Stocks End January With a Bang

Facebook and Apple earnings were celebrated this week

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Feb 1, 2019 at 2:45 PM

To say it was a busy week on Wall Street would be an understatement. Earnings season was in full swing, with a slew of high-profile FAANG and blue-chip stocks reacting to earnings. On top of that, traders digested more dovish talk from the Fed, just before a blowout January jobs report. At last check, the major market indexes are set to end the week higher -- and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are eyeing their longest weekly win streaks since late 2017 -- after notching their biggest monthly gains in years.

FAANG Earnings in Focus

Three FAANG members reported earnings this week. Apple (AAPL) kicked things off with a well-received report, though reports of a streaming video-game service helped sink GameStop (GME). Facebook (FB) stock also skyrocketed after earnings, matching options traders' volatility expectations. However, Amazon.com (AMZN) took the red road less traveled, with AMZN shares lower after earnings -- much to the chagrin of recent option buyers -- and weighing on several retail stocks.

More Earnings Winners and Losers

Among the many blue chips that reported earnings this week, Caterpillar (CAT) took a hit on dismal guidance, while Microsoft (MSFT) and DowDuPont (DWDP) also fell after earnings. On the flip side, traders cheered the latest quarterly reports from Pfizer (PFE), 3M (MMM), Boeing (BA), and Chevron (CVX), just to name a few. Outside of Dow stocks, chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) rocked the sector after an ugly outlook, while sector peer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) went the other way, rallying after earnings. 

4 Big Predictions from Analysts

Outside of the earnings confessional, analysts were busy making some fairly big calls. For instance, H.C. Wainwright thinks this medical stock could triple, and notable portfolio manager Bill Miller thinks this stock could be a 10-bagger. B. Riley, meanwhile, weighed in on penny stock Geron (GERN), saying it could triple on a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nod. On the flip side, Goldman Sachs downgraded H & R Block (HRB) to "sell" ahead of tax season.  

What's In Store for February

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) will round out the FAANG earnings next week, with social media stocks Twitter (TWTR) and Snap (SNAP) also set to report. Beyond that, February could bode well for the stock market, if the January Barometer holds up. These are the 25 best stocks to own in February, historically, while these are the 25 worst stocks.

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