Short Seller Deems China Stock 'King Zero'

Plus, NETE is the latest blockchain winner

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 20, 2017 at 1:57 PM

Stocks are searching for direction as traders await the latest on the tax bill, which appears to be headed to President Donald Trump's desk for a signature. Among the names making the biggest moves are mobile payments stock Net Element International Inc (NASDAQ:NETE), China-based financial services provider China Internet Nationwide Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ:CIFS), and tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM).  Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of NETE, CIFS, and PM.

Small-Cap Stock NETE Explodes

Net Element stock is trading 306.1% higher today at $21.16 -- by far the best performer on the Nasdaq -- after the company announced a new business unit focused on blockchain technology. The shares closed yesterday at just $5.21, and earlier peaked at a 52-week high of $24.98, getting halted for volatility in the process. The move brings NETE's market cap to roughly $14.7 million. The security is not being covered by any analysts.

Muddy Waters Shorts CIFS Stock

Short seller Muddy Waters Research has announced it's shorting China Internet Nationwide Financial Services. Muddy Waters referred to the company as a "King Zero -- just another worthless China fraud." But after sliding earlier, CIFS shares were last seen trading up 3.3% at $39.59. The stock hit the public market back on Aug. 8 trading at $13, well above the initial public offering of $10, and by Nov. 28 it had climbed to $66.10 -- though it's obviously struggled since that peak.

Reuters Report Sinks PM Shares

Shares of Philip Morris are under pressure today due to an investigation by Reuters that alleges "irregularities in clinical experiments" for the tobacco company's iQOS smoking device. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to make a decision by next year on whether the company can sell the device in the U.S. PM stock was last seen trading 2.3% lower at $104.58. The security had already been carving out a series of lower highs in recent months, with the 80-day moving average blocking breakout attempts.

There's room for bearish analyst attention to drive the equity lower, too. That's because eight of the 11 brokerage firms covering Philip Morris say it's a "buy" or "strong buy." Plus, the average 12-month price target stands up at $122.07 -- a 16.8% premium to current levels.


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