NHTC, AA, MRSN Stocks Suffer Nasty Pullbacks

Alcoa gave a disappointing outlook yesterday

Josh Selway
Jul 19, 2018 at 3:12 PM
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Trade tensions are the main storyline again on Wall Street, and consequently stocks  are trading lower. Three names making notable moves are personal care product specialist Natural Health Trends Corp. (NASDAQ:NHTC), aluminum stock Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA), and drug name Mersana Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:MRSN). We'll take a closer look at how shares of NHTC, AA, and MRSN.

China News Sinks NHTC Shares

Reports that Chinese authorities are investigating the company for illegal sales activity has NHTC stock down 12.2% at $20.97, putting it on pace for its lowest close since early June. Despite the pullback, Natural Trends remains up over 50% in 2018, but short sellers are wagering on a sustained decline. That is, short interest makes up more than 30% of NHTC's float.

Alcoa Stock Slips as Company Cites Tariff Effect

Alcoa last evening lowered its earnings outlook because of tariffs on aluminum, and the shares have shed 12.7% to trade at $41.87. This puts AA below the $43-$44 area that's acted as a floor all year, and adds to its sell-off from the mid-April peak near $62. Analysts have weighed in, too, with Jefferies and Morgan Stanley suggesting the weakness marks a solid buying opportunity, while BMO and Credit Suisse trimmed their respective price targets to $75 and $65.

Most analysts are in fact bullish on Alcoa stock, with eight of the 12 in coverage saying to buy the shares. Plus, this group's average 12-month price target stands all the way up at $63.15.

FDA Halts Mersana Trial

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put Mersana Therapeutics' trial for its cancer treatment on hold after a patient died. In response MRSN has fallen over 30% to trade at $11.31, earlier hitting and all-time low of $8.76, making it one of the worst Nasdaq stocks today.

Either way, this sell-off takes the security out of the tight sideways pattern that's contained it in the past year, and now traders should watch and see if bullish analysts begin to change their stances. As it stands now, five of six covering brokerage firms label MRSN a "strong buy."


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