Wednesday, February 21, 2024

MarketBeat Week in Review – 2/5 – 2/9

Key Points

  • The markets continue to rise as investors seem to have come to grips with higher interest rates.  
  • If small-cap stocks catch a bid, the rally could really gain steam, but the CPI and PPI due out next week may cool down stocks.  
  • Here are some of our most popular articles from this week.   
  • 5 stocks we like better than UiPath

The markets sang a familiar tune for investors this week. The 10-year Treasury note was down, so stocks were up. The S&P 500 index is flirting with an all-time high of over 5,000, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq continues to push higher. There was also a bullish movement in oil prices. And towards the end of the week, Bitcoin was back above $47,000. 

But there was also some positive movement in the Russell 2000 index. If small-cap stocks start to catch a bid, that would signal the broadening of the rally investors have been waiting for.  

However, next week may bring a jolt of reality in the form of the latest readings on inflation. The January CPI and PPI readings come out on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. If the reports give any hint that the pace of inflation is not easing, it could stop the rally in its tracks. Conversely, if the readings show that inflation is trending lower, it will renew hopes that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting rates sooner rather than later. 

Articles by Jea Yu 

Investors continue to pile into artificial intelligence stocks. This week, Jea Yu explained why investors should look at UiPath Inc. NYSE: PATH. The world’s largest provider of end-to-end robotic process automation (RPA) and business process automation (BPA) platforms is seeing strong growth from annual recurring revenue (ARR), which could be a tipping point for the company’s profitability.  

Yu also wrote about how The Clorox Co. NYSE: CLX delivered a strong earnings report. The double beat sent CLX shares higher. However, Yu explains why investors wonder if the company’s top-line growth is coming from increased sales or just retailers normalizing their inventory after the cyberattack that hit the company in August 2023 

We’re almost midway through earnings season, and so far, a majority of companies are beating earnings estimates. But some companies are really beating estimates. Yu gives investors three companies that more than doubled analysts’ earnings per share (EPS) estimates.  

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

Thomas Hughes wrote about two bellwether stocks that are moving in different directions after reporting earnings. The Walt Disney Company NYSE: DIS reported earnings this week and gave investors more than faith, trust, and pixie dust. The company increased its recently reinstated dividends, is buying back shares, and is starting to see the effects of cost-cutting efforts on its bottom line.  

On the other hand, McDonald’s Co. NYSE: MCD stock is down slightly after the company missed slightly on the top line and said its focus would be on containing costs for its customer base. However, Hughes writes that the strong bottom line continues to make MCD stock a buy on any dip.  

Hughes also updated investors on the status of Mullen Automotive Inc. NASDAQ: MULN. Hughes notes that the company is now approved for sale in all 50 states, with production and revenue ramping up. However, investors should eye the cash situation that the maker of commercial electric vehicles (EVs) will need to get across the finish line.  

Articles by Sam Quirke 

This week, Sam Quirke wrote about the recent earnings report delivered by Atlassian Corporation NASDAQ: TEAM. The company beat the headline numbers but offered weak guidance that sent the stock lower. But as Quirke notes, the company has some vocal defenders in the analyst community that make this software stock a buy-the-dip candidate.  

Nvidia Corporation NASDAQ: NVDA and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. NASDAQ: AMD get a lot of attention in the chip sector. But Quirke explained that Cirrus Logic Inc. NASDAQ: CRUS is an under-the-radar name that investors may want to give close attention.  

Quirke also revisited his bullish call on Enphase Energy Inc. NASDAQ: ENPH. Despite the downturn in the solar sector, Quirke sees the rally in ENPH stock that started in November growing stronger later this year.  

Articles by Chris Markoch 

Meta Platforms Inc. NASDAQ: META was an unquestioned winner in the tech sector this earnings season. However, Chris Markoch had his eye on three of the best tech stocks for investors to consider if they’re looking for tech stocks that may offer some better short-term upside.  

If the market rally broadens out, small-cap stocks are likely to benefit. That would help biotech investors who traditionally invest in these companies, some of which are moonshots. Putting the two categories together, Markoch provided a list of three small-cap biotech stocks that may have catalysts in 2024. 

Palantir Technologies Inc. NYSE: PLTR got the week off to a strong start. The stock is up over 44% after the company beat expectations on the top and bottom lines and offered a bullish outlook that shows the company is continuing to quiet its skeptics.  

Articles by Kate Stalter  

The S&P 500 is near a record-high of over 5,000, and for many investors, the question is why? There is no shortage of opinions, and this week, Kate Stalter offered her perspective on why higher earnings may be the reason. 

When picking stock winners and losers, it helps to follow the money. Regarding AI, Stalter writes that several companies expect to increase AI spending in 2024. And Stalter points investors to four companies that are beneficiaries of this AI spending, which should push their stocks higher.   

Higher for longer interest rates historically push investors towards financial, healthcare, utilities, and energy stocks. This week, Stalter wrote why history may or may not repeat itself for each sector.  

Articles by Ryan Hasson 

This week, Ryan Hasson wrote about the question on many growth investors’ minds. Can the Magnificent 7 stocks continue to outperform in 2024? Hasson outlines the pros and cons for each of these stocks in 2024.  

Hasson also wrote about the latest milestone achieved by Archer Aviation Inc. NYSE: ACHR. The stock is enjoying favorable analyst sentiment. However, Hasson notes that short interest is sky-high (no pun intended) and can add volatility to the stock in the short term.  

Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli 

One of the week’s most anticipated earnings reports came from PayPal Holdings Inc. NASDAQ: PYPL. Before the earnings broke, Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli explained why PayPal offers good value, especially if the Fed cuts interest rates as expected. Headwinds remain, but the market share leader appears to be undervalued.  

Another hotly anticipated earnings report came from Eli Lilly and Company NYSE: LLY. The stock is up after a double beat on earnings. If you read Osorio-Mazilli’s article prior to the report, you would have been aware that analysts were moving the stock higher, which is a reasonably accurate predictor of what the company is going to report.  

Osorio-Mazilli also wrote about how utilities stocks may benefit from the rise in oil prices due to the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea. He explains how he identified three utility stocks that are undervalued and growing faster than the sector average by using simple stock screening tools.  

Articles by MarketBeat Staff 

The Nasdaq index shows no signs of slowing down. And investors have to be cheered by the fact that the rally is starting to move beyond the Magnificent 7. With that in mind, the MarketBeat staff put together a list of three smaller Nasdaq stocks that are likely to post bullish earnings numbers.  

On the other end of the spectrum, the staff was looking at three Dow stocks that have had a rough start to the year and face headwinds that are likely to keep them from moving higher in the short term.  

Before you consider UiPath, you’ll want to hear this.

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