It's tough for a trader to sit and watch his or her stock trade today and even some of the more volatile names like a Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) $17.49 +1.09%, or a more volatile indexed security like the NASDAQ-100 Trust (AMEX:QQQ) $25.89 +0.15% are giving little sense of near-term direction and when one or the other breaks to a 15-minute high or low, the move seems to be quickly reversed might back into a mid-range where the break appeared to occur.
It can be days like today where its obscure names like an ID Biomedical Corporation (NASDAQ:IDBE) $6.86 +10.46% breaking to a 52-week high that grabs the headlines. A company that most have never heard of, which is a developer of subunit vaccine products, announced positive results from a Phase II trial of its intranasal delivered influenza vaccine.
Earlier today I mentioned that two other biotech stocks were halted. Both MedImmune (NASDAQ:MEDI) $24.92 and Corixa (NASDAQ:CRXA) $7.23 +3.58% remain halted. While MEDI never traded a share during the regular session, Corixa was halted during market hours with "news pending," but a review of the company's web site and various newswires shows no news. In recent weeks, NASDAQ has been more apt to halt the trading in stocks with important FDA reviews taking place to try and eliminate some of the more speculative trading that seems to take place ahead of such news.
The Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,546 -0.93% have started to extend their losses with an 81-point decline, but that's still just 24- points below their earlier morning lows.
In a rather "bold" call, Lehman Brothers upgraded shares of McDonalds (NYSE:MCD) $15.89 -8.57% to "equal-weight" from "underweight," saying that management changes at MCD and Burger King should help change and end the recent price wars, which have cut into margins. Lehman thinks that the $3 billion in operating cash flow along with MCD's current P/E valuation of 12x makes the stock attractive. Lehman was so bullish that it kept its price target at $21, which is just above MCD's old 52-week low of $20 set back in September.
While I'll eat a Big Mac or two, I'm having a tough time swallowing Lehman's bullish call on MCD.