2 of the Worst Stocks on Wall Street Today

FSLR put volume hit a new annual high earlier

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 25, 2019 at 2:10 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

It's poised to be a record-setting session on Wall Street, with the upside fueled by a big earnings win for Intel (INTC). Not all stocks are higher, though, with utility name PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) and alternative energy issue First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) selling off this afternoon. Here's a quick look at what's pressuring the shares of PCG and FSLR.

PG&E Near Bottom of Big Board as Kincade Wildfire Spreads

PG&E stock is near the bottom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), down 25.8% at $5.34, as the Kincade Fire spreads throughout Sonoma County in California. The cause of the fire has not yet been identified, though it looks to have started near a PCG-owned transmission tower. PCG filed for bankruptcy last January due to massive liabilities from deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

One group of options traders is likely betting on bigger losses for PCG. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.53 ranks in the 87th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at an accelerated pace. The November 5 put has been popular over this two-week time frame, and data indicates mostly buy-to-open activity here.

First Solar Hit With Bear Notes After Q3 Whiff

First Solar reported third-quarter adjusted profit of 29 cents per share -- well below the consensus estimate for earnings of $1.15 per share -- on much lower-than-anticipated revenue of $547 million. The company also said it will not give 2020 guidance until next quarter due to uncertainty surrounding final upgrades for its Series-4 production lines.

A pair of bearish brokerage notes is only strengthening headwinds on FSLR, with price-target cuts coming through at UBS (to $73) and Cascend Securities (to $75). At last check, First Solar stock is down 6.4% at $52.30. Nevertheless, the equity is still up 22% year-to-date, and earlier found support at the round $50 mark.

Options traders are positioning for more short-term struggles for FSLR stock, though. More than 27,000 puts have traded so far -- 10 times what's typically seen at this point, and volume at a new annual high. Day traders appear to be buying to open the weekly 10/25 51.50-strike and 52-strike puts, while slightly longer-term bears may be purchasing new positions at the weekly 11/1 50-strike put.


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