U.S. Steel Stock Sells Off on Forecast for Volatile 2018

Today's rally in FSLR is low-key compared to the stock's past post-earnings moves

by Elizabeth Harrow

Published on Apr 27, 2018 at 2:24 PM

Stocks are sticking close to breakeven today, as traders weigh disappointing energy sector earnings against signs of progress toward North Korean denuclearization. Some of the notable names on the move today include industrial metals magnate United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), brand-new Nasdaq member DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU), and alternative energy giant First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). Here's a look at what's driving the price action in X, DOCU, and FSLR today.

U.S. Steel Forecast Elicits Heavy Selling

X is getting hammered today, with the shares down 13.2% at $32.73 -- despite a first-quarter earnings beat and in-line revenue. In remarks accompanying the quarterly results, CEO David Burritt warned of "operational challenges" at the Great Lakes steelmaking facility that will negatively impact second-quarter earnings, and said U.S. Steel is prepared for "the possibility of continued operational volatility" through 2018.

Today's big drop has X trading below recent support at its 126-day moving average (equivalent to roughly half a year's worth of trading days). X is now back in the red on a year-to-date basis, which should be welcome news for short sellers. Short interest on the steel stock ramped up by 21.2% in the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for roughly 9% of the stock's float. Of course, given the magnitude of today's drop in X shares, short selling has been temporarily restricted on U.S. Steel.

DocuSign Opens for Trading with a Bang

DOCU is roaring higher in its Nasdaq trading debut today, opening at $38 per share -- valuing the company at about $6 billion. The initial public offering (IPO) priced last night at $29, just above the expected range of $26-$28 per share. At last check, the stock is up roughly 36% at $39.42.

First Solar Gains Ground on Earnings Beat, Ohio Plant

FSLR has rallied 4.9% to $78.73 after surpassing first-quarter profit and revenue expectations, and announcing plans to build an Ohio plant that will triple its domestic production capacity. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new multi-year peak of $81.72, marking its highest price since September 2011.

Shares of First Solar have rocketed to a gain of 176% year-over-year, but today's rally is actually quite tame by the stock's own post-earnings standards. Over the last eight quarters, FSLR shares have averaged a single-day post-event move of 11.3%, with the smallest of those -- prior to today -- being February's 6.8% pullback.


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