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Best Warren Buffett Stocks For 2019

Apple and a solid jobs report lifted stocks on Friday.

The Dow gained 332 points, and all but one of the 30 companies in the index finished higher. The Nasdaq climbed 1.7%, and the S&P 500 moved ahead 1.3%. Stocks finished mixed for the week.

Apple rose 4% to an all-time high after Warren Buffett revealed that Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) bought about 75 million shares during the first three months of 2018. The stock had its best week since 2011.

Apple rewarded investors this week with plans to buy back $100 million worth of stock. That’s on top of the company’s record $22.5 billion worth of buybacks during the first quarter. Those announcements overshadowed slower iPhone sales.

The market climbed most of the day after the jobs report, which showed that wages grew 2.6% from a year earlier not fast enough to trigger worries about inflation. In February, the market plunged when wages rose faster than expected.

The economy added 164,000 jobs in April, lower than expectations. Unemployment fell below 4% for the first time since 2000.

Best Warren Buffett Stocks For 2019: Medidata Solutions, Inc.(MDSO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Medidata Solutions (MDSO)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Medidata Solutions (MDSO)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Best Warren Buffett Stocks For 2019: Google Inc.(GOOG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP) and Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ:GOOG) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    The so-called #PotPurge, a generalized censorship of cannabis-focused channels, continues in Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s YouTube. Over the past few months, the video streaming platform has been closing many of these accounts with little or no explanation. This week, the channel of leading education platform Green Flower was closed, deleting hundreds of educational videos.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    The new partnership sounds similar to one that Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Waymo inked withFiat Chrysler a while back, which was just recently extended, with Waymo agreeing to purchase “thousands” morePacifica hybrid minivans. One of the most practical applications for autonomous cars will be shuttling larger groups of people, which is why some companies are focusing on minivan form factors.

  • [By Beth McKenna]

    10-Year Return

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) $780 billion/$784 billion

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018

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On CNBC’s “Options Action,” Carter Worth analyzed The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) from a technical standpoint.

He said that it has shown a lot of relative strength in the last six months. The stock outperformed Consumer Staples Select Sect. SPDR (ETF) (NYSE: XLP) in that period after a long stint of lagging behind its peers. While both the S&P 500 and the Consumer Staples ETF recorded negative returns in the last six months, The Coca-Cola Co gained 2.8 percent.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Ambarella, Inc.(AMBA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Ambarella Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA) also is scheduled to release its most recent quarterly results Thursday. The consensus forecast calls for $0.37 in EPS and $70.3 million in revenue. Shares closed at $48.89. The consensus price target is $57.50, and the 52-week range is $40.06 to $66.23.

  • [By Nicholas Rossolillo]

    Video chip maker Ambarella’s (NASDAQ:AMBA) claim to fame was making crucial hardware for action camera company GoPro. That main business has been in decline, though, leaving Ambarella shareholders with a stock that has been stuck in a rut the last few years. However, a new technology — computer vision — has management optimistic that a new revenue source is in the works.

  • [By Max Byerly]

    ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: “Ambarella (AMBA) Receives $60.83 Average Price Target from Analysts” was first published by Ticker Report and is the property of of Ticker Report. If you are accessing this story on another website, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States and international copyright law. The original version of this story can be viewed at www.tickerreport.com/banking-finance/3379592/ambarella-amba-receives-60-83-average-price-target-from-analysts.html.

  • [By Leo Sun]

    Intel’s acquisition of Movidius caused serious headachesfor Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA), which sells image processing SoCs for action cameras, dash cams, security cameras, and drones. Movidius’ Myriad 2 VPUs bundled together image processing, computer vision, and machine learning capabilities, which left Ambarella’s SoCs behind a crucical tech curve.

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) shares fell 3.1% during trading on Friday . The company traded as low as $49.01 and last traded at $51.21. 973,626 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 8% from the average session volume of 1,053,381 shares. The stock had previously closed at $49.68.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: IPG Photonics Corporation(IPGP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Danny Vena]

    Expectations were high for high-power laser-maker IPG Photonics Corporation (NASDAQ:IPGP). Last year was one of the strongest years in the company’s history, and the stock price more than doubled. The company’s had several years of stellar results and going into its financial report, investors were fearing a slowdown and were looking for any indication that IPG’s trend could continue — and they got just what they were looking for.

