Tech Stocks Dominate a Week of Choppy Trading

Apple and IBM held the Dow back for much of the week, though the Nasdaq again outperformed with tech earnings in focus

May 5, 2017 at 2:16 PM
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It was a week dominated by tech stocks, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) continuing to take a leadership role. In fact, the COMP snagged seven straight record closes for just the second time since the 1999, though the streak was snapped on Wednesday following a negative earnings reaction for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Nevertheless, the COMP brushed off Wednesday's pullback -- and is on track to settle the week with a solid gain. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is also on track to close the week out with a win following this morning's stronger-than-anticipated jobs report, though the Dow is at risk of a weekly loss, as shares of Big Blue feel the heat from Warren Buffett's latest portfolio reveal.

More on Apple Stock

Ahead of earnings, AAPL stock was on quite a roll. The shares hit a new all-time peak on Monday and Tuesday, as analysts continued to wax optimistic on Apple. In fact, not even disappointing iPhone sales could shake analysts' upbeat outlook on Apple stock. Chipmaker Qorvo Inc (NASDAQ:QRVO) also got hit by a negative earnings reaction, while these two fellow Apple suppliers are possibly screaming "buy" after their post-earnings retreats.

Twitter, Square Stocks Help Line Jack Dorsey's Pockets

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), meanwhile, put in a standout performance on the charts this week, after CEO Jack Dorsey and Mark Cuban issued votes of confidence for TWTR stock. Not to be outdone, shares of Dorsey's other darling Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) rallied into record-high territory after the company turned in strong quarterly earnings. While TWTR stock is on pace to close the week up 13%, SQ stock has added more than 7%.

Facebook Stock Retreats After Earnings Surprise

Elsewhere in the tech sphere, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shocked Wall Street with its accounting shift, sending FB stock retreating from record highs. Shares of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) posted their worst days in years on negative earnings reactions, with the former tech stock slicing through key technical levels along the way.

Retail Earnings Impress, While Herbalife Shocks Ackman

Not all news was bad on the earnings front, with retailer Coach stock rewarding options traders with its post-earnings pop. Shares of Shopify Inc (US) (NYSE:SHOP), meanwhile, surged to an all-time peak, after the e-commerce issue boosted its full-year forecast. Elsewhere, Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) stock shot into 10-month-high territory after its earnings report, likely catching noted short seller Bill Ackman off guard.

Drug Stocks in Focus as Healthcare Bill Clears House

The major U.S. benchmarks barely budged on Thursday after the House passed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, just weeks after pulling a vote on the healthcare bill. Nevertheless, these two healthcare stocks surged amid a relatively bullish month for the drug sector -- and appear ready to build on these gains. Plus, embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) spent the week enjoying a rare moment in the sun, sparked by encouraging words on cash flow from CEO Joe Papa and Goldman Sachs. And while VRX stock seemed set to end on a down note on Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) legal woes, VRX stock was last seen trading higher -- set for a more than 7% weekly gain.

French Election Results, Fed Speakers on Tap

Looking ahead, there's plenty of action on next week's docket to hold Wall Street's attention. While stocks -- and the iShares MSCI France ETF (EWQ) options traders -- will react to the outcome of Sunday's French presidential election, there are several significant earnings reports slated for release. Optimism is building ahead of Snapchat parent Snap Inc's (NYSE:SNAP) inaugural turn in the earnings confessional on Wednesday, while skepticism has peaked on streaming music service Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) in the lead up to Monday's results. Meanwhile, with a possible June rate hike on the table, traders will likely keep a close eye on the handful of Fed speakers slated to speak, with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester kicking things off bright and early Monday morning.

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