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MarketBeat Week in Review – 4/24 - 4/28

Markets continue to look for direction between earnings reports and new economic data. This week, investors received strong earnings reports from tech giants such as Microsoft and Meta Platforms, but the results were not as good for Amazon. The initial read on the first quarter GDP came in much lower than expected. But the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index came in slightly higher on a year-over-year basis even though wage growth was flat. What does this mean for your money? In the short term, stocks will continue to trade within a range with proven performers outperforming. It also means the Federal Reserve is all but guaranteed to raise interest rates by 25 basis points when it meets next week. Next week will bring another full week of earnings reports highlighted by Apple which reports on Thursday. Investors will also be getting more economic data concluding with the April jobs report on Friday. It’s going to be a busy week, and to start your planning, here are some of the most popular articles from this week. 

Articles by Jea Yu 

Just when you were starting to get your head around artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications, there’s another related industry to figure out...quantum computing. This week Jea Yu explains what quantum computing is, why it’s relevant to so many industries – including AI – and gives you two stocks that are on the cutting edge of this technology. Yu was also writing about private label brands this week. Food inflation remains firmly entrenched and private label brands are cheaper for retailers to buy and less expensive for consumers as well. Yu gives investors two private food label manufacturers to buy as consumers continue to make their dollars stretch further. And with banks done reporting earnings, it’s time to assess the winners and losers. One winner that Yu sees is Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) which saw its stock fall victim to the regional bank selloff. But Yu explains why the company’s financials show that it’s not exposed to the issues that brought down Silicon Valley Bank which makes Fifth Third an opportunistic buy.  

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

In a sideways market, dividend-paying stocks shine brightly. But you have to pay attention to the underlying business. This week Thomas Hughes pointed investors to two industrial stocks that just reported strong earnings. The industrial sector is notoriously cyclical, and it has been underperforming in 2023 as the economy softens. But Hughes writes that these two stocks are giving off strong technical signals that they’re ready to move higher which, along with a safe dividend, will boost an investor’s total return. Another dividend stock that Hughes was bubbling about was PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP). Hughes explains why the beverage and snack foods giant is benefiting from pricing power and consumer demand. But this remains a good news, bad news market. And this week one of the pieces of bad news came from United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS). The company issued weak forward guidance which sent the stock near a two-year low and confirming that consumer spending, at least for discretionary purchases, continues to weaken.   

Articles by Sam Quirke 

When big tech companies report earnings, they tend to be market movers. This week was no exception. Sam Quirke was covering the earnings reports of three of the biggest tech names that helped move the tech-heavy NASDAQ index higher this week. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the parent company of Google reported strong earnings punctuated by strength in its core search and advertising businesses as well as its cloud computing business. A similar story played out with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) which showed strength in cloud computing. And in the case of Microsoft, there was positive movement with AI technology as befits the company’s massive investment in the space. And Quirke was also analyzing the results from Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META). Investors have been waiting to see growth come from business performance instead of cost-cutting. As Quirke notes, the company crused expectations for ad revenue which may confirm that the recent resurgence of META stock is warranted and could have legs.  

Articles by Chris Markoch  

Sometimes a strong earnings report just isn’t enough. That’s the case for two stocks that Chris Markoch looked at this week. For Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) this is not a new occurrence. For the last few quarters, ENPH stock has gone down after earnings. But the sharp sell-off of over 25% as of this writing is more than usual and illustrates investor anxiety about the overall economy. But as Markoch writes, this is still one of the best solar plays in the market and risk-tolerant growth investors should still look at the stock. Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF) stock is also down despite a double beat as investors weigh strong demand from the company’s core automotive clients with reasonable concerns about weaker consumer demand. But at 6x earnings, Markoch explains why CLF stock deserves to be on your watchlist at least.  

Articles by Kate Stalter  

Kate Stalter reminded investors this week of an important truth. Whenever you have a sector that is trending one way or another, there are always other companies that are bucking that trend. Specifically, Stalter was referring to Fiserv Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV). The banking industry may be a mess. But Fiserv isn’t a financial institution. Instead, it provides technology services, most notably software, that banks need for you, their customers, to do your online and mobile banking. Not surprisingly, as bank stocks continue to struggle, FISV stock is up strongly for the month and Stalter explains why it’s not done yet.    

Articles by MarketBeat Staff 

In volatile markets it can help to think like a trader, even if you’re not a trader by nature. This week the staff wrote about three volatile mid-cap stocks that have good setups for risk-tolerant investors to trade. And speaking of risk, sports betting remains one of the hottest, and fastest growing, sectors for investors to trade. One of the hottest names has been DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) which has already doubled its stock price this year. The stock is still a gamble, but right now it looks like the bulls have the data to back up their argument. The staff also offered up this article that focuses on three low-risk dividend stocks that may not offer a lot of growth but will allow you to sleep well at night.   

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