Paypal Hits Record High; Gap Shares Slide Amid Retail Slump

Gap stock is sliding as Abercrombie & Fitch stock plummets

Patrick Martin
Jul 10, 2017 at 3:12 PM
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U.S. stocks are slightly higher, but have traded on both sides of the coin today. Digital payments platform Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) stock is surging today, while retailer Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) struggles in step with Abercrombie stock. Meanwhile, fertilizer producer Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT) is trading comfortably in the black amid soaring corn prices. Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of PYPL, GPS, and POT.

Upgrade Sends Paypal Stock Higher

Paypal stock is up 2% to trade at $54.98 -- and just touched a record high of $55.42 -- after Bernstein upgraded its opinion to "outperform" from "market perform," and raised its price target to $61 from $46. The analysts waxed optimistic on the growth of the firm's "Pay with Paypal" checkout button and partnerships with Wells Fargo and Google.

It's been a banner year for Paypal stock, which is up 39% year-to-date. Most analysts already seem to favor the stock, too. Of the 30 brokerages covering PYPL, 21 rate it a "buy" or better.

Gap Shares Sliding As Retail Stocks Suffer

Gap shares are down 6% to trade at $21.27 -- and just off an annual low of $21.02 -- among the worst on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) today, as retail stocks feel the heat from Abercrombie & Fitch's rough day. The drop today takes GPS shares out of the green for the year, and below recent support in the $22 neighborhood.

In the options pit, GPS traders are flocking to puts. Gap's total option volume is nine times the average intraday pace, with over 40,000 puts and 8,000 calls traded. There is particular interest in the July 21 and 21.50 puts, while the weekly 7/14 21-strike put is most active, likely amid buy-to-open activity.

Potash Stock Sprouts Gains as Corn Futures Jump

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan stock is up 7% to trade at $17.44, as many fertilizer stocks rally with corn futures. POT stock is now pacing to end atop its 200-day moving average for the first time since mid-March, though the shares remain 3.5% lower year-to-date.

Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows POT with a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.35, which ranks in the 94th percentile of its annual range. This means that puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip for Potash Corp options.

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