Shorts Scramble as Mazor Robotics Hits New Highs

Tesla has pushed back the debut of its big rig once again

by Emma Duncan

Published on Oct 9, 2017 at 9:54 AM

U.S. stocks are trading mixed this morning, with the Dow wavering in its early attempts to bounce back from Friday's loss. Among the stocks making moves this morning are pharmaceutical concern Flexion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:FLXN), electric automobile company Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and surgical equipment specialist Mazor Robotics Ltd (NASDAQ:MZOR). Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of FLXN, TSLA, and MZOR. 

Flexion Backpedals Despite Brokerage Boosts

Flexion Therapeutics received price-target raises from Raymond James and BMO -- both to $37 from $35 -- following Friday's news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its knee pain drug, Zilretta. However, after hitting a record high of $32.25 late Friday, FLXN has dropped 3.8% to $28.78 in early trading today. The biotech name is already a favorite among analysts, with all four brokerage firms following the stock sporting "strong buy" recommendations. 

Tesla Takes a Hit Following Big Rig Delay

Shares of Tesla stock are taking a hit this morning, after a post-close tweet from CEO Elon Musk on Friday indicated the company would be delaying its big rig unveiling until Nov. 16 of this year. It's the second delay for the Tesla Semi, with Musk indicating this latest postponement stems from "Model 3 bottlenecks" and Tesla's efforts to increase battery production for Puerto Rico. TSLA hit a record high of $389.61 on Sept. 18, but at last glance was trading down 1.6% at $351.21. 

Despite today's drop, however, TSLA is still hanging onto a 94% year-over-year gain -- and at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock has garnered a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.21, which ranks in the 94th percentile of its annual range. This suggests options traders have been buying calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip over the past 10 weeks.

Upbeat Revenue Forecast Sends MZOR Higher

Shares of Mazor Robotics are reaching fresh record highs after the company predicted record third-quarter revenue of $17.2 million -- well above the consensus estimate of $13.3 million -- on strong demand for its surgical guidance systems. MZOR is up 6.8% to $53.57 this morning, and set a new high of $55.66 earlier in the session. The stock is now up more than 144% year-to-date.

Today's big rally could be the result of some MZOR short sellers running for the exits. Short interest accounts for 10.2% of the equity's float, or 4.2 times its average daily trading volume.

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