Stocks Hit New Highs as Tech Surge Offsets Trump Drama

Semiconductor stocks had a strong week

Aug 24, 2018 at 1:56 PM
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Tech stocks stole the bullish spotlight this week. Even as a guilty plea from President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen sparked calls for impeachment and U.S.-China trade talks fell flat, the Nasdaq managed to nab an all-time peak on Friday thanks to a dovish Fed. Not to be outdone, the S&P 500 Index hit a record intraday high of its own, sparking a heated debate about the longest bull market on record. The Dow also gained ground, while the S&P MidCap 400 continued its dance around this round-number level -- which Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone calls "the most intriguing [chart] struggle."

Nike, Apple Stocks Hit New Highs

Nike (NKE) had a strong week thanks to a round of bullish brokerage attention, tagging a record high on Wednesday and pacing toward its biggest weekly gain since late June. Apple (AAPL), on the other hand, retreated from its all-time peak -- even as analysts continued to wax optimistic on the iPhone maker. Those wanting to bet on a blue-chip bounce may want to consider these two Dow stocks.

Analyst Says Buy the Netflix Dip

One analyst said to buy the dip on Netflix (NFLX) after the FAANG stock snapped a notable losing streak, while brokerage firms took opposite sides on optical components names Finisar (FNSR) and Acacia Communications (ACIA). Pure Storage (PSTG) and Autodesk (ADSK) hit new highs after earnings -- the former as expected -- while this tech stock seems ripe for a short squeeze.

Chip stocks, in particular, put in a strong showing, based on a 3.7% week-to-date gain for the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH). But while Rosenblatt set a Street-high price target on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Citron ticked off 10 reasons to short Nvidia (NVDA).

Retail's Winners and Losers This Week

As Jefferies named its top pick in home improvement stocks, retail earnings continued to pour in. And while a positive earnings reaction for TJX Companies (TJX) rewarded options bulls, Target (TGT) broke its streak of negative earnings reactions to hit a new high. Plus, Urban Outfitters (URBN) gapped higher on strong online sales. On the flip side, L Brands (LB) is on track for its worst week since January after an earnings whiff -- amplifying its long-term technical troubles -- and Coty (COTY) fell back near record lows after earnings.

M&A Buzz Sparks Big Stock Moves

Wall Street was bombarded by M&A buzz this week, too. For instance, SodaStream (SODA) shares jumped on news of PepsiCo's (PEP) multi-billion-dollar cash buyout, while Akorn (AKRX) plummeted on reports a judge weighed in on the drugmaker's lawsuit against former suitor Fresenius (FMS). Lannett (LCI) also got crushed, after the company lost a key contract, though EXACT Sciences (EXAS) and Zynga (ZNGA) both surged on news of blue-chip partnerships.

Retail, Tech Earnings in Focus Next Week

Looking ahead, retailers will continue to dominate the earnings calendar, with Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) among those getting ready to report. Cloud names will also be in focus, with Salesforce.com (CRM) and Box (BOX) both releasing quarterly results. As far as potential trading ideas, despite recent struggles in the mining sector, these two stocks seem ready to bounce, while this pair of biotechs just sent up buy signals.

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