Altria, Amazon, Catabasis News Today

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Altria Group Inc (MO), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), and Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc (CATB)

Feb 1, 2017 at 10:02 AM
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U.S. stocks are higher, after a better-than-expected ADP employment report. Among specific equities in the spotlight are tobacco company Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), e-tail behemoth Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and biotech stock Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CATB). Here's a quick look at what's driving MO, AMZN, and CATB.

Altria Falls On Forecast

MO is trading down 2% at $69.76, after announcing weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and issuing 2017 guidance under analyst expectations. Still, Altria shares have managed to recover more than 14% from their post-election lows, and just yesterday notched a record high of $71.44. In the option pits, near-term traders have been more call-skewed than usual, with Altria Group Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.55 sitting in just the 19th percentile of its annual range.

Amazon to Open New Cincinnati Shipping Hub

AMZN -- which reports earnings tomorrow -- is up 0.8% at $830.25, following news that the e-tail giant will open a new air cargo hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport, bringing the company one step closer to its goal of becoming an autonomous force among shipping companies. The project will cost around $1.5 billion, and will create upwards of 2,700 new jobs. AMZN is up more than 43% year-over-year, though the shares have stalled near the $840-$850 mark, home to AMZN's all-time high, notched in early October. Analyst sentiment towards Amazon.com, Inc. is mostly upbeat, with 28 of 31 rating the shares a "buy" or better.

Catabasis Plunges On DMD Drug Disappointment

CATB is down a whopping 70% at $1.22 -- and just off a new all-time low of $1.08 -- after the biotech reported disappointing mid-stage trial results for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug, edasalonexent. Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc shares also received a downgrade to "market perform" from "outperform" from Cowen and Company, as well as a brutal 87% price-target cut -- to $4 from $30. Likewise, Oppenheimer cut its target price on the shares to $11 from $18. Before today's drop, the shares had enjoyed a floor near the $3.50 mark, though the stock is now down more than 80% year-over-year. A number of short sellers are likely cheering today's drop, however, with CATB's short interest up more than 24% in the last two reporting periods.

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