Today's Big M&A Winner; Anthem Stock Rallies

STAF stock is holding near session highs

by Josh Selway

Published on Jul 9, 2018 at 2:32 PM
Updated on Jul 9, 2018 at 2:56 PM

The Dow is rallying for a second straight session. Three stocks making noteworthy moves are health insurer Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM), pharma name Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:DOVA), and workplace services provider Staffing 360 Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:STAF). Below, we will take a closer look at how shares of ANTM, DOVA, and STAF are trading.

ANTM Rises During Healthcare Uncertainty

The healthcare sector is in focus today, and ANTM stock is up 2.2% at $247.50 amid the noise. Leading the way is the Trump administration's decision over the weekend to halt a program from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that helped insurers cover patients with pre-existing conditions. Meanwhile, BMO Capital upgraded Anthem shares to "outperform" from "market perform" based on its new view for expected earnings growth.

As a result, the security is on pace for its highest close since January, with the shares bottoming near the 200-day moving average back in early June. The move could be good news for options traders, based on ANTM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.44 -- only 1 percentage point from an annual low. In other words, near-term speculators are unusually call-heavy.

Leerink Downgrade Sinks DOVA Shares

Shares of DOVA have fallen 11.68% to trade at $25.81, putting them below the 50-day moving average for the first time since June 5. Leerink smacked the stock with a downgrade to "market perform" from "outperform" and trimmed its price target to $33 from $35, listing a number of potential headwinds for the company's blood platelet drug Doptelet. The equity has been quite volatile, last seen trading just below its year-to-date breakeven level. Short interest is enormous on Dova Pharmaceuticals, accounting for 43.4% of the total float following a nearly 30% increase in the past two reporting periods.

STAF Surges on M&A News

STAF is one of Wall Street's biggest winners today, last seen trading 300% higher near $5.47 -- though it fell just shy of a new 52-week high, peaking 5 cents short at $5.65. The shares have also taken out long-term resistance at the 50-day moving average. Sparking the explosion was the company's decision to buy London's Clement May. There are just two brokerage firms in coverage on Staffing 360 Solutions, but they're very bullish, considering the average 12-month price target is $11.75.

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