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on IPG Photonics (IPGP)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Princeton Capital Management LLC grew its position in IPG Photonics (NASDAQ:IPGP) by 3.6% in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 11,998 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock after acquiring an additional 421 shares during the quarter. IPG Photonics accounts for about 1.2% of Princeton Capital Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 27th largest position. Princeton Capital Management LLC’s holdings in IPG Photonics were worth $2,800,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Advantus Capital Management Inc reduced its position in shares of IPG Photonics (NASDAQ:IPGP) by 16.5% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 3,859 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock after selling 763 shares during the period. Advantus Capital Management Inc’s holdings in IPG Photonics were worth $901,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Cerner Corporation(CERN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) issued an update on its second quarter earnings guidance on Wednesday morning. The company provided earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $0.59-0.61 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.66. The company issued revenue guidance of $1.31-1.36 billion, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $1.38 billion.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

    Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James.

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by equities researchers at Cantor Fitzgerald in a note issued to investors on Thursday. They currently have a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 14.12% from the company’s previous close.

  • [By ]

    Cerner Corp (Nasdaq: CERN) is the largest pure-play health care IT (HCIT) company in the world with clients in 30 countries and a footprint at 70 of the top 100 global health systems by patient revenue. The company is the market leader in health systems outside the United States with 28% of an otherwise fragmented market.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: SuperCom, Ltd.(SPCB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Supercom (NASDAQ:SPCB) shares reached a new 52-week high and low during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as low as $1.84 and last traded at $1.92, with a volume of 980 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $1.92.

  • [By Lisa Levin] Companies Reporting Before The Bell
    Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: HQCL) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $438.40 million.
    Remark Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARK) is projected to report quarterly loss at $0.35 per share on revenue of $19.45 million.
    Athenex, Inc. (NYSE: ATNX) is expected to report quarterly loss at $0.07 per share on revenue of $35.14 million.
    Mazor Robotics Ltd. (NASDAQ: MZOR) is estimated to report quarterly loss at $0.08 per share on revenue of $15.14 million.
    Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI) is projected to report a quarterly loss at $0.14 per share.
    SuperCom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SPCB) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.08 per share on revenue of $9.50 million.
    Lonestar Resources US Inc. (NASDAQ: LONE) is projected to report quarterly loss at $0.04 per share on revenue of $30.68 million.
    Nine Energy Service, Inc. (NASDAQ: NINE) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.1 per share on revenue of $165.76 million.
    VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $0.05 per share on revenue of $212.00 million.

     

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Veeco Instruments Inc.(VECO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Integrated Media Technology Limited (NASDAQ: IMTE) rose 30.8 percent to $22.00 in pre-market trading after declining 18.63 percent on Monday.
    Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NYSE: NSU) rose 14.5 percent to $3.40 in pre-market trading after Lundin Mining Corporation and Euro Sun Mining Inc. proposed to acquire Nevsun Resources for around C$1.5 billion.
    Sharing Economy International Inc. (NASDAQ: SEII) rose 15.2 percent to $4.25 in pre-market trading after the company disclosed that it entered into a license agreement with Ecrent Capital Holdings Limited.
    Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) shares rose 14.1 percent to $19.50 in pre-market trading after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter.
    Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI) rose 13.4 percent to $15.40 in pre-market trading after reporting Q1 results.
    SandRidge Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SD) shares rose 13.2 percent to $16.45 in pre-market trading following Q1 results.
    Blink Charging Co. (NASDAQ: BLNK) rose 12.6 percent to $4.55 in pre-market trading after jumping 171.14 percent on Monday.
    Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) shares rose 10 percent to $16.66 in pre-market trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter and issued strong sales forecast for the second quarter.
    Pareteum Corporation (NASDAQ: TEUM) rose 9.7 percent to $3.05 in pre-market trading after announcing Q1 results.
    Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) rose 8 percent to $9.00 in pre-market trading after reporting upbeat Q1 earnings.
    Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI) rose 7.3 percent to $23.45 in pre-market trading following Q1 results.
    IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE: IAG) rose 7.1 percent to $6.09 in pre-market trading after reporting upbeat Q1 earnings.
    TC PipeLines, LP (NYSE: TCP) rose 6.4 percent to $27 in pre-market trading after gaining 2.08 percent on Monday.
    Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TAST) rose 6.3 percent to $11.75 in pre-market trading fol
  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Veeco (VECO)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Breaking news

    Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC) reported upbeat earnings for its first quarter.
    AES Corp (NYSE: AES) reported upbeat earnings for its first quarter, while sales missed estimates.
    Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter.
    Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) disclosed that its CFO Andrew Vollero will leave the company and Amazon.com's VP Of Finance Tim Sloan will assume the role.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

    Wall Street expects Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) to report quarterly earnings at $0.44 per share on revenue of $1.99 billion before the opening bell. Discovery shares rose 0.47 percent to $23.50 in pre-market trading.
    Analysts expect Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) to post quarterly earnings at $1.22 per share on revenue of $5.72 billion after the closing bell. Marriott shares gained 0.08 percent to $136.75 in pre-market trading.
    Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter. Veeco Instruments shares surged 14.04 percent to $19.50 in the after-hours trading session.
    Before the markets open, DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $0.7 per share on revenue of $3.50 billion. DISH shares gained 1.53 percent to close at $33.90 on Monday.
    Analysts are expecting US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD) to have earned $0.32 per share on revenue of $5.98 billion in the latest quarter. US Foods will release earnings before the markets open. US Foods shares rose 0.57 percent to close at $33.72 on Monday.
    Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) disclosed that its CFO Andrew Vollero will leave the company and Amazon.com's VP Of Finance Tim Sloan will assume the role. Snap shares gained 1.3 percent to $10.88 in pre-market trading.

    Find out what's going on in today's market and bring any questions you have to Benzinga's PreMarket Prep.

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Media stories about Veeco (NASDAQ:VECO) have been trending positive on Thursday, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research group identifies negative and positive press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million news and blog sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Veeco earned a news impact score of 0.25 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media headlines about the semiconductor company an impact score of 46.7650210874662 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the near term.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution Holding Ltd(KONE)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Money Morning News Team]

    While a 209% gain is exciting, FunctionX’s gains are in the past. After looking at the 10 top penny stocks to watch this week, we’ll show you a small-cap stock with serious profit potential ahead of it…

    Penny Stock Current Share Price Law Week’s Gain
    FunctionX Inc. (OTCMKTS: FNCX) $0.03 209%
    Turtle Beach Corp. (Nasdaq: HEAR) $4.48 52.73%
    DPW Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DPW) $1.16 51.31%
    Energy XXI Gulf Coast Inc. (Nasdaq: EGC) $5.62 49.33%
    MYnd Analytics Inc. (Nasdaq: MYND) $1.91 49.21%
    Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solutions Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq: KONE) $6.43 48.42%
    Rennova Health Inc. (OTCMKTS: RNVA) $0.02 44.30%
    International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. (NYSE: THM) $0.72 41.64%
    Blonder Tongue Labs Inc. (NYSE: BDR) $1.13 41.14%
    Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: BLCM) $8.87 40.53%

    As the gains above suggest, penny stocks can provides tremendous returns for investors very quickly. However, it’s important to note that investing in penny stocks is also inherently risky.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Google Inc.(GOOG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Google has just announcedthat it plans to acquire Israel-based Velostrata, a start-up that specializes in helping enterprises migrate to the cloud. The cloud infrastructure market is booming, as newer companies increasingly realize they can utilize third-party infrastructure in the early days to great benefit, while more mature companies often supplement first-party infrastructure with third-party offerings to bolster performance and reliability.

  • [By Billy Duberstein]

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)reported its first quarter earnings at the end of April, beating expectations handily. Revenue grew 26%, marking an acceleration over the previous quarter, but operating earnings only grew 7% year-over-year. That margin compression has investors worried.

