October is Over!

The November episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session will be available for viewing no later than Friday, November 9. Kevin Matras, Sheraz Mian, John Blank, PhD, David Borun and Kevin Cook cover the investment landscape from several angles in this popular event.

Don't miss your chance to hear:

• John and David Agree to Disagree on whether the midterm elections turn around the October 2018 market correction

• Kevin Matras answers your questions in Zacks Mailbag

• Sheraz and Kevin Cook choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement

• And much more

Remember, we need your input. Please submit your questions for Zacks Mailbag and Portfolio Makeover by Friday morning, November 2. Email now to

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What are you more excited about? That the major indices each gained more than 2% in the past two days…or that October is finally over? Both of them are tremendously good news for a market that really needed a pick-me-up.

Before we continue, let's get the ugliness out of the way. October was bad! Remember the beginning of the month? The Dow reached an all-time high on October 3…and the S&P had hit its own high just a couple weeks earlier. And here we are a month later and we just now (on the last day of the month) got our first back-to-back rally in October.

When all was said and done, the NASDAQ plunged by more than 9% this month, while the S&P was off nearly 7% and the Dow declined 5.1%.

It would have been even worse if stocks hadn't staged a nice two-day rally. The NASDAQ continued its long attempt at recovery by adding another 2% (or 144 points) on Wednesday to 7305.90. The index gained more than 3.5% in the past two days. The FANGs all had strong performances, including Facebook (+3.8%) on the day after its quarterly report when it fell short on revenues.

The S&P gained 1.09% to 2711.74. Meanwhile, the Dow advanced 0.97% (or 241 points) to 25,115.76 for a two-day haul of over 2% and more than 650 points. However, unlike yesterday, the major indices did see some selling in the final hour, so stocks may still have some nerves moving forward.

In the end, the market didn't butcher Facebook for missing revenue expectations. That would have been more than enough reason to initiate another selloff during the darkest days of the October correction. But the potentially biggest event of the week doesn't come until after the bell tomorrow when Apple is scheduled to report. The iPhone maker may be the deciding factor in whether this correction is over or will continue into November.

But for just tonight, let's be happy that October 2018 is history!

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Blockchain Innovators: Usually, Dave has to introduce you to a company in this portfolio and explain why it is being added. But that's not the case this time. The portfolio added Alibaba (BABA) on Wednesday, which is a company that most investors have heard of. Furthermore, it should be no surprise that BABA makes extensive investments in blockchain tech. Now, BABA has come so far off its highs that the company is downright cheap, according to the editor. He felt it was wise to add on this dip. Read the full write up for more.

Large-Cap Trader: You know what's great about market corrections? It gives investors a chance to pick up a strong company at $120 when it was $175 earlier this year. Such was the opportunity that John saw with United Rentals (URI), a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) rental equipment company that got crushed in the selloffs. However, the editor said there's just too much right about this name to not take advantage of its bargain price right now. Therefore, he sold GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and used the proceeds to buy URI on Wednesday. Read the complete commentary for more on this buy and John's overall market outlook.

Momentum Trader: The portfolio wanted to be part of the market's upturn this morning, so Dave added a 12.5% allocation in Evolution Petro (EPM). This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) is in the oil and gas industry, placing it in the top 12% of the Zacks Industry Rank. It also has a Zacks Style Score of "B" for Momentum, which was underscored when the stock bounced off its 200-day moving average. The 50-day is now in sight. If the market continues to improve, then the 52-week high of $12.85 could be in range. Read the full write-up for more.

Surprise Trader: For three quarters in a row now, agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has been easily beating quarterly earnings estimates. It topped by more than 30% last time and has an average beat of 18.6% over the past four quarters. Dave thinks it is set for another surprise when it announces again before the bell on Tuesday. It has a positive Earnings ESP of 3.8% for the upcoming report. The editor added ADM on Wednesday with a 12.5% allocation. Read the full write-up for more.

Happy Halloween!

Jim Giaquinto

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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