Sprint Stock Pops on Merger Talk; Best Buy Falls on Lackluster Guidance

BBY is among the worst stocks on the NYSE after issuing unimpressive guidance for fiscal 2021

Sep 19, 2017 at 3:16 PM
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U.S. stocks are trading higher this afternoon, with the Dow set to extend its winning streak to eight sessions -- the longest since early August. Among the names in the spotlight today are telecom stock Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY), and clothing company Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS). Here's a quick look at what is moving shares of S, BBY, and GPS.

Sprint Stock Soars on Talk of T-Mobile Merger

Sprint stock is up 9.2% to trade at $8.39, amid reports the telecom is in active merger talks with T-Mobile. Sprint is no stranger to M&A chatter, though; not long ago, Charter Communications said it had "no interest" in a merger with Sprint.

Today's jump ranks Sprint as the second-most active stock by volume, and as the second-best percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). S shares are flirting with their year-to-date breakeven level -- down only 0.6% in 2017 -- and are pacing to close above their 160-day moving average for the first time in a month.

Options traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been more bullish than usual toward Sprint stock of late. S sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 14.43 -- just 2 percentage points from an annual high. In other words, near-term option players have bought more than 14 times as many S calls for every S put in the past two weeks.

Best Buy Stock Glitches on Lackluster Guidance

Among the worst stocks on the NYSE today is Best Buy stock, last seen down 7.3% to trade at $53.17, after the company reported lackluster guidance for fiscal 2021. In addition, CEO Hubert Joly warned that the company's solid second quarter may not translate into a strong holiday quarter. BBY stock reached a record high of $63.32 on Aug. 24, but is now attempting to maintain a foothold atop its 160-day moving average. Still, BBY is up roughly 39% year-over-year.,

Short interest represents 11.5% of the stock's total available float. At BBY's average daily trading volume, it would take more than four days to cover these shorted shares -- plenty of fuel for a short squeeze, should the shares resume their longer-term uptrend. BBY, however, is on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list today.

Bullish Analyst Notes Give Gap Stock a Lift

While September is a historically tough trading month for Gap stock, GPS shares are inching their way higher today, last seen up 0.4% at $27.99 -- and fresh off a year-to-date high of $28.50 -- thanks to a round of bullish analyst notes. This morning, Credit Suisse upgraded the clothing retail stock to "neutral" from "outperform," and raised its price target to $30 from $23. Telsey Advisory Group also raised its price target on GPS to $31 from $27 -- territory not charted in almost two years.

Contrary to the data, Gap stock has performed quite well this month, tacking on 18.3%. However, only three of the 15 analysts following Gap stock recommend buying the stock. Additional upgrades could propel GPS shares even higher.

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