What You Need to Know About Marijuana Stocks

What You Need to Know About Marijuana Stocks

Combine news developments with this key indicator to find winning trades. Marijuana stocks are volatile by nature. Every time a new state legalizes, there’s a flurry of investment activity in the space—followed by a drop in shares when immediate, large profits fail to materialize. Like any sector, the cannabis plays can go in and out of favor with the overall market. When they’re in favor, that’s when you want to be already positioned to take profits. It’s when the sector is out of favor that you want to buy. That’s because the sector has long-term potential, but it also attracts ...
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Unusual Options Activity: The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC)

Unusual Options Activity: The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC)

Put buying suggests drop ahead. Over 2,600 contracts traded on the January $120 put options on The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC), up from a volume of 100. That’s a 27-fold increase in volume, a very unusual move in a name that typically has little options activity. With shares at $126, shares need to drop nearly 5 percent for this option to move in-the-money. With 105 trading days to go, it’s a bet that could play out. The company, an owner, manager, and developer of various properties throughout the United States, seems like an unlikely candidate for a bearish trade. However, s...
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September ISM Data Shows Slowdown in Non-Manufacturing Growth

September ISM Data Shows Slowdown in Non-Manufacturing Growth

Data shows economy slowing, near contraction point. The Non-Manufacturing ISM report for September read at 52.6, indicating that the non-manufacturing sector of the economy continued to grow for the 116th month in a row, however the read is the lowest since August 2016. That number came in well below a 55.5 consensus, and, combined with the manufacturing data indicating two consecutive quarters of decline this week, led to some volatile moves in markets as traders re-evaluated the economy. New orders came in with a read of 53.7 against an expectation for 60.0. And employment read ...
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Bank of America Upgrades Philip Morris International (PM)

Bank of America Upgrades Philip Morris International (PM)

Valuation, current dividend yield make shares a buy. Bank of America upgraded shares of Philip Morris International (PM) to a buy from neutral. The bank also reiterated an existing price target of $96, 23 percent higher than where shares currently trade. The upgrade comes as fears that the tobacco industry in the United States will have more oversight and regulation following a series of illnesses related to vaping products. However, Philip Morris has little exposure to the U.S. market. Further, the end of merger talks with Altria (MO), which was weighing on Philip Morris shares, ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA)

Unusual Options Activity: Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA)

November put buying suggests further drop. The November 15th $8 put options on Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) saw over 17,000 contracts trade against a prior open interest of 243, indicating a 70-fold surge in volume on the trade. With shares of Teva around $7, the $8 puts are already $1 in-the-money and should move penny-for-penny with any further drop in shares. At a cost of $1.44, the option also has about a penny a day in time premium attached to it. Shares of Teva have slid by 68 percent in the past year, and the company has some liability stemming from opioid-related pharmaceuti...
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Unusual Options Activity: Foot Locker (FL)

Unusual Options Activity: Foot Locker (FL)

Traders bet on a rally in shares this month. The October 19th $44.50 call options on Foot Locker (FL) saw nearly 2,000 contracts trade against a prior open interest of 147, for a 13-fold surge in volume. With shares trading around $42.70, shares need to rally at least 4 percent for the option to move in-the-money. The company next reports earnings in late November, so the move higher will have to occur without that particular catalyst. Shares of the mall-based retailer of athletic apparel have already started to move higher thanks to the strong earnings report from Nike last week,...
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Insider Activity: USA Technologies (USAT)

Insider Activity: USA Technologies (USAT)

Major holder buys another 1.8 million shares. Hudson Executive Capital LP continues to buy massive blocks of shares at USA Technologies (USAT). Following a recent buy, the company picked up another 1.8 million shares on September 26th, increasing their stake by 21 percent. The fund paid $8.2 million for the block of shares, and now owns over 10.1 million shares of the company. With a float of only 37 million shares, Hudson now owns over 27 percent of shares outstanding. The fund may be vying to buy up 50 percent of the company to assume control, either to take the company private,...
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Micron Upgraded After Earnings Report

Micron Upgraded After Earnings Report

Analysts see upside in spite of company’s lowered guidance. Although shares of Micron (MU) dropped nearly 11 percent following its most recent earnings report, many analysts were quick to point out the long-term potential in shares. Investment firm Needham reiterated its buy rating on shares following earnings, and raised the price target on shares from $50 to $60. At current prices, that implies a 33 percent upside for Micron shares in the coming months. Micron did beat earnings and revenue estimates when it reported, but the company gave lowered guidance as a result of NAND inve...
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Unusual Options Activity: CenturyLink (CTL)

Unusual Options Activity: CenturyLink (CTL)

Traders bullish on telecom in coming weeks. The October 18th $13.50 call options on CenturyLink (CTL) saw nearly 4,000 contracts trade, against a prior open interest of 360, an 11-fold surge in volume. With shares at $12.75, the option will trade in-the-money if shares rise 5.8 percent in the next 18 days. Given how shares have traded as high as $22 in the past year, the option stands a reasonable chance of heading higher in the next few weeks. With shares of the company trading under 10 times earnings and yielding over 7.7 percent following a 40 percent decline in the past year, ...
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Citi Research Upgrades AbbVie (ABBV)

Citi Research Upgrades AbbVie (ABBV)

Bank cites potential ahead of merger. Shares of AbbVie (ABBV) have struggled thanks to fears of increasing regulation in the pharmaceutical sector as well as the company’s announcement to buy competitor Allergan. While the potential merger still faces regulatory approval, Citi Research has upgraded shares of the company to buy from neutral, with a target price of $90. With shares just under $75, the price target gives shares a 20 percent potential upside, even before the merger is finalized. At the same time, the FDA approved an eight-week treatment cycle for the company’s Mavyret...
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