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Coronavirus Fears Squash Hopes for Another Weekly Gain

Those Friday doldrums came back around today with a vengeance, and this time they ruined the market’s chance for a third straight week of gains.

Investors have been wary of the weekends during this coronavirus outbreak, and recent news that it was gaining ground in South Korea only frayed their nerves further.

The NASDAQ was in positive territory for the week heading into today’s session, but a rough day for tech led it on a 1.79% plunge. The index was down nearly 175 points to 9576.59.

The S&P slipped 1.05% to 3337.75, while the Dow fell below 29K by dropping 0.78% (or around 227 points) to 28992.41.

If you’re looking for a silver lining, stocks finished well off their lows and spent much of the final hour moving higher.  

But for the week, the NASDAQ dropped 1.6%, the Dow was off 1.4% and the S&P slipped 1.3%.

Last week, they were all up by 1% or more. (The NASDAQ soared 2.2%!)

We’ve all been hoping that the coronavirus was running out of steam… and some daily updates of late have shown a slowing of newly reported cases.

However, it’s still spreading by hundreds of cases a day, which means it will continue to threaten the global economy.

Perhaps the biggest warning came earlier this week from Apple, which said the sickness could pull its second-quarter revenue below expectations.

As dreary as Fridays have been during this outbreak, things usually feel a bit better when Mondays come around. That’s especially true for an economy like ours, which is moving along nicely when not being impacted by a global emergency beyond our control.

Investors are feeling pretty good that things will bounce back once the coronavirus is handled, but when will that be?

Let’s hope we get some good news next week… we’re certainly due for it.

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Commodity Innovators: This short week began and ended with buys for this brand new portfolio. Jeremy added the following names on Friday:

• Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS)
• ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ)
• Teucrium Wheat ETF (WEAT)
• VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)

The portfolio added seven positions in this first week. Make sure to read the editor’s complete commentary for a lot more on each of these inaugural picks. 

Insider Trader: For the second time this month and the third time since adding it in November, Tracey is selling some of the Enphase Energy (ENPH) position and banking big returns. The editor sold half of the remaining stake in this microinverters supplier to the solar industry on Friday for an impressive 206.6% return. The portfolio also sold half of Mastercard (MA) for a 25% profit and all of Cubic (CUB) for a slight loss. The new buy is NextEra Energy (NEE), a clean energy provider in Florida that is up 49% in the last year and 16.5% so far in 2020. Tracey considers this a momentum play, since a director bought 3000 shares earlier this week even though the stock is trading near its highs. That’s rare and a positive sign. NEE was added with a 10% allocation. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves.

Surprise Trader: The market may have stumbled this week, but that just means Dave is ready to buy some dips. Heading into the weekend, he added Evolent Health (EVH) with a 12.5% allocation. The company is involved in the healthcare delivery and payment markets, which puts it in the highly-ranked Internet – Software industry (Top 38%). EVH has an Earnings ESP of 126% for the quarter coming after the bell on Tuesday, February 25. He also sold Air Lease (AL) after the stock slipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Read the full write-up for more.

Have a Great Weekend!
Jim Giaquinto

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