Stocks Score Banner Week on Rate Cut Hopes

The Dow and S&P 500 both took out round-number milestones

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 12, 2019 at 3:18 PM

It was a banner week for Wall Street, with the Dow and S&P 500 leading the charge with new record highs. The 27,000 and 3,000 levels were both toppled, respectively, thanks to Fed-related tailwinds, as Wall Street cheered dovish mid-week comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The Nasdaq also hit an all-time peak, barreling north of 8,200.

The stock market shook off early-week tech headwinds, and rate-cut support helped all three major indexes pivot higher, now on pace for big weekly wins. The Dow is headed toward a three-day winning streak, while the S&P 500 eyes its fourth gain in a row. 

Dow Stocks Were Busy

Several blue chips had eventful weeks. As alluded to above, Apple (AAPL) weighed down tech stocks early in the week amid concerns of "fundamental deterioration."  This didn't stop options traders from betting bullishly on fellow Dow tech titan Cisco Systems (CSCO). Meanwhile, Microsoft's (MSFT) commercial cloud business picked up a fan, while one analyst called 3M (MMM) guidance cuts "unsettling."

Nike (NKE) stock got a nice boost from the triumphant U.S. Women's National Team and their iconic fourth World Cup Win. And later in the week, UnitedHealth (UNH) drew a frenzy of options bulls after some upbeat political news.

4 Tech Stocks to Toss Now

New "sell" ratings weighed on this trio of tech stocks to start the week. In addition, Applied Materials (AMAT) was part of a sector-wide downgrade. On the other hand, industry stalwart Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) enjoyed what seemed like an endless stream of bull notes, and an upgrade drew a bevy of Square (SQ) options bulls.

Transport, Weed Stocks Make Noise

Airline stocks were in focus, especially after Delta Air Lines (DAL) earnings. The same cannot be said for sector peer Spirit Airlines (SAVE), though, which issued disappointing guidance. Hitting the road, auto stocks Tesla (TSLA) and Nio (NIO) raced higher, with the latter touting increasing China sales. And sticking with cars, Ford Motor (F) got a late-week boost on an expanded Volkswagen partnership

CannTrust Holdings (CTST) shares sank, after Health Canada weighed in on its facilities. The company ultimately suspended cannabis sales, dragging this pair of weed stocks into the red. Meanwhile, one options trader placed a big call spread on Cronos Group (CRON), and American Eagle (AEO) became the latest retailer to dip its toe into CBD oil.

Wall Street Freshmen in Focus

Analysts dished out a wide range of ratings on Wall Street newcomer Chewy (CHWY), and Stephens suggested buying this video conferencing duo. Meanwhile, founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer weighed in on this relatively new stock. Elsewhere, while T-Mobile (TMUS) is no freshman, it will soon be the newest S&P 500 member.

Bank Stocks Ready to Kick Off Earnings Season

Next week will feature the start of a new earnings season, with Netflix (NFLX) among the companies set to report. To get ready, we profiled some bank stocks to watch, as well as some interesting pre-earnings options activity surrounding Citigroup (C). And as stocks soar to new heights, there's reason to believe an even bigger move could be coming. Until then, here are some outperformers to keep an eye on.

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