Tuesday, February 9, 2010

National Bank of Greece Setting Record Volume (NBG)

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National Bank of Greece SA (NYSE: NBG) is up on hopes that that either a German-led or EU-led bailout or aid package will end the country’s woes.  It is not just important by how much higher this stock is today, but the notion of the major trading volume is extremely important.  This has become the trader’s proxy stock for an EU or German bailout of Greece.

The 18.4% gain is more than impressive in the ADRs to $4.05.  Throughout this entire crisis yesterday was the zenith… 5,080,700 shares with a $0.52 loss to $3.42.  We still have 2 hours and 45 minutes of trading to go before the close and this has traded 8.87 million shares as of 1:17 PM EST.  This is more than 6-times normal trading volume of 1.46 million shares.

This number of shares won’t seem like much to the traders who trade $1 stocks that trade 50 million shares in a day.  But this is the most active trading day far going back to at least 2006.  That is called a proxy stock if you ever saw one.



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These are some of the top trading stocks seen on price and volume moves for day traders and active traders:

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is trading up this morning by 2.25% at $58.75 on almost 200,000 shares on its report that its Phase III head-to-head trial evaluating Denosumab met its primary and secondary endpoints versus Zometa in a 1900+ study in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer that has progressed to bone metastases.

American Commercial Lines Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLI) is soaring as the top gainer on NASDAQ but on this volume.  The headline earnings were $1.09 EPS vs. $0.06 as revenue fell 16% to $226.9 million versus estimates of $222.5 million.  The revenue drop was blamed on commodities shipped by transportation customers and lower tow revenues as tons/mile volume declined was down 1.4%.  A large short interest exists here at 1.077 million shares or 11.5% of the float.  Shares are up 26% at $20.48 but on 13,000 shares.

Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) is up after a huge sell-off yesterday after the FDA postponed its Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee Meeting to review Pixantrone due to severe snow conditions around the nation’s capital. Shares closed at $0.64 and are indicated up around $0.78 on 1.9+ million shares.  Shares were as high as $0.84 in earlier trading.

Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) is trading up 16%, even above earlier indications, at $2.35 on 81,000 shares after the company reported positive results of its Phase 1 clinical trial of INTERCEPT red blood cells and on its report that it will collaborate with the French National Transfusion Service on INTERCEPT red blood cell development.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) down 7.8% at $16.12 on 700,000 shares; very actively traded to downside last night; this after earnings were mostly in line with estimates but the company lowered guidance all the way out to Fiscal March-2011.

LCA-Vision Inc. (NASDAQ: LCAV) beat earnings this morning but just with a more narrow loss (-$0.19 EPS).  We have not paid attention to the rest of the data from the call but shares are down 9.5% at $5.35 on only about 12,000 shares.  This is rarely a stock that trades in the pre-market.

National Bank of Greece SA (NYSE: NBG) is seeing a major pop up this morning despite a Goldman Sachs downgrade that is way too late.  This is on the major overhaul proposed.  Shares are up 10% at $3.77 on about 40,000 shares.

Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) is trading up over 5% at $4.35 this morning on 60,000 shares after the company reported that it licensed the worldwide rights to develop age-related macular degeneration diagnostic test to Optherion and is expected to launch in 2011.

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Price snapshots as of 8:40 to 8:50 AM EST

FEBRUARY 9, 2010