Apple Stock Pops on Battery Buzz; One Retail Stock Plummets 26%

A short squeeze could be boosting TG Therapeutics stock

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:29 PM
Updated on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:32 PM

U.S. stocks have erased earlier gains, after the 10-year Treasury yield surged following the release of the latest Fed minutes. Among individual names making notable moves, FAANG stock Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and biotech TG Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:TGTX) are higher, while tile manufacturer Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTS) is sinking. Here's a closer look at what shares of AAPL, TGTX, and TTS are reacting to today.

Apple Reportedly Exploring Direct Access To Cobalt Supply

Apple stock is up 0.3% to trade at $172.33 after Bloomberg reported the iPhone maker is in talks with several cobalt producers to secure direct access to cobalt mines. Although Apple has yet to comment, the material is critical component to lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.

Apple stock has gained roughly27% in the last 52 weeks, and netted a record high of $180.10 on Jan. 18. Shortly after, the shares pulled back to their 50-week moving average, but quickly bounced from here on reports Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway boosted its stake in the tech firm. 

Options traders have ramped up their bearish exposure at an unusual pace of late. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AAPL's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.65 ranks in the 99th annual percentile. Continued technical outperformance could lead to an unwinding of these bearish bets.

Lymphoma Treatment Update Boosts TGTX Stock

Shares of TG Therapeutics are up 11% to trade at $13.98, after the company published clinical data for the first-in-human study of its lymphoma treatment, umbralisib. Today's positive price action is just more of the same for the shares, which have tacked on 71% in 2018, guided higher by their rising 20-day moving average.

A short squeeze could provide more fuel for TGTX's run, and may be responsible for some of today's upside. Short interest increased by 13% during the last two reporting periods to 19.09 million shares, a record high. This represents a whopping 45% of the stock's total available float, and nearly 14 days of pent-up buying demand, at the average pace of trading.

Unexpected Loss Sends Tile Shop Stock Plummeting

The Tile Shop stock is down 26.6% to trade at $6.20 - on track for its worst one-day loss since Oct. 3, and the worst stock on the Nasdaq today -- after the company reported an unexpected fourth-quarter loss. Same-store sales and revenue also missed their marks. While TTS stock has come off the record low of $5.80 it hit earlier, it's still staring at a 52% year-over-year deficit.

Not suprisingly, there's plenty of skepticism already priced into TTS shares. All seven analysts covering the stock maintain a "hold" or "sell" rating. However, considering the average 12-month price target stands at a loft $8.14, there's room for price-target cuts to come down the pike.


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