A late-day swoon threatened to turn a mostly flat session into a more significant selloff. But in the end, Thursday was pretty much a rerun of Wednesday with tech continuing to rise while the rest fumbled around.
The NASDAQ remains the star of Wall Street right now, though it also took a header in the final hour. It finished with a gain of only 0.04% to 7891.8. However, the index now has an 8-session winning streak, which is its longest run of the year. It marks an impressive (though slow) recovery from the stiff pullback after Facebook's quarterly troubles.
The rest of the market just ran in place for most of the day before taking that dip at the end. The S&P spent most of its time on positive ground, but ended with a slight loss of 0.14% to 2853.6. But it is still less than 1% away from an all-time high.
The Dow had the most pronounced slip, most likely due to trade fears taking the stage again as this strong earnings season moves toward its close. It was still off by only 0.29% to 25,509.2.
There was lots of action in the portfolios today, so let's get right to it:
Today's Portfolio Highlights:
Insider Trader: The price of oil has stalled a bit recently, which is wreaking havoc with small energy companies like Lonestar (LONE). The stock gave up all of its earnings momentum yesterday and remained weak today. Tracey thinks it's time to say goodbye to what has been an excellent holding in the portfolio. The editor already pulled a triple-digit and a double-digit return out of this name from selling parts of the original position bought back in April. Today she sold the remaining piece for an approximately 70% profit.
Income Investor: There's a new editor in town and he wants to make some changes right off the bat. Ryan McQueeney thought it was a good time to get out of Sandy Spring Bancorp (SASR) now that this holding company for the Sandy Spring Bank has dipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) after trending downward for about a month. However, the position brings a nice return of nearly 51%. The editor also sold WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend ETF (DGRW) because the portfolio already has enough exposure to the hybrid field of growth & income. Plus, he needs room for more buys. This sell brought a profit of 13.2%.
The new addition is BG Staffing (BGSF), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) staffing firm that is "crushing it" amid this incredible labor market. It is already up about 75% in the past year, but Ryan believes it has more room to run. Best of all, the valuation is still affordable and BGSF offers a dividend yield of more than 4.4%. Read the full write up for a lot more on these moves and a personal introduction from your new editor.
Surprise Trader: As you may or may not know, Dave is a "car guy" (he just recently DROVE up from Florida for a Chicago visit). So he knows about a company like Advance Auto Parts (AAP) both as an investment and as a customer. The company has a positive Earnings ESP of 4.12% for its quarter coming on Aug 14th before the bell. But the editor was even more impressed with its year-over-year EPS growth over three good reports in a row. Dave expects more of the same coming down the road, so he bought AAP on Thursday with a 12.5% allocation.
Large-Cap Trader: The portfolio picked up two fresh names on Thursday: Morgan Stanley (MS) and CDW Corp. (CDW). MS is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) financial services giant that beat earnings expectations by 20% last quarter and will report again on Oct. 16. CDW is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) IT products and services company that topped by 6% last time and will be back at the plate on Nov. 11. Both companies also have solid Zacks Style Scores and good Zacks Industry Ranks.
John cleared space for these names by selling Packaging Corp. of America (PKG) and Huntsman (HUN), which were stale amid all the trade war concerns. The editor wants the same weight on both sides of these swaps. Therefore, after you sell these names, the allocations in MS and CDW should be a little below 4% each. Get a lot more specifics in the complete commentary.
Home Run Investor: There's not as much data on SendGrid (SEND) as Brian Bolan usually likes to see, but it only went public in November. But this email marketing firm has shown the editor enough to be added to the portfolio. In its recent quarterly report, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 400%. That was better than the previous quarter's 300% positive surprise. The editor sees plenty of customers for the company and expects a solid post-earnings drift higher. Read the complete write-up for more on SEND's earnings history, estimate revisions and valuation.
Momentum Trader: It's a humid 90 degrees here in Chicago as this is being written, so we know all about the importance of air-conditioning during these sweltering summer months. Dave is well aware of it too being based in Florida, but he also knows a way to make some money from it. Aaon (AAON) is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) air-conditioning and heating equipment company that has been on a roll from its May lows through its first and second quarter earnings reports. The editor thinks this momentum can continue, prompting him to buy AAON on Thursday with a 12.5% allocation. The complete commentary has more.
Have a Great Evening,
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