The Stock Soaring Higher on Bitcoin Buzz

Traders are awaiting news on MARA's recent acquisition of a bitcoin miner

Managing Editor
Nov 27, 2017 at 10:23 AM
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U.S. stocks are trading cautiously higher this morning, with retail stocks as the main focus amid the Cyber Monday chaos. Three stocks making moves today are patent acquisition company Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA), media and content concern Time Inc (NYSE:TIME), and technology powerhouse Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of MARA, TIME, and AAPL.

MARA Hits New High Ahead of Bitcoin Call

Marathon Patent stock is up an impressive 30.4% to trade at $7.78, ahead of a 4:30 p.m. ET conference call today to update investors on its previously announced acquisition of cryptocurrencies miner Global Bit Ventures. Traders appear to be anticipating a major bitcoin-related announcement, as MARA described itself in its Nov. 20 earnings release as "formerly an IP licensing company," and noted the "significant capability for expansion" with its Global Bit purchase.

Following today's bull gap, MARA is now up 405% month-to-date, clawing its way out of penny-stock territory -- and, at today's early peak of $10.03, into new 52-week highs. Some of these gains could be due to short sellers hitting the exits; short interest rose 33.9% during the most recent reporting period, and now represents more than 4% of MARA's total available float.

TIME Jumps Higher on Meredith Acquisition

Shares of TIME are up 9.2% at $18.45 -- and trading at their highest point since their late-April bear gap -- after Meredith Corp agreed to buy the magazine publisher in an all-cash deal valued at $1.84 billion, including debt. Analysts are already appropriately aligned on the freshly confirmed takeover target, with five out of six brokerage firms calling TIME stock a "hold."

AAPL Falls as UBS Cuts iPhone Sales Forecast

Apple stock is fractionally lower at $174.96, after UBS lowered its forecast for iPhone sales, following survey results that pointed to weaker-than-expected demand. AAPL has been treading water on the charts since hitting a record high on Nov. 8, and is still hovering a couple points above recent support at its rising 20-day moving average.

Unlike UBS, options traders are largely optimistic on AAPL. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows AAPL with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.34, which ranks in the 75th percentile of its annual range. This suggests that calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

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