Corp stair-step lower on the charts over the past year, dropping almost 55% in 2016. But short sellers could be sweating today. After all, more than 11 days' worth of buying power is controlled by these bears, going by the stock's typical volumes. SHLD finished Wednesday at $10.36.

  • Positive data from a phase 2 trial of its pancreas cancer treatment has HALO up 19% in pre-market trading. The shares could go head-to-head with familiar resistance in the $12.50-$13 region today, but as of last night's close at $10.69, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. was sitting on a 32% year-over-year loss. Traders in and out of the options pits have been busy betting against the stock of late. In addition to inflated short interest levels, HALO holds a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.39 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- just 6 percentage points from an annual bearish high.
  • GNCA is on track to add 13.4% at the bell after announcing positive data from a mid-stage trial of its herpes drug. At $4.54, Genocea Biosciences Inc is sitting just shy of its year-over-year breakeven level, which it is likely to overtake this morning. The stock is also set to break out above resistance at the 200-day moving average. Every analyst following GNCA currently recommends buying the shares, but traders have been more skeptical. Specifically, 15.8% of the drugmaker's available float is sold short, which would take a whopping six weeks to buy back, based on GNCA's average daily volumes. 

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