Stocks Fall After Rate Hike; Trade Questions Abound

Video game stocks were some of the best performers this week

Jun 15, 2018 at 3:01 PM
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The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) have both pulled back this week, failing to keep up with the red-hot Nasdaq Composite (IXIC). The tech-heavy index is about to wrap up a fourth straight weekly win, its second such streak of 2018, touching new record highs in the process. Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) wrapped up a seventh straight weekly win, as small-cap stocks stayed hot.

Traders Sort Through Busy Trading Week

Geopolitical uncertainties held stocks in check early in the week, only to return later when the Trump administration proposed a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods. At the start of the week, though, the attention centered on a tumultuous Group of Seven (G-7) meeting and the historic U.S.-North Korea summit. After that, Wall Street's focus shifted to the Fed, and the central bank surprised no one by raising rates. And as our Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone expected, stocks fell after the rate hike, though the Fed also suggested two more hikes could be coming in 2018.

AT&T-Time Warner Deal Puts Media In Focus

The other major news story this week was the approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger. While Raymond James said T-Mobile (TMUS) was still its top telecom pick, the M&A buzz lifted the entire media sector, especially with Comcast (CMCSA) topping Walt Disney's (DIS) bid for Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) assets. Of course, Netflix (NFLX) is still dominating the media landscape, though Citron Research is expecting a retreat, and this Chinese rival has been hot. (On the other hand, Citron's very bullish on this tech stock.) As for the world of social media, Twitter stock kept roaring, reaching multi-year highs, and call buyers pounced on Snap, while Yelp shares fell.

Video Game, Cloud Stocks Hot

Semiconductor stocks remained in focus this week after RBC downgraded chip equipment makers Lam Research (LRCX) and Applied Materials (AMAT), but the pullback could be a buying opportunity. Another analyst said Broadcom (AVGO) is a "buy," and Benchmark is bullish on these other two Apple suppliers. Plus, we found another reason to watch AMD stock.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) put video game stocks in focus. Options traders jumped on the Activision Blizzard (ATVI) rally, and sector peer Electronic Arts (EA) also gained on bullish analyst attention. Investors were targeting cloud stocks again, as well, highlighted by a huge Dropbox (DBX) move. The cloud business is one analyst's major concern for Oracle (ORCL), though. Meanwhile, one of the biggest moves of the week came from this 3-D printing stock.

Biggest Healthcare, Retail News

Taking a quick look at our weekly coverage for the healthcare sector, one of the most notable stories was the M&A buzz between Stryker and Boston Scientific. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) news put Nightstar Therapeutics (NITE) on our radar, and these penny stocks also made sizable moves on drug news. Analysts also think these two healthcare stocks can skyrocket, and these drug stocks are squeezing short sellers.

There was also plenty of news out of the retail sector again. Citigroup is calling a top on Kohl's (KSS) stock's recent push higher, while Wedbush says there's still time to buy the Nike (NKE) rally. Tailored Brands (TLRD), however, got crushed after earnings. Most e-commerce stocks continue to ride high, including Etsy shares, which jumped to a record high. Amazon (AMZN) got a price-target hike of its own, but is now dealing with a new Microsoft (MSFT) threat.

Stock Market Schedule Next Week

Investors may need to take a breather after a week filled with a number of market-moving news stories. Luckily they'll have some time to brace for next week's key event: Friday's Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna. On the other hand, traders are already taking action, as July crude futures got hammered today.

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