J C Penney, Cempra, Accelerate Diagnostics News Today

J C Penney Company Inc (JCP), Cempra Inc (CEMP), and Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (AXDX) are making headlines today

Feb 24, 2017 at 9:52 AM
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U.S. stocks are lower, pressured by weak oil prices. Among specific equities in focus today are retailer J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), biotech Cempra Inc (NASDAQ:CEMP), and diagnostic specialist Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:AXDX). Here's a quick look at the news driving JCP, CEMP, and AXDX shares.

J C Penney to Close Stores

JCP is trading 4.1% lower at $6.58, after the retailer reported weaker-than-expected same-store sales and announced the closure of 130 to 140 stores in the next few months. JCP will also offer early retirement to 6,000 employees. Shares of the struggling department store chain are down 38% since their near-term December peak and within a chip-shot of a new annual low. Near-term JCP options players are likely disappointed, as they're currently more call-skewed than at any other point in the last 12 months, with JCP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.62 at an annual peak.

Cempra Investors Celebrate Drug Trial Win

CEMP is up 44.3% at $4.54, following a drug trial win, with the biotech's bacterial skin infection drug meeting the main goal of its late-stage trial. In spite of today's big win, CEMP is set to topple its 50-day moving average for the first time since October -- a "buy" signal, historically -- but could struggle to fill its late-December bear gap, which stemmed from an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejection of Cempra Inc's pneumonia drug. Plus, the stock is still down more than 74% year-over-year, largely thanks to an early November bear gap that resulted in CEMP's worst single-day plunge ever. Understandably, analysts have been lukewarm at best toward the stumbling drug stock, with all 14 rating the shares "hold" or worse.

Accelerate Diagnotics Gets Green Light For Blood Test Kit

AXDX is trading 17% higher at $28.77, after the diagnostic specialist received approval from the FDA to market its PhenoTest BC Kit, which is the first test of its kind. Today's jump helped Accelerate Diagnostics Inc shares notch a new annual high of $29.40, with the stock up more than 150% year-over-year. However, short sellers may be sweating, with short interest accounting for 37.2% of AXDX's float. It would take more than two months, or 40 sessions of trading, to cover all of these shorted shares, at AXDX's average daily volume.

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