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<p>Shares of <strong>Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU)</strong> came within striking distance of hitting a new record high earlier, after Stifel raised its rating on the Turbo Tax firm to "buy" from "hold," and boosted its price target to $240 from $197. After topping out at an intraday peak of $210.07 earlier -- not far from its June 15 all-time peak of $210.19 -- INTU was last seen down 0.1% at $209.04 amid <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/ezines/2018/06/19/vix-spikes-as-tariff-fears-sink-stocks">broad-market headwinds</a></strong>.</p> <p>The earlier upside price action just echoes the equity's longer-term trend, with Intuit stock up 48% year-over-year -- guided higher by its 80- and 120-day moving averages. And data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White suggests the security just sent up a reliable buy signal, suggesting it could be time to bet on more short-term gains for INTU.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="intu daily chart june 19" alt="intu stock daily chart june 19" data-displaymode="Original" src="https://cdn.schaeffersresearch.com/images/default-source/schaeffers-cdn-images/2018/06/intraday/intu-daily-chart-june-19.jpg?sfvrsn=0" /></p> <p>Specifically, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 19.3% ranks in the 20th percentile of its annual range. Not only does this indicate short-term options are relatively cheap, from a volatility perspective, but in the last five times INTU stock has been trading within 2% of a 52-week high while near-term volatility was so low, it averaged a one-month gain of 5.41%, with every single return positive. Based on its current perch, another move of this magnitude would put Intuit shares above $220 for the first time ever. </p> <p>More bullish brokerage notes could certainly help keep the wind at INTU's back. At last night's close, the majority of analysts covering Intuit maintained a "hold" or "sell" recommendation. Plus, the average 12-month price target stands at $196.88 -- well below present trading levels. </p>
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<p>Chipmaker <strong>Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) </strong>is slated to report fiscal third-quarter earnings after the close tomorrow. Micron stock is down 1.2% at $57.78, at last check, suffering alongside <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/ezines/2018/06/19/vix-spikes-as-tariff-fears-sink-stocks">other tech names</a>&nbsp;</strong>as China trade tensions continue to heat up. What's more, MU options are pricing in a much bigger-than-usual move for the stock after earnings. </p> <p>MU has picked up 85% over the past 12 months, and notched a 17-year high in late May. Since then, the shares have tested their footing in the $56-$57 region -- where Micron was trading before a May 22 bull gap, and home to the equity's ascending 30-day moving average.</p> <p> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="Daily Chart of MU Since December with 30MA" alt="Daily Chart of MU Since December with 30MA" data-displaymode="Original" src="https://cdn.schaeffersresearch.com/images/default-source/schaeffers-cdn-images/2018/06/intraday/daily-chart-of-mu-since-december-with-30ma.jpg?sfvrsn=0" /></p> <p>Digging into earnings history, MU closed lower in the session following the company's last report, suffering an 8% drop. Widening the scope, the stock has averaged a one-day post-earnings swing of 6.9% over the past two years, regardless of direction. However, the options market is pricing in a larger-than-usual 13% move for Wednesday's trading, per data from&nbsp;<strong><a target="_blank" href="https://trade-alert.com/home/">Trade-Alert</a></strong>. It should be noted, though, that MU has been one of the <a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/analysis/2018/05/30/3-chip-stocks-that-could-have-a-wild-summer"><strong>most volatile S&amp;P 500 stocks</strong></a> in the summer months, historically -- a boon for premium buyers. </p> <p>Digging deeper, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.88 currently ranks in the highest percentile of its annual range. And although the ratio suggests that short-term calls still outnumber puts on an absolute basis, the elevated percentile indicates that near-term traders have rarely shown a greater preference for MU puts over calls in the last year.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Micron appeared on our internal filter of stocks that could enjoy a short squeeze. Specifically, Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White looked for stocks in which short interest has increased by at least 25% since its low over the past year, and for which shorts are at a loss of at least 8%.</p> <p>On the flip side, analyst attention has been overwhelmingly optimistic on Micron Technologies stock. Of the 25 analysts covering the chip concern, 19 sport "buy" or "strong buy" recommendations. At the same time, MU's average 12-month price target of $76.97 prices in a 32% premium to current levels.</p>
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<p>Since 2016, the <strong>New York Times Co (NYSE:NYT)</strong>&nbsp;has been under constant fire from President Donald Trump for its proliferation, in his words, of "fake news." Despite his assertion that the publication has been "failing," the stock has outperformed in recent years. And although NYT is down 0.9% to trade at $24.80 at last check, the publishing name just offered up a pretty notable "buy" signal heading into the dog days of summer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking closer, <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/news/2018/04/30/new-york-times-stock-upgraded-on-digital-potential">NYT stock</a></strong> hit a nearly 11-year peak of $25.70 on Feb. 26 on the way to its best quarter since 2011. On Friday, as the security locked up its best week since mid-January, it came within a chip shot of the multi-year high once again, closing at $25.35. Overall, the shares have added 34% in 2018, with recent pullbacks earlier this month contained by their 120-day moving average.</p> <p>What's more, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) is docked at 25% -- in the sixth percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term options are extremely cheap at the moment from a volatility perspective. According to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, the one other time NYT had been trading near 52-week highs with its SVI ranked in the 20th annual percentile or lower, the stock was up more than 19% one month later. Another rally of this magnitude would put the security near $30 one month from now for the first time since 2005.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="NYT Stock Chart" alt="NYT Stock Chart" data-displaymode="Original" src="https://cdn.schaeffersresearch.com/images/default-source/schaeffers-cdn-images/2018/06/intraday/nyt-stock-chart.jpg?sfvrsn=2" /></p> <p> </p> <p>Should New York Times stock keep climbing, a short squeeze could provide more tailwinds. Short interest held steady in the most recent reporting period, yet the 15.92 million shares sold short represents nearly 13% of the security's total available float. At the equity's average trading volume, it would take more than seven days for shorts to cover their positions.</p>
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<p>In line with the broad market sell-off today, shares of <strong>Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP)</strong> are plummeting -- down 9.7% to trade at $12.71, at last check -- after Cowen lowered its price target to $9 from $10. The new target represents a discount of nearly 36% to SNAP stock's closing price yesterday, and would represent a new record low for the social media stock. As such, shares of the Snapchat parent are on track to, well, snap their seven-day winning streak. </p> <p>The Cowen analyst attributed the price-target cut to data that indicated U.S. users were spending 7% less time on the Snapchat app this quarter, compared to last year. In addition, the brokerage firm pointed to lower daily active users, and cut its current-quarter and long-term earnings estimates for Snap.&nbsp;</p> <p>After bottoming at a record low of $10.50 in May, the equity furiously rallied up to yesterday's close, adding roughly 38% to effectively fill its earnings-induced bear gap from early May. As alluded to earlier, the stock closed higher for seven straight sessions, marking its longest win streak since late November. However, SNAP's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) closed last night at 72 -- well into overbought territory, suggesting a near-term pullback may have been in the cards. </p> <p>In the options pits, <a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/options/2018/06/12/call-buyers-pounce-as-snap-stock-soars"><strong>call buying</strong></a> has been a growing trend. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.94 ranks in the 81st annual percentile -- indicating long calls have been initiated relative to puts at a quicker-than-usual clip in the last two weeks.</p> <p>Shifting gears to today, options are flying off the shelves at twice the average intraday pace. Already 56,000 calls and 36,000 puts have changed hands, with volume pacing in the 98th percentile. The weekly 6/22&nbsp; 12.50-strike call and 13-strike put are the most active, with traders speculating on SNAP stock's trajectory through the end of the week.</p> <p>Whatever the motive,&nbsp;the stock sports a Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 88 out of 100, suggesting the equity has handily exceeded options traders' volatility expectations in the past year.</p>
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<p>The <strong>iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)</strong> has been struggling on the charts in recent months. The fund has been locked in a channel of lower highs and lower lows since March, and this tidy downtrend shows no signs of slowing. Former support at the 200-day moving average has transformed into resistance in recent weeks, and earlier this month, EEM was rejected by its year-to-date breakeven point at $47.12. With EEM now trading well below $46.87 -- the area marking a 10% correction from its first-quarter closing high -- the emerging markets tracker looks set for more downside as bullish sentiment toward the sector unwinds. </p> <p> </p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img src="https://cdn.schaeffersresearch.com/images/default-source/schaeffers-cdn-images/2018/06/wt/eem-daily-chart-june-15.jpg?sfvrsn=2" alt="eem daily chart june 15" width="581" height="398" /> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And optimism was running quite high toward emerging markets at the start of the year, with noted investor Jeremy Grantham one of the sector's most outspoken advocates. In January, he told investors to "own... as much emerging-market equity as your career or business risk can tolerate," and his investment firm in April backed that bullish view in its seven-year market outlook. </p> <p>However, as noted, the performance in EEM this year isn't living up to the hype. In fact, with the U.S. Fed on a policy-tightening path, many emerging markets currencies are facing fresh pressures. And with other sectors (like U.S. small-caps) outperforming in a big way, EEM could register heavy outflows as investors rotate into better-performing areas of the market. </p> <p>Now is an opportune time to buy options premium on EEM, as Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 16% arrives in the modest 23rd percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term options on the fund have rarely been cheaper, from a volatility standpoint. </p> <p><em>Subscribers to Schaeffer's Weekend Trader Series options recommendation service received this EEM commentary on Sunday night, along with a detailed options trade recommendation -- including complete entry and exit parameters. Learn more about why&nbsp;<a href="https://store.schaeffersresearch.com/products-services/weekly-monthly-newsletters/weekend-trader-alert?code=DCGWKALT"><strong>Weekend Trader</strong></a>&nbsp;is one of our most popular options trading services.</em></p>
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<p><strong>Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)</strong> said it's teamed up with Marriott International (MAR), and will outfit several of the latter's hotels with Alexa-controlled Echo devices. While Alexa for Hospitality will boost a hotel guest's access to amenities, such as ordering room service or contacting housekeeping, it will also increase exposure to AMZN's Echo.</p> <p>At last check, though, AMZN stock is down 0.7% to trade at $1,711.80. The shares are still boasting a 46% year-to-date lead, and topped out at a record high of $1,726.74 yesterday. As such, Amazon's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) closed last night at 75 -- well into overbought territory, suggesting a near-term pullback may have been in the cards.</p> <h2>NYT Says Apple iPhones Could Be Exempt from China Tariffs</h2> <p>President Donald Trump told <strong>Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)</strong> CEO Tim Cook that iPhones assembled in China will be <strong><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/technology/apple-tim-cook-china.html" target="_blank">exempt from tariffs</a></strong> the administration plans to impose on Chinese goods, according to a report in the New York Times. Nevertheless, AAPL stock is trading 1.5% lower at $185.99, as freshly stoked <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/ezines/2018/06/19/dow-futures-signal-350-point-slide-after-trump-trade-threat">trade fears</a></strong> rip through Wall Street.</p> <p>Apple stock has been on quite a run lately, with the shares up around 16% since bouncing from their 50-week moving average in late April. More recently, the shares have pulled back since topping out at an all-time peak of $194.20 on June 7, and are now testing their late-May lows near $186. </p> <p> Those wanting to roll the dice on AAPL stock's short-term trajectory may want to consider doing so with options. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 17% ranks in the 14th annual percentile, meaning near-term options are pricing in low volatility expectations at the moment -- a boon to potential premium buyers.</p> <h2>NFLX Price Target Raised at Monness Crespi Hardt</h2> <p>Monness Crespi Hardt raised its price target on <strong>Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)</strong> to $460 from $375, a nearly 18% premium to last night's close at $390.40. In reaction, NFLX shares are up 1.3% at $395.65. The streaming name has been a powerhouse on the charts so far in 2018 -- more than doubling in value, and just off a June 15 record high of $398.86 -- yet Citron Research is bracing for a <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/news/2018/06/14/citron-this-faang-stock-will-dip-soon">quick retreat for the FAANG stock</a></strong>.</p> Overall, though, sentiment toward Netflix stock is mostly bullish. While roughly 62% of covering analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating, a low 4.6% of the equity's float is sold short. It wouldn't even take three days for shorts to cover their bearish bets, at NFLX's average daily pace of trading.
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<p>Shares of&nbsp;<strong>Verizon Communications Inc.&nbsp;(NYSE:VZ)</strong> are up 0.4% at $47.65 in early trading, after receiving an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank, which maintained its $56 price target. The firm expects revenue growth to normalize in the second quarter amid more stable pricing conditions in the industry. The analyst also sees a positive outcome from the shift to 5G and the telecom's advertising investments.</p> <p>Verizon stock has been on a sideways run since February, struggling to overcome the 200-day moving average. The equity was down 10.3% year-to-date coming into today, but analyst attention toward the blue chip had been mostly optimistic, with 10 of the 19 firms sporting "buy" or better recommendations. Then there's VZ's average 12-month price target of $55.68, which stands at a roughly 17% premium to current levels.&nbsp; </p> <p>The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) comes in at 0.46, ranking in the 1st percentile of its annual range. This low ranking suggests that speculators targeting option contracts expiring within three months are unusually call-skewed at the moment.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lastly, now may be a good time to target near-term Verizon options. The cellular service concern's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) is just 17%, ranking in the 21st percentile of its annual range -- meaning there are lower-than-normal volatility expectations priced into short-term options at the moment.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Agricultural biotech&nbsp;<strong>Arcadia Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RKDA)</strong> is again making a big move on the charts, after receiving its first analyst recommendation since going public roughly three years ago. H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage on RKDA stock with a "buy" rating and a stunning $20 price target, meaning it expects the shares to more than double, as they closed Monday at $8.16. The analyst in coverage suggested there are a number of potential catalysts that could boost RKDA, including the company's <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/news/2018/03/14/2-of-todays-biggest-stock-moves">wheat program</a></strong>. </p> <p>While the $20 price target certainly seems ambitious, it's far from uncharted territory for the security. In fact, Arcadia traded as high as $66.56 back in March, following the positive results for its wheat program. Since then it's struggled to gain upside momentum, however, hitting a near-term low of $7.31 about a month ago. In today's trading, RKDA shares are up 5.4% at $8.60. </p> <p>But despite the stock's depressed price -- its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) was 33 at yesterday's close -- many traders continue to bet against it. That's based on a dramatic 278.4% surge in short interest during the last two reporting periods. In fact, short interest on Arcadia Biosciences stock is at an all-time high. </p>
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<p>Along with the U.S.-North Korea summit and the Fed's latest policy announcement, one of the top stories in the market last week was China -- namely, the Friday imposition of 25% tariffs on certain Chinese goods by the Trump administration, which Beijing promised to match in a retaliatory move. While the impact of escalating trade tensions was felt globally, China-based equities and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) naturally captured a good deal of traders' attention. </p> <p>Among those affected was the <strong>Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR)</strong>, which is designed to track the fluctuations of several hundred of the largest and most liquid stocks in China's A-shares market. ASHR gapped lower at the sound of Friday's opening bell -- and despite opening narrowly above its 320-day moving average, the ETF lost its footing here almost immediately. By the close, ASHR was docked at $29.06, with its 320-day trendline just out of reach at $29.15. </p> <p>Prior to Friday's breach of this level, ASHR had tested support at its 320-day moving average as recently as May 30 before bouncing back to close the session well off its lows. To find the last time ASHR actually <em>closed</em> beneath its 320-day, though, we have to look back just over a year -- and this prior example might give China bulls hope for the current situation. </p> <p>Back in mid-May 2017, ASHR gapped below its 320-day, and then notched multiple closes below this trendline. But after spending about four days forming a base around the $24 level, the ETF powered sharply higher -- almost uninterrupted -- all the way up to its late-January 2018 highs just shy of $35. So, in that most recent instance, the 320-day breach seems to have been indicative of exhaustive selling. </p> <p>Likewise, the China-driven sell-off that rocked global markets in August 2015 prompted another ASHR bear gap below its 320-day (on Aug. 24) -- but the fund bottomed out just two days later (at $28.84), and went on to recoup about a third of its losses in less than three months. </p> <p>But there's one "wild card" 320-day breach, which took place in late-November 2015. That time, ASHR's bear gap below this trendline <em>didn't</em> result in a near-immediate snapback rally. Instead, ASHR's attempt to reclaim its perch above the 320-day was thwarted, with this trendline emerging as resistance in early December of that year. By the time ASHR slumped to its closing low of $21.08 on Feb. 11, 2016, the shares were down 44% from their Nov. 25, 2015 pre-bear gap close. </p> <p>Notably, the action during the second half of 2015 provided some valuable clues for detail-oriented investors. Following that year's August bear gap, ASHR's "comeback rally" included a few intraday peaks around the site of its 320-day, and the fund chopped around above and below this trendline on a daily closing basis for about five weeks before the November bear gap served as the "nail in the coffin" for the late-2015/early 2016 free-fall. Conversely, the May 2017 break beneath the 320-day was resolved with a single daily close back above this moving average, with no "choppiness" to speak of.</p> <p>So, in the immediate days ahead, ASHR's ability (or inability) to rapidly reclaim its 320-day moving average could very well act as a major "tell" as to whether the ETF has just hit bottom -- or whether the bottom has just fallen out. </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="ashr daily june 2018" src="https://cdn.schaeffersresearch.com/images/default-source/schaeffers-cdn-images/2018/06/wkpl-cotw/ashr-daily-june-2018.jpg?sfvrsn=2" width="599" height="496" /></p> <br /> <p><em>Subscribers to Bernie Schaeffer's <a href="https://store.schaeffersresearch.com/products-services/free-tools-services/schaeffers-chart-of-the-week?code=COTWLINK"><strong>Chart of the Week</strong></a> received this commentary on Sunday, June 17.</em></p>
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<p><strong>Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)</strong> is the worst Dow stock today, after Northland Capital Markets downgraded the chipmaker to "underperform" from "market perform," and slashed its price target to $45 from $53. The brokerage firm cited expectations for increased competition from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and <strong><a href="https://www.schaeffersresearch.com/content/options/2018/06/18/call-buying-reaches-extreme-levels-on-nvidia">Nvidia</a></strong> (NVDA) as data centers shift workloads to artificial intelligence (AI) and away from central processing units (CPUs). At last check, INTC stock was down 3.6% at $53.11, and options volume is accelerated.</p> <p>With about an hour left in the session, around 95,000 calls and 63,000 puts have changed hands on Intel -- more than two times what's typically seen at this point, and volume pacing in the 91st annual percentile. Most active is the weekly 6/22 54-strike call, where buy-to-open activity has been detected. The volume-weighted average price on these calls is $0.33, making breakeven for the call buyers at this Friday's close $54.33 (strike plus premium paid).</p> <p>This bullish bias just echoes the recent trend seen in INTC's options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.33 ranks in the 73rd annual percentile, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a quicker-than-usual clip.</p> <p>Regardless of if it's calls or puts, it's a prime time to buy premium on the tech stock. Intel's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 22% ranks in the 16th percentile of its annual range, indicating short-term options are pricing in low volatility expectations at the moment.</p> <p>On the charts, Intel stock has been in a long-term uptrend -- boasting a year-over-year gain of 51%, and fresh off a 17-year peak of $57.60 on June 4. What's more, INTC stock's pullback is being contained by its 80-day moving average, which, along with its 120-day moving average, has helped usher the shares higher since last September.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" title="intc daily chart june 18" alt="intc stock daily chart june 18" data-displaymode="Original" src="https://cdn.schaeffersresearch.com/images/default-source/schaeffers-cdn-images/2018/06/intraday/intc-daily-chart-june-18.jpg?sfvrsn=0" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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