Apple Earnings, Trade Talk Spark Volatile Week for Stocks

Apple's market cap was above $1 trillion at Thursday's close

Aug 3, 2018 at 2:13 PM
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There was plenty of market-moving events on tap this week, including Apple earnings, a Fed meeting, conflicting trade news out of Washington and Beijing -- most recently, China's call to apply tariffs on another $60 billion in U.S. goods -- and a jobs report. The onslaught of headlines was met with mixed reaction on Wall Street, though, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 pacing for weekly wins -- the latter for its fifth in a row -- while the Dow is on track to snap its four-week winning streak, quite a change of pace from the previous week's rare price action.

Apple Headlines Busy Week of Dow Earnings

Kicking things off with Apple (AAPL), the iPhone maker's earnings report was met with applause, with the FAANG name on Thursday becoming the first U.S.-listed company to top a $1 trillion market cap. Apple wasn't the only Dow stock reacting to earnings, either, with Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) heading in opposite directions after the oil giants' respective results. Caterpillar (CAT) swung lower after earnings, while Procter & Gamble (PG) reversed higher to take out a key technical level.

In other blue-chip news, American Express (AXP) bounced back from reports of a forex scandal, and food poisoning scares sent shares of McDonald's (MCD) -- and non-Dow member Chipotle (CMG) -- tumbling. Plus, this penny stock spiraled to a new low after Walmart (WMT) cut ties with the company, while Morgan Stanley went bullish on Nike (NKE).

FAANG News, Tesla Earnings

Elsewhere in the FAANG sphere, Independent Research set a major price target on Amazon (AMZN) at the start of the week. Plus, Facebook (FB) suspended a number of accounts created to impact the mid-term elections, reports swirled of Google's possible re-entry into China, and a Netflix (NFLX) rival flashed a "buy" signal ahead of earnings.

Other tech stocks in focus this week included Qualcomm (QCOM), which is headed toward its fifth straight weekly win on news of a $10 billion stock buyback. Lighting expert Cree (CREE) and Hero camera maker GoPro (GPRO) are also headed for weekly gains, and Tesla (TSLA) had its best day in years after the carmaker reported earnings and CEO Elon Musk apologized to shareholders.

Stocks to Trade Right Now

Among specific buying and selling opportunities right now, Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White compiled a list of potential stocks to target after the Nasdaq sell-off. Plus, here's our lists of the best stocks and worst stocks, historically, on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) during the month of August, while bullish technical signals are flashing on VMware (VMW), PayPal (PYPL), and Micron (MU). Bears, on the other hand, may want to check out these car stocks.

Meanwhile, analysts are targeting major upside for penny stock Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI) and software name Cision (CISN) -- though this Fortnite stock seems overdue for more price-target hikes. Elsewhere, a number of stocks made it on a "buy" list this week was embattled pizza name Papa John's (PZZA), cloud shares Dropbox (DBX), and biotech Zymeworks (ZYME). On the flip side, NewLink Genetics (NLNK) and Hanesbrands (HBI) were was downgraded after earnings.

Walt Disney, Snap Earnings Out Next Week

Looking ahead, the steady stream of corporate earnings will continue next week, with Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) and Facebook rival Snap (SNAP) among those expected to report. Plus, a pair of inflation updates will be in focus after the Fed chose to stand pat on interest rates this week -- a move that could signal a stock market rally this month.

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