Nvidia's Big China Deal and the Retailer Shocking Shorts

Also, biotech AXON is set to lose three-fourths of its value

Sep 26, 2017 at 9:29 AM
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Stocks appear to be stabilizing following yesterday's risk-off session. Among specific stocks in focus today are semiconductor name NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Ann Taylor parent Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA), and biotech Axovant Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ:AXON). Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of NVDA, ASNA, and AXON. 

China AI Push Lifts NVIDIA Stock

Shares of NVIDIA are almost 3% higher before the open, after the company announced it's struck a deal to supply artificial intelligence-centered chips to some of China's largest tech companies, including JD.com and Alibaba. The stock closed yesterday at $171, sporting a year-over-year lead of more than 163%. Just last Friday, in fact, the security hit a record high of $191.20. 

Options traders -- who've been quite bullish on NVDA -- may want to consider short-term options. That's because the equity has a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 35%, which is only 14 percentage points from a 52-week low. This means volatility expectations for near-term contracts are rather muted at the moment. 

ASNA Puts Pressure on Shorts After Earnings

Ascena Retail Group has had a terrible year on the charts, sliding from a Dec. 9 annual high of $8.19 to yesterday's close of $2.17, while hitting an 18-year low of $1.65 in May. But a better-than-expected earnings report now has the shares pointed up 15% in pre-market trading. This sudden surge could deal a temporary blow to short sellers, who control 31.4% of the stock's float. At last night's close, this equated to 25 times the stock's average daily pace of trading.

AXON Stock Crushed by Alzheimer's Drug Failure

Axovant Sciences is set to sell-off this morning, down 74% in electronic trading, after the company's Alzheimer's drug failed in a late-stage study. At $24.25, the shares were up 95% year-to-date, hitting a two-year high of $27.98 on Friday. It's likely today's pending price action will eventually be met with negative notes from analysts. At the moment, seven of eight covering brokerage firms rate AXON stock a "strong buy," and its average 12-month price target stands at $29.25. 

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