Why these 2 Small-Cap Stocks are Rallying

Tesla, meanwhile, is sinking amid a rival's disappointing delivery reports

Deputy Editor
Sep 24, 2019 at 2:47 PM
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Stocks have erased their earlier gains on slumping oil prices today. Three stocks in particular making moves today are electric carmaker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc (NYSE:FDP), and crude oil producer Jagged Peak Energy Inc (NYSE:JAG). Below, we'll dig into what's moving the shares of TSLA, FDP, and JAG. 

TSLA Stock Sinks After Sector Peer Nio's Q2 Flop, SolarCity Investigation

Electric automaker Tesla is feeling the heat today, following its rival Nio's (NIO) dismal deliveries report for its second quarter. Traders are also reacting to news that CEO Elon Musk is being accused of misleading Tesla investors in the company's bid to buy SolarCity, as part of a lawsuit from 2016 that was initiated shortly after the deal. In response, TSLA shares are down 6.3% at $225.99.

This puts the stock back below its 20-day moving average -- a trendline the equity briefly conquered in early September -- with a 32.4% year-to-date loss, which could have some short sellers cheering. Short interest is continuing to inch higher, with the 39.74 million shares sold short accounting for 23.8% of the stock's available float, or over a week of pent-up buying power at TSLA's average pace of trading. 

S&P Small Cap Inclusion Shoots FDP Stock Towards Fresh Highs  

The shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce hit a one-year high of $35.73 earlier on news that it would replace Cray (CRAY) on the S&P SmallCap 600 Index (SP600) before the close next Monday. The stock is now up 16.5% at $35.64 -- set for its largest one-day jump in 11 years. 

The typically quiet options pits are seeing a spike in activity today, too, with 154 calls and 185 puts across the tape so far -- six times the intraday average. Some of this activity is surrounding the October 35 call, where it looks like contracts are being bought to open. This means traders are expecting the security to remain above the $35 area until the contracts expire on Oct. 18. 

JAG Stock Gets Jolt on S&P Small Cap Add

Jagged Peak Energy is joining the SP600, too, set to replace REIT Northstar Realty Europe (NRE) and join the oil & gas exploration & production sub-industry index. The stock is up 3.6% at $7.99 -- directly under its 100-day trendline, which the stock has only managed to topple once since mid-May. 

The equity has been running out of steam repeatedly at its 140-day moving average however, with its two latest attempts to rally off its mid-August all-time low of $5.80 thwarted by the trendline. The equity still is at a 12.3% year-to-date loss, which might explain options traders' tendency towards bearish bets on the the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). During the past 10 weeks, 3.87 puts have been bought for every call. What's more, this ratio sits in the 91st annual percentile of its annual range, suggesting a much bigger appetite for these pessimistic positions than usual. 

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