FTC Chatter Spooks Amazon; Plug Power Surges on Wal-Mart Partnership

PLUG shares have more than doubled in 2017

Managing Editor
Jul 21, 2017 at 10:02 AM
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U.S. stocks are lower this morning, reacting to a new batch of relatively negative earnings. Among specific equities on the move are Dow stock Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), alternative energy stock Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG), and FAANG giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of MSFT, PLUG, and AMZN.

Microsoft Stock Dips Despite Earnings Beat

Microsoft stock is down 0.4% to trade at $73.90, erasing yesterday's overnight gains, despite the company reporting revenue and earnings that exceeded expectations. The tech stock shot to a record high of $74.30 yesterday, and today received no fewer than seven price-target hikes, including a boost to $86 from $75 at BMO. It's been a steady rise this year for MSFT shares, which have tacked on 19% year-to-date. Since the stock's last test of its 80-day moving average, the shares have ended higher in nine of the last 10 sessions.

Microsoft's pullback may have been in the cards, however. MSFT sports a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 69 -- on the cusp of "overbought" territory, suggesting a short-term breather may have been due. Nevertheless, it seems Microsoft shareholders were likely picking up options insurance in the event of a retreat.

Wal-Mart Expansion Sends PLUG Stock Charging Up the Charts

Plug Power stock is up 16.2% to trade at $2.46, after the company announced an expanded collaboration with Wal-Mart Stores, where it will provide energy solutions to up to 30 more Walmart locations in the next three years. It's been a banner year for PLUG stock, which is up more than 100% year-to-date, thanks to a bull gap in April stemming from a partnership with Amazon

There are plenty of short sellers lurking around PLUG stock, however. Short interest accounts for 38.6 million shares, or close to 20% of the stock's total available float. At PLUG's average daily trading volume, it would take roughly six sessions to repurchase all of those pessimistic sessions. 

Amazon's Surge Stalled By FTC Investigation

Amazon stock is down 1% to trade at $1,017.98, amid reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into allegations of deceptive pricing. AMZN stock has had an otherwise incredible year, up 35% and shooting to a new record high of $1,034.97 yesterday. Off the charts, the e-commerce giant has been dominant, with an ever-expanding footprint bolstering new Amazon partners seemingly every week.

In the options pits, though, traders have shown an inclination for puts recently. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMZN's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.00 is in the 85th percentile of its annual range, suggesting not everyone has boarded Amazon stock's bullish bandwagon. Should the shares continue their quest for record highs -- possibly after earnings are reported next week -- an exodus of options bears could add fuel to the stock's fire.


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