2 Stocks Spiraling Lower Amid Tweetstorms

Short seller: HIIQ stock could fall below $1

Sep 11, 2017 at 2:27 PM
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U.S. stocks are trading higher this afternoon, with the Dow up over 200 points and pacing to end above the 22,000 level for the first time in almost a month. Among the stocks swimming in the red today are medical technology company Pulse Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:PLSE), insurance stock Health Insurance Innovations Inc (NASDAQ:HIIQ), and credit bureau Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX). Here's a quick look at what is moving shares of PLSE, HIIQ, and EFX.

Pulse Biosciences Stock Tanks After Company Pulls Marketing Application

Shares of Pulse Biosciences are down 15.7% to trade at $16.49, after the company withdrew its marketing application for its PulseTx medical device -- a nano-pulse stimulation platform -- due to a lack of required data. The medical technology company plans to resubmit an application for the device to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next few months.

Today's drop sent PLSE to an intraday low of $11.77 -- territory it hasn't visited since February -- and the shares were briefly halted in early trading. Ranking among the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today, PLSE is poised to close below its 200-day moving average for just the third time ever. The stock -- which was red-hot in the first half of 2017 -- has dropped 58% since touching a record high of $39.50 in June, but remains 153% higher year-to-date.

Plenty of shorts are likely cheering today's decline, as short interest represents roughly 22% of PLSE's total available float. At the equity's average daily trading volume, it would take more than seven sessions to cover the shorted shares. However, Pulse Biosciences stock is on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list today.

HIIQ Falls After Mox Reports Tweets Short Position

The worst stock on the Nasdaq today is Health Insurance Innovations, last seen down 28.4% at $21.35. HIIQ shares are down after activist Mox Reports tweeted that it's shorting the stock, citing potential fraud penalties of more than $100 million and an "undisclosed 'domino effect.'" In addition, Mox said HIIQ could drop below $1 and face delisting.

HIIQ shares hit a record high of $37.37 on Aug. 30, but have since dropped 47% to today's intraday low of $19.70. Now, HIIQ is trading near its 200-day moving average -- a trendline the stock hasn't touched since last November. HIIQ could be vulnerable to bearish brokerage notes, as five of the six analysts following the stock rate it a "strong buy," and not one rates it a "sell." 

Equifax Continues to Sink on Senator's Tweetstorm

Last seen down 8% at $113.43 -- and ranking among the worst on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) -- is Equifax stock. EFX shares on Friday gapped lower on news of a massive data breach that compromised personal information of 143 million U.S. customers, and a scathing tweetstorm from a U.S. Senator isn't helping matters today. Among the many tweets to Equifax today, Hawaii's Brian Schatz asked, "Why did senior executives liquidate their stock after finding out what happened?"

Now down 4.3% in 2017, EFX is pacing for its second straight close below its 200-day moving average since February. Short-term option players have rarely been more put-heavy, as evidenced by EFX's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 4.98, which stands just 4 percentage points from an annual high.

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