In the wake of yesterday's tech-sector flogging, eBay earned a vote of confidence on the Street. Piper Jaffray upped its rating on the stock to outperform from market perform, citing the opinion that the shares are oversold. He company maintains a 12-month price target of $43.
An accompanying statement told clients that Our upgrade is based on 1) shares are attractive following [a] 20% decline since earnings results ... and we believe there is limited downside at current levels; 2) Q4 listings are on track and eBay should benefit from [a] weak dollar in Q4; and 3) we believe new initiatives including improved search and navigation will improve the buying experience and improve conversion rates in 2008.
In response, EBAY shares have jumped 3.6% today. But the stock remains steeped in a downtrend beneath multiple layers of technical resistance. The shares are below their 10-day and 20-day moving averages, which have guided the stock south during the past month. Weekly trendlines have also been violated, and the shares are wedged between their 10-month and 20-month moving averages.
On the options front, the equity is trading below the 35, 37.50, and 40 strikes, home to ample open interest in the November and January series. With November options expiring in a week, let's look ahead to January. The 35, 37.50, and 40 strikes in that series are collectively home to nearly 150,000 open contracts, which could stifle the shares in the near term should they attempt a prolonged recovery.