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1. Cracker Barrel Breaks Out
1:59 p.m. EST
is one of the top dollar gainers on the Nasdaq today. Earlier this morning, the restaurant operator reported
its second quarter results and updated its 2009 outlook.
The stock responded with a powerful gap higher open and is now up 15% on very heavy trading. This surge has pushed the stock to new highs for the month while leaving behind a solid short-term base. Support is now in place between $19.50 and $20.00. Volume, which was very heavy yesterday in pre-earnings trade, is running better than double its daily average again today.
I expect this powerful move to carry the stock back up to its 200-day moving average in the next few weeks. In late September, Cracker Barrel began a 60% slide after hitting this overhead resistance level. A rally back up to its 200-day moving average, at $22.85 this week, would be a logical near-term target.
2. Despite Price Slip, Yamana Seeing Heavy Call Trading
1:01 p.m. EST
is down today along with the price of gold itself, but the company is still seeing some heavy call trading.
Yamana's recent rise has been swift along with the
Market Vectors Gold Miners
exchange-traded fund and other mining names as they followed the precious metal past the $1,000 mark Friday. Even though gold and related equities have pulled back since then, traders are active in the Yamana March 8 calls, buying more than 10,000 contracts in just the first 30 minutes of today's session, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems.
Yamana is down nearly 7% in midday trading to $8.40, well above its $3.31 low from November but some 58 percent off its 52-week high. The price of gold is falling for its second consecutive day to around $970 an ounce.
3. Acorda Therapeutics & Biogen Idec
12:34 p.m. EST
A note on the biotech mover of the day: Bloomberg reporting that
is in talks to be acquired by
Acorda is developing a drug to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), which would make a nice fit in Biogen's existing MS franchise. One note, the Bloomberg story implies that Acorda's drug treats MS. It doesn't -- the drug, fampridine, would be used, if approved, to improve MS patients' ability to walk.
Acorda has been developing fampridine for quite some time and the company filed for FDA approval last month. The point being that Biogen, if it was (or is) interested in buying Acorda, has had a long time to do so. Just throwing that caution out there. If fampridine is an approvable drug, a BIIB-ACOR deal does makes sense.
4. Home Depot's Earnings Fourth-Quarter 2008
9:09 a.m. EST
operating EPS beat expectations of 15 cents by an additional 4 cents per share, it looks like the fiscal 2009 revenue guidance of -9% is a little saltier than what analyst consensus indicated coming into the call.
Per ThomsonReuters data, analysts were projecting $66.4 billion in revenues for fiscal 2009, which was a 6.5% drop from the just-reported fiscal 2008.
The stock might be a little weaker at the open.
We'll withhold final judgment until we hear all of the call (going on now) and review the rest of the data.
5. Large Options Trades in Delta, Continental
4:42 a.m. EST
Delta Air Lines
saw unusual options activity Monday as airline stocks surged across the board.
Delta finished the day up 2.7% to $5.71, but was up as much as 12% during the session. Continental closed up 6.8% to $11.27, off its own highs of 10% for the day. Both had hit multimonth lows Friday before rebounding.
For Delta, the interesting options action involved the June 7.5 calls, with more than 5,000 contracts going off in large blocks, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems. For Continental it was the March 10 puts, which also saw more than 5,000 contracts trade, almost all of them bought at the same time for $1.10. Both trades were above open interest.
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This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.