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S&P Holds Onto 2900 Despite Sluggish Session

The market wasn’t too impressed with today’s big bank reports, but the major indices made a respectable attempt to get back on the plus side to begin this short, yet earnings-heavy week.

As a result, the S&P managed to stay above 2900 despite the sluggish session.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup both beat earnings expectations in their quarters released this morning, but the top lines left more to be desired. GS and C were down 3.8% and 0.06%, respectively.

It was a different story Friday, when the country’s biggest bank J.P. Morgan posted strong first-quarter results that helped the market rally out the week. Instead, we had another boring, low volume session, which we’ve been seeing a lot of lately.

Nevertheless, stocks nearly broke even in the second half of the day. The S&P was down only 0.06% (or less than 2 points). Most importantly, the index stayed above 2900, which it reclaimed in Friday’s rally. The index is now at 2905.58 and remains less than 1% away from a new all-time high.

The Dow slipped 0.10% (or about 27 points) to 26,384.77, while the NASDAQ was down by the exact same percentage to 7976.01.

Last week was pretty slow, but this week could give it a run for its money. Not only are we still waiting for a trade deal and biting our fingernails over earnings reports, but this is a holiday-shortened week. The market is closed on Friday for Good Friday ahead Easter. You can bet that many investors will be taking a few extra days off this week.

But there will be some major stories in the coming days. One of the biggest is tomorrow’s earnings report from Netflix… the first of the FAANGs to announce this season. The streaming giant has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 5 straight quarters and has a positive Earnings ESP for the announcement coming after the bell tomorrow.

In addition to its numbers though, we’ll all be interested to hear what it has to say about the streaming services recently announced from Disney and Apple.


Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Counterstrike: With crude oil prices soaring into the $60s, shares of Apache (APA) have finally started moving higher again. The independent energy company had a rough decade or so, but the stock is up 40% this year and might not be done rising. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) reported a positive surprise of 24% in its most recent quarter and earnings estimates for this year have soared 38% over the past month. In addition to all this, Jeremy thinks APA could be a takeover target in the wake of Chevron’s bid for Anadarko. The editor added the stock on Monday with a 9% allocation. Read the complete commentary for more.

Surprise Trader: The portfolio began this week with a new buy, which was the same way it finished last week as we prepare for earnings season to really heat up. On Monday, Dave bought a 12.5% allocation in Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) bank holding company Veritex Holdings (VBTX), which has a positive Earnings ESP for the quarter to be reported on April 22 after the bell. The editor also appreciates that earnings per share are expected to grow 38% from last year, while revenues are estimated to more than double. Read the full write-up for more on this new addition.

Technology Innovators: It’s Tax Day 2019! (Let’s try to contain our excitement.) Brian Bolan felt this was a good time to “get the red out… and make some money.” Therefore, it was a busy session of selling in all his portfolios. The big winner on Monday was Zscaler (ZS), a cloud security play that was added in mid-February. The editor believed in this name even when the market was ignoring it… and it really paid off today. Brian wanted to protect that gain so he sold ZS on Monday for a return of 37.2%. He’ll replace it later this week. Read the full write up for more on all of today’s sells.

Stocks Under $10:
As part of today's aforementioned portfolio management moves, Brian Bolan decided to part ways with cable operator WideOpenWest (WOW). This stock was the editor’s first buy of 2019, having been added on Jan 2, and today he cashed it in for a return of 23.2%. Brian plans to replace today’s moves as soon as he can. Read the full write up for more on all of today’s sells.

Home Run Investor: When he bought Funko (FNKO) back in late January, Brian Bolan considered this pop culture consumer products company to be a China play. It was certainly a good move by the editor, but he feels like it has run its course. Therefore, FNKO was sold on Monday for a gain of 28.3%, as part of Brian’s portfolio management moves. These open spots will be filled as soon as possible. Read the full write up for more on all of today’s sells. 

Black Box Trader: All five of the stocks that were sold in this week’s adjustment were positive… and that includes two double-digit winners! The positions that left today were:

• Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF, +23.5%)
• Quanta Services (PWR, +11.8%)
• Principal Financial Group (PFG, +1.9%)
• Live Nation Entertainment (LYV, +2.7%)
• CBRE Group (CBRE, +1.5%)

The new buys that replaced these names on Monday are:

• First BanCorp (FBP)
• Hilton Worldwide (HLT)
• NXP Semiconductors (NXPI)
• PDC Energy (PDCE)
• V.F. Corp. (VFC) 

Read the Black Box Trader's Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service designed to take the emotion out of investing.

Have a Good Evening,
Jim Giaquinto

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