  • [By ]

    It’s hard to say exactly what caused the stampede for the exits. Several high-profile companies, including Google parent Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG), reported disappointing earnings. Traders were also grappling with contentious budget debates in Washington and the threat of another government shutdown.

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    The so-called #PotPurge, a generalized censorship of cannabis-focused channels, continues in Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s YouTube. Over the past few months, the video streaming platform has been closing many of these accounts with little or no explanation. This week, the channel of leading education platform Green Flower was closed, deleting hundreds of educational videos.

  • [By Chris Neiger]

    For example, DeepMind, an AI company owned by Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google, partnered last year with the U.K.’s National Health Service to use AI algorithms to read medical scans. DeepMind isn’t making decisions on patient care from the scans just yet, but as the AI continues to learn from the scans, it could be used in the future to make recommendations for doctors, which would free up countless hours for healthcare professionals.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Glu Mobile Inc.(GLUU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    Shares ofGlu Mobile(NASDAQ:GLUU)hit another two-year high on Wednesday. The mobile games publisher has been on a roll since posting blowout financial results last week. The stock moved 22% higher last week, and it has soared 171% since the start of last year.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) insider Masi Niccolo De sold 134,785 shares of Glu Mobile stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $4.81, for a total value of $648,315.85. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 524,755 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,524,071.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link.

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Attunity Ltd.(ATTU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Attunity (ATTU)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Top 10 Tech Stocks For 2018: Tucows Inc.(TCX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Online services veteran Tucows (NASDAQ:TCX) reported first-quarter earnings last night, and the mixed results failed to impress investors. The stock fell as much as 9.4% Thursday morning before bouncing back to a smaller 6% drop.

  • [By Brian Feroldi, Sean Williams, and Maxx Chatsko]

    So, which stocks do we think are capable of delivering gains like that for shareholders who buy today? We asked a team of investors to weigh in, and they pickedSolarEdge Technologies(NASDAQ:SEDG),Proto Labs(NYSE:PRLB), and Tucows (NASDAQ:TCX).

  • [By WWW.GURUFOCUS.COM]

    For the details of INVESTMENTAKTIENGESELLSCHAFT FUER LANGFRISTIGE INVESTOREN TGV’s stock buys and sells, go to www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=INVESTMENTAKTIENGESELLSCHAFT+FUER+LANGFRISTIGE+INVESTOREN+TGV

    These are the top 5 holdings of INVESTMENTAKTIENGESELLSCHAFT FUER LANGFRISTIGE INVESTOREN TGVBerkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A) – 521 shares, 23.36% of the total portfolio. Microsoft Corp (MSFT) – 1,578,000 shares, 20.34% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 1%Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) – 86,580 shares, 13.74% of the total portfolio. Tucows Inc (TCX) – 904,292 shares, 9.54% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 1.12%Fastenal Co (FAS

Apple's HomePod Makes a Small Dent in Smart Speaker Market During Debut Quarter

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) officially jumped into the smart speaker market in the first quarter with the HomePod, and analysts believe that sales thus far are “underwhelming.” Siri remains less capable than its competing counterparts, HomePod only supports Apple Music for full functionality, and the $350 price tag positions it at a significant premium. With HomePod being included in the company’s catch-all “Other Products” segment, investors aren’t likely to get much official data from Apple anytime soon.

That’s where third-party estimates come in.

HomePod on a shelf

Image source: Apple.

Apple shipped 600,000 HomePods in the first quarter

Market researcher Strategy Analyticsis out with its estimates on the smart speaker market for the first quarter, estimating that Apple shipped approximately 600,000 units after HomePod launched in February. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is maintaining its strong grip on the market, although its share did drop quite a bit. But the overall market is simply growing so quickly that the e-commerce giant still doubled unit shipments of Echo devices. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Google continues to make headway as well.

