The IT Stock Up Over 1,100% Since August

Kroger Co is considering selling its convenience store business

Managing Editor
Oct 11, 2017 at 12:48 PM
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U.S. stocks are modestly higher today, as traders cautiously await the Fed meeting minutes. However, not all the action is sluggish, with IT services firm Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ:HMNY), grocery stock Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), and biotech Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) making big moves. Here's a quick look at what is moving shares of HMNY, KR, and AERI.

Citron Swipe Can't Stop HMNY Stock

Helios and Matheson stock was halted earlier, but has since resumed trading -- up a whopping 28% to at $35.93, and fresh off a 12-year high of $38.86. Today's surge comes even after Citron Research tweeted a warning about the stock's meteoric rise in the wake of the company taking a majority stake in MoviePass -- saying "Retail investors are warned." In fact, HMNY stock has gained 1,127% since its Aug. 15 close at $2.95, and is currently on track for a fifth straight win.

Some of this upside is likely due to a short-squeeze situation, as well. Short interest increased by 73% during the last reporting period, and now accounts for 62% of HMNY's total available float. 

Kroger Stock Rising After Convenience Store Sale Chatter

Kroger this morning affirmed its 2017 profit and sales guidance and said it is exploring the sale of its convenience store business. After being halted earlier, KR stock was last seen up 4.2% to trade at $21.40. Nevertheless, the shares are running out of steam near their 50-day moving average -- a trendline that's contained the stock since a mid-June bear gap following news of Amazon's Whole Foods takeover. Longer term, KR stock has shed 38% year-to-date and fell to a three-year low of $19.70 on Oct. 2.

Not surprisingly, put buying has been en vogue recently. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), KR's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.39 ranks 2 percentage points from a 52-week high.

Upbeat FDA Review Has Aerie Pharma Stock Red-Hot

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed its preliminary review of Aerie Pharmaceuticals' eye pressure drug Rhopressa, concluding it effective. This comes two days ahead of committee meeting in which experts will make a recommendation on approval to the FDA.

As a result, the equity is up 12.6% to trade at $62.35. Earlier in the session, the stock touched a record high of $65.90. AERI stock has added 64.7% year-to-date, and the shares' 180-day moving average has contained any pullbacks in 2017.

A continued short squeeze could push AERI stock even higher. Although short interest decreased by nearly 15% in the last reporting period, 4.5 million shares are still sold short. This represents roughly 18% of AERI's total available float, and it could take more than a week for shorts to fully cover their bearish positions, at the biotech stock's average daily trading volume.


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