Analyst: 'Buy' This Surging Dow Stock

MSFT stock has added more than 20% this year, and is one of the best stocks to own in October

Oct 5, 2017 at 10:47 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), as well as biotechs ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASADQ:ACAD) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of MSFT, ACAD, and GILD.

Canaccord Genuity Upgrades Microsoft Stock

Microsoft is up 0.6% to trade at $75.14, after Canaccord Genuity upgraded the tech stock to "buy" from "hold" and raised its price target to $86 from $76, saying traders have underestimated the company's long-term growth potential. MSFT stock -- which is one of the best stocks to own in October -- is now trading within one standard deviation its record high of $75.97, which it touched on Sept. 18. Plus, the shares are boasting a 20.9% year-to-date gain, climbing the charts this year thanks to support from their 50- and 80-day moving averages. 

Options traders, however, have been surprisingly bearish toward MSFT stock of late. The stock sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.58 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- good enough to rank in the 73rd annual percentile. In other words, puts have been bought to open relative to calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Stock Hits Fresh Highs After FDA Nod

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals hit a new annual high of $41.20 out of the gate, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the biotech breakthrough therapy status for its psychosis drug, Pimavanserin, also known as Nuplazid. Plus, Piper Jaffray and JMP Securities upped their price targets on ACAD stock to $61 from $54 and to $50 from $47, respectively, the former of which rests in uncharted territory.

The stock has since slipped 1% to trade at $38.76, but remains up 35% year-to-date. Considering ACAD's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) closed last night at 71 -- in overbought territory -- a near-term retreat may have been in the cards.

Gilead Sciences Scores New 'Perform' Rating

Gilead Sciences stock is trading up 0.3% at $82.37, after Oppenheimer started coverage with a "perform" rating. Plus, Leerink reiterated its "outperform" rating, citing decreased competition among Hepatitis C drugmakers. Today's positive price action is just more of the same for Gilead stock, which was boosted by the FDA's landmark approval of CAR-T therapy in late August, and reached an annual high of $86.27 on Sept. 8.

Nevertheless, short sellers have been ramping up their exposure to GILD, with short interest up 25.6% in the two most recent reporting periods. Not only does it speak to the stock's underlying strength to rise in the face of such intense selling pressure, but the shares could get a bigger boost, should some of the weaker bearish hands start to throw in the towel.


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