Vendor

Q1 2017 Units

Q1 2017 Market Share

Q1 2018 Units

Q1 2018 Market Share

Amazon

2 million

81.8%

4 million

43.6%

Google

0.3 million

12.4%

2.4 million

26.5%

Alibaba

0

0%

0.7 million

7.6%

Apple

0

0%

0.6 million

6%

Xiaomi

0

0%

0.2 million

2.4%

Others

0.1 million

5.8%

1.3 million

13.9%

Total

2.4 million

100%

9.2 million

100%

Data source: Strategy Analytics. Figures rounded.

The Chinese market for smart speakers continues to grow, with local vendors like Alibaba and Xiaomi (which is preparingto go public soon) stepping up to meet the demand, according to Strategy Analytics. Amazon, Google, and Apple do not currently ship smart speakers into the Middle Kingdom. On the earnings callearlier this month, CEO Tim Cook noted that HomePod is only available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia right now, with availability in more markets coming soon.

While Apple generally does not place much value in unit share, it’s clear that Amazon and Google are enjoying unit growth thanks to broader portfolios of devices offered at lower price points. That’s why the “HomePod Mini” that Apple is rumored to have in the pipeline has a lot of potential, as it would make the idea of buying multiple devices a more tenable proposition for consumers.

Of course, HomePod was only available for about half of the quarter, so its performance isn’t all that representative quite yet.Let’s see how the Mac maker fares in the quarters ahead.

More Big Companies Beat Projections, But Wall Street Appears To Still Struggle

Companies keep churning out impressive earnings, but the market doesn’t seem to give them much credit. Instead, fear and caution remain the watchwords as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) enters Wednesday on a five-session losing streak.

Morning Earnings Wrap

Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) became the latest member of the $DJI 30 to smash Wall Street analysts’ projections early Wednesday, firing up earnings per share of $3.64 vs. analysts’ consensus of $2.56. Revenue of $23.38 billion was more than $1 billion ahead of the $22.2 billion analysts had expected, and the company also raised its outlook. Strength in the commercial air division helped BA project a healthy sales picture.

Also on the earnings front, Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) topped analysts’ earnings projections and reported the second profitable quarter in the company’s history. It also handed out some bullish guidance and said daily active users grew 10 percent. The tech reporting season continues after the close when Facebook (FB) presents its Q1 results and tomorrow with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT).

It’s unclear whether any of the earnings momentum will spill into stocks today as the futures market came under pressure before the opening bell. Stocks overseas followed the U.S. lower after Tuesday’s big sell-off, with a key European index down about 1 percent.

Market Psychology Ruling the Day?

The hunt for 3 percent ended Tuesday as the 10-year yield reached that benchmark level. Soon after, stocks started to take a beating and sharply reversed early gains. At one point, the $DJI stumbled more than 600 points before recovering about one-third of those losses by the end of the day. Concerns about higher borrowing costs and rising commodity prices may be playing into the pressure.

Wall Street also appears to be grappling with a few psychological issues. Most notably, there’s trepidation around that 3 percent yield number, which didn’t hold for long Tuesday but remains within close range.  It definitely seems to be hurting the home builders, whose shares sold off despite strong housing and consumer confidence data this week. The fear is that some people might hear about higher rates and decide not to buy a house after all. Home builders are dealing with something that’s more of a psychological factor than a reality factor, as “3 percent” was made out to be the boogeyman of the markets. Historically, though, it’s not all that high.

Another psychological element is the idea touted by some analysts about earnings starting to peak. This might have been exacerbated by Dow component Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) post-earnings conference call in which executives described the Q1 as a “high water mark.” Despite what some analysts called “phenomenal” earnings from the big machine maker, CAT shares fell more than 6 percent. Here we see the power of a conference call. This stock was higher before the call, but the remark led to immediate selling as some investors seemed to interpret the language as CAT saying it can’t get any better than this. However, the remark might not have come out as the company had intended.

More proof that one negative metric can hold back a big company’s stock surfaced with Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Tuesday. Though the company reported a powerful quarter, the stock got stuffed as investors and analysts seemed focused more on higher-than-expected capital expenditures.

