United, Seadrill, Whole Foods News Today

United, Seadrill, and Whole Foods stocks are in the news today

Apr 11, 2017 at 10:08 AM
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Stocks are sinking, as traders digest geopolitical developments with Russia and North Korea. Meanwhile, among specific equities in focus are airline United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL), oil name Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL), and organic grocer Whole Foods. Here's a quick roundup of the news moving shares of UAL and SDRL, as well as WFM stock.

United Stock Sinks on Overbooked Passenger Backlash

UAL share are reeling this morning -- trading down 3.6% at $68.94 -- as United Continental Holdings Inc deals with the backlash of a video released across social media yesterday, which showed a passenger being forcibly removed from an overbooked United Airlines plane. In an emailed response to employees, United CEO Oscar Munoz labeled the passenger as "disruptive and belligerent," and said that he "emphatically" supports them. Today's decline has UAL stock testing its newfound foothold atop its 120-day moving average, and widening its year-to-date deficit to 5.4%. On the sentiment front, short-term options traders are more put-skewed than usual toward UAL, per the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.95 -- in the 92nd annual percentile.

SDRL Stock Soars After Seadrill Inks Two Drilling Contracts

The good news keeps on coming for SDRL, which was awarded two new drilling contracts. SDRL stock -- which failed to hold intraday gains after last Friday's drilling news -- was last seen trading 11% higher at $0.90. The shares could certainly use a boost, considering they were staring at a 76% year-to-date deficit heading into today's trading, and hit a record low of $0.65 on April 4. Short sellers have been pleased, too. Nearly 27% of Seadrill Ltd's float is sold short, or 4.9 times the average daily pace of trading.

WFM Stock Pulls Back After Monday's Big Jana Gains

WFM stock jumped almost 10% yesterday after an SEC filing revealed Jana Partners had acquired a significant stake in the retailer -- and could be urging Whole Foods to seek a potential sale. The shares are giving back a portion of these gains today, down 1.2% at $33.75, even after Credit Suisse raised its price target on WFM to $40 from $36. This represents a move into territory not seen since July 2015, with the stock spending most of the past six months bouncing between $28 and $33. Options traders appear to be holding out hope for more gains. WFM's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 4.10 ranks in the 78th annual percentile, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip.

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