2 Stocks Making Big Moves on Government Buzz

Short sellers were targeting YRCW stock coming into today

Dec 14, 2018 at 3:22 PM
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The Dow is trading in the red this afternoon due to the bearish economic data out of China. Three small-cap stocks to watch in today's action are transportation issue YRC Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ:YRCW), hydrogel specialist Alliqua Biomedical Inc (NASDAQ:ALQA), and biopharma name Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IDRA). Let's take a closer look at the news on shares of YRCW, ALQA, and IDRA.

DoJ Lawsuit Plays Into Shorts' Hands

The Department of Justice (DoJ) is suing YRC Worldwide for overcharging the federal government for its services and then covering up its actions. The company's general counsel said the claims "are totally without merit," and it's "made every effort over nearly a decade to address the government's questions."

The stock continues to fall to new record lows, last seen down 24.3% at $3.35, bringing its year-to-date deficit to almost 77%. Meanwhile, it would seem many traders were anticipating potential heavy losses from YRCW stock, considering short interest accounts for almost 10% of the freight concern's total float.

Federal Grant Boosts ALQA Shares

ALQA stock has spiked 26.2% to trade at $2.66, thanks to news the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) awarded the company a $5.7 million grant to aid the development of brivoligide, a drug for postoperative pain made by Adynxx -- a company Alliqua Biomedical is trying to buy. Anyway, following a late-November bull gap, which stemmed from the firm's spin-off plans, ALQA traded as high as $5.24, coming right off its Oct. 24 low of $1.55. Looking at some sentiment data, there was a notable rise in short interest recently, putting just over 8% of the float in the hands of short sellers.

IDRA Risks Downgrades with Latest Low

IDRA stock is down 29.5% at $4.65, as investors punish the company following an update on a mid-stage trial of its skin cancer treatment. This is just more of the same for the shares, as they've plummeted from around $20 at the start of 2018 to today's new five-year low of $4.58.  This stock is seriously in danger of being hit with rounds of bearish analyst attention, since all six brokerage firms in coverage have "strong buy" ratings at the moment.

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