3 Red-Hot Stocks in Today's Trading

SYMC and AMC are higher on bull notes

Apr 8, 2019 at 2:27 PM
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The U.S. stock market is lower today on stiff Boeing (BA) headwinds. Among other stocks making notable moves are electronics and entertainment magnate Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE), cybersecurity specialist Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), and movie theater name AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC). Here's a quick look at what's moving the shares of SNE, SYMC, and AMC.

Activist Investor Buzz Boosts Sony Stock

Sony stock is up 7.4% to trade at $46.26, after Reuters reported Daniel Loeb's hedge fund, Third Point, is building a stake in the company to push for changes, including the sale of its movie studio. Today's pop runs counter to SNE's longer-term trend -- with the shares down 31% from their Oct. 1 peak at $61.02 -- and is running out of steam near its 80-day moving average.

Options traders are targeting even more upside for SNE stock. More than 13,000 calls have changed hands so far, six times what's typically seen at this point. The April 44 call is most active by a mile, and it looks like new positions are being purchased here for a volume-weighted average price of $0.56. If this is the case, breakeven for the call buyers at the close next Thursday, April 18, is $44.56 (strike plus premium paid).

Goldman Targets 22% Upside for Symantec Stock

Goldman Sachs upgraded Symantec to "buy" from "neutral," and raised its price target to $28 from $23 -- a nearly 22% premium to last Friday's close, projecting "improvement on essentially every key metric" in fiscal 2020. In reaction, SYMC stock is at the top of the S&P 500 Index (SPX), up 4.9% at $24.13. Plus, the shares have broken free from long-term resistance at $23.50, and are trading at their highest level since a mid-May bear gap.

Options traders are in overdrive, with nearly 40,000 calls and 12,500 puts on the tape -- 23 times what's typically seen, and volume pacing in the 98th annual percentile. Most active are the July 25 and 27 calls, due to what Trade-Alert taps as a roll up by two strikes, as one bull targets even more upside for SYMC shares into the second half.

AMC Stock Surge Crushes Shorts

AMC Entertainment shares are up 7.5% at $16.10, after B. Riley lifted its rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral," and raised its price target to $20 from $18. The analyst in coverage cited potential upside catalysts, including upbeat advance ticket sales for "Avengers:Endgame" ahead of a historically strong period for the box office.

AMC stock has now sliced through its 200-day moving average -- a trendline that contained an early March rally attempt -- bringing its year-to-date advance to 31.4%. Against this backdrop, shorts have started covering, with short interest down 11.1% in the most recent reporting period. There are still plenty of bearish bets levied against the equity, though, with the 9.66 million shares still sold short accounting for nearly 19% of AMC's float, or 4.1 times the average daily pace of trading.

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