The "P" and the "E" in P/E

What it all comes down to is a certain level of confusion, which could hang around for a while. There seems to be a repricing of equities going on and despite this being an incredible earnings season so far, stock prices keep going down. The price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple remains a key factor to watch. “E” keeps getting higher and “P” keeps getting lower. People just don’t seem to be inclined to pay the same “P” any longer. It’s unclear where this might go, and sometimes these things take six to 12 months to sort themselves out. We’re right in the middle of it now.

Anyone looking for a silver lining might want to check out how VIX, the market’s most closely watched volatility indicator, acted during the last hours of the day. If you look closely, you’d see that it pulled back a bit in the last part of the session from intraday highs above 19.

Next Up: Autos

Attention could shift to the automotive sector when Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) reports after the close today and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) issues results before the open Thursday. There’s a truckload (pardon the expression) of things to consider ahead of not just these two behemoths but also Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), which according to the company’s web site reports May 2.

First, Ford is embarking on a huge program to save $14 billion, but, like all car companies, faces pressure to ignite its research and development (R&D) efforts to keep up with advances in electric and autonomous cars. At this point, F, which has lower margins than GM, is actually spending more money on R&D than its Detroit counterpart. Anyone who’s long F should consider listening to the company’s earnings call to see if there’s more clarity on where those savings might come from, and what they’re going to chop if it’s not R&D. At this point, one school of thought suggests that F is spending too much and not getting enough bang for its buck, but perhaps we’ll learn more Wednesday.

A question for GM, and maybe the U.S. auto industry as a whole, is what’s happening in China. Not long ago, 50 percent of GM’s revenue came from China, but now that’s below 40 percent. The company has closed some plants there. Is the Chinese market not growing at the pace we thought, or is Buick getting less popular over there? It seems unlikely that the latter would be true, so perhaps there’s something about the former that GM might address in its call, and, if that’s the case, might be something other U.S. car companies also have to address.

TSLA doesn’t report until next week, but there may be questions for the company about its own R&D after an analyst note came out recently speculating about TSLA’s development costs. Some analysts doubt if TSLA can achieve the Model 3 production it’s promised in the time frame the company has forecast. TSLA announced two temporary Model 3 plant shutdowns last week but said the shutdowns had been planned.

Though TSLA’s cars don’t need it, crude oil comes under a microscope this week as President Trump holds meetings in the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron. The Iran nuclear agreement is a key topic.

chart_4_251.jpg FIGURE 1: HOW THINGS CHANGE. The tech sector (candlestick) and financial sector (purple line), mapped here over the last year, led the charge through much of 2017 and right into the first month of 2018. Since then, these two former leaders have seemed to lose their way, and that’s one possible reason the market lacks direction.  Data source: S&P Dow Jones Indices. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Buyers Pay Up in Chicago

Some call Chicago, “The most American city.” That may or may not be the case, but the city’s real estate market in March seemed to reflect some of the broader American trends in housing. Existing home prices rose more than 5 percent nationwide last month, and in the city of Chicago prices hit an all-time high median of $314,000, according to Illinois Association of Realtors. That was up more than 6 percent from a year earlier. However, total sales around the country fell more than 1 percent year-over-year, and Chicago’s market also saw less turnover, with the number of sales falling more than 10 percent. In sum, Chicago seemed to be a microcosm of a housing market characterized by rising prices and falling supplies. That might sound like a good opportunity for home builders, but rising mortgage rates raise question marks.

ECB Up Next

One thing that’s arguably helped hold back U.S. yields is lower yields in Europe and Japan. However, the European Central Bank (ECB) has been removing some stimulus and meets again this week. An update is due Thursday morning. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) seems inclined to stay put with its current accommodation, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told CNBC in a recent interview, saying “risks are skewed to the downside” in Japan’s economy. 

GDP Time Already?

Earnings grab most of the headlines this week, but don’t forget to watch Friday for the government’s first read on Q1 gross domestic product. The report is due out before the opening bell and could give investors a sense of whether the economy continued its solid run that started in Q2 of last year. The consensus among analysts is that things slowed down a bit between January and March, to around 2.1 percent, Briefing.com said. That’s down from the final Q4 read of 2.9 percent, which marked the third-consecutive quarter of growth around 3 percent. Typically, GDP is closely watched but doesn’t tend to move the market unless it comes in well above or below expected levels. The government does get two more cracks at the ball, so this isn’t the final word.

