After two big days, U.S. stocks look set to cool off today. Among specific stocks in focus are retailer Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), healthcare company Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC), and crane manufacturer Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX). Here’s a quick look at what’s boosting shares of JWN, CNC, and TEX.
Nordstrom Reportedly Being Taken Private by Leonard Green
Nordstrom stock is up 5.2% before the bell, thanks to news the company will be taken private by Leonard Green & Partners. Cowen used this opportunity to raise its price target on the shares to $53 from $49. JWN closed yesterday at $45.05, just a couple points below their year-to-date breakeven point. Meanwhile, today’s price action could be bad news for options traders. Specifically, Nordstrom has a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.29 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) , which ranks in the 78th annual percentile. In other words, put buying has been unusually popular in recent weeks.
Fidelis Care Purchase Boosts Centene Stock
Centene is buying Fidelis Care for $3.75 billion, sending the stock 4% higher in pre-market trading. This would be just more of the same for CNC shares, which have added 33.6% over the past year to trade at $90.88, and yesterday hit a record high of $91.16. Analysts are eyeing more upside, too. At least four brokerage firms have raised this price target, including a hike to $112 from $105 at Piper Jaffray.
One group that may be sweating this morning is short sellers. That’s because these bearish bets rose by 43.4% in the last two reporting periods. As it stands now, 4.3 million shares are sold short, which equals almost four times the stock’s average daily trading volume.
Terex Rises After McGuire Calls for 200% Rally
Shares of Terex are up 2.5% in electronic trading, thanks to a vote of confidence from hedge fund manager Mick McGuire, who said they could triple in value. TEX stock just yesterday hit a three-year high of $41.89, before closing at $41.73 — up 32.4% year-to-date. There’s plenty of room for bullish analyst attention to boost the equity on the charts. For example, the majority of covering brokerage firms have “hold” or worse ratings, and Terex is already trading above its average 12-month price target of $39.69. Upgrades and/or price-target hikes could provide additional tailwinds.