Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of pharmacy chain Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) were showing some life today, jumping as much as 10% in intraday trading on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: What's driven today's surge? That's a bit of a mystery. As far as I could find, there's no new Wall Street research out that touts the stock, and the only word from the company today is the SEC filing for the tender offer for employee options. And rather than any sort of good news, the latter is simply a reminder of why option-based compensation is so often a raw deal for shareholders. Instead, it seems more likely that the buying today could be more of a short-covering rally, after the stock was chopped by roughly a third over the past month.

Now what: At this point, Rite Aid is a bit of a gamble. The company faces tough competition from pharmacy powerhouses Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) and CVS (NYSE: CVS), as well as larger, diversified retailers. At the same time, Rite Aid has very little financial flexibility in its battle for market share, since its balance sheet is overwhelmed with debt and its interest coverage ratios are far from comforting. And in the midst of this, my fellow Fool Sean Williams thinks that Rite Aid CEO John Standley may not even care about shareholders.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.