Information from TDA is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy, and is for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade.

Upcoming Earnings: Industrial Conglomerate GE Reports Friday Morning

Industrial conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) is scheduled to report earnings before market open on Friday, Apr. 20.

CEO John Flannery has faced plenty of challenges since he took over in August 2017, working to streamline the massive company and improve transparency. In recent quarters, GE’s issues have been numerous and well publicized.

In the time that Flannery has been at the helm, GE has halved its dividend; it took a surprise $6.2 billion after-tax charge in Q4 2017 related to GE Capital’s insurance portfolio, while adding $15 billion to its reserves  for future payouts over the next seven years; and recently restated 2016 and 2017 financials, reducing earnings by $0.30 per share. The restated financials also included adjustments related to pensions, cash flows and income taxes.

Clearly, the company’s turnaround efforts, which include a multi-year plan to improve GE Power as well as exiting more than $20 billion worth of business over the next several years, are going to take time.

There have been some signs of progress from Flannery’s plan so far. When GE reported Q4 2017 results, it generated $9.7 billion in adjusted cash flow from operating activities for fiscal 2017, compared to guidance of $7 billion.

Since announcing plans to exit $20 billion in business, it has sold its industrial solution business in a $2.6 billion deal to ABB (ABB) and recently announced a $1.05 billion deal to sell healthcare IT businesses to private equity firm Veritas.  And Bloomberg reported that several companies are considering a bid for GE’s Jenbacher unit for more than $3 billion.

On tomorrow’s calls, analysts are likely to be digging in to get a better idea of restructuring progress.

GE Earnings

For Q1 2018, GE is expected to report adjusted EPS of $0.11 on revenue of $27.88 billion, according to third-party consensus estimates. In Q4 2017, revenue missed estimates, coming in at $31.4 billion versus expectations for $32.7 billion, and earnings also came up short by a penny at $0.27 per share after removing charges and one-time items.

GE previously lowered its earnings guidance for all of fiscal 2018 to a range of $1.00 to $1.07, but analysts seem to think that’s a little optimistic given they have an average estimate of $0.95. Out of 17 analyst ratings, earnings estimates range from $0.87 to $1.04 per share.

GE Options Trading Activity

Around GE’s upcoming report, options traders have priced in a 4.8% share price move in either direction, according to the Market Maker Move indicator on the thinkorswim® platform. Implied volatility was at the 76th percentile as of this morning. 

general-electric-ge-stock-chart-q1-2018.png
GE 1-YEAR CHART. GE shares have dropped from a 52-week high of $30.54 all the way to a new 52-week low of $12.73 on March 26. The stock has bounced a little bit off that level and has been trading around the mid-$13 range for the past few sessions. Chart source: thinkorswim® by TD Ameritrade.  Not a recommendation. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

In short-term trading at the Apr. 20 monthly expiration and the next several weekly expirations, a lot of the activity has been concentrated at the 14 strike for both puts and calls, just out of the money. At the May 20 expiration, trading has also been heavier at the 14-strike call, while activity on the put side has been mostly at the 13 and 14 strikes. 

Overall during yesterday’s session, trading was heavier on the call side, with a put/call ratio of 0.476.

Note: Call options represent the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a predetermined price over a set period of time. Put options represent the right, but not the obligation to sell the underlying security at a predetermined price over a set period of time.

What’s Coming Up

Next week brings results from many of the largest companies in the tech sector:

Google-parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) reports after the close Monday, Apr. 23
Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) reports before market open Wednesday, Apr. 25 and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) reports after the close the same day
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) report after the close Thursday, Apr. 26

In addition to the tech-heavy week, some of the other companies on the docket are Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT), Boeing Co (NYSE: BA), Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM). If you have time, make sure to check out today’s market update for a look at what else is going on.

Information from TDA is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy, and is for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade.