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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ArcBest, Express, Arch Coal, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Methanex

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - October 31, 2018 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include ArcBest Corp. ARCB , Express, Inc. EXPR , Arch Coal, Inc. ARCH , Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. BMY and Methanex Corp. MEOH .

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Is Halloween the Best Time to Invest? 5 Solid Buys

The broader market is just shy of correction territory since the United States is about to intensify its trade war with China. The rising interest scenario is a dampener for corporates and individuals.

But, don't sell now. This isn't a bear market yet and definitely a recession isn't near. Instead, Halloween is around the corner and it marks the best stretch of growth, historically, for the stock market. Moreover, the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) could come teasingly close to a 13-year milestone this year.

Thanks to such optimism, investors should focus on fundamentally sound companies that can make the most of the seasonally favorable periods of the stock market calendar.

What's Spooking the Markets?

Strained trade relation between the United States and China is affecting the equity market. The United States is preparing to announce by early December tariffs on all Chinese imports provided President Trump and Xi Jinping fail to reach a middle ground. Tariffs, anyway, will squeeze corporate profits and hamper growth.

Rapidly climbing benchmark bond yield has already fueled fears that the profit margins of U.S. corporates will get hurt by steeper borrowing costs. At the same time, individuals looking to buy a home or condo will be hurt as the cost of financing the purchase will increase as rates go up.

The Fed, by the way, has raised its federal funds rate three times this year and that typically spells short-term jitters for stocks, especially, now when the equity market is deemed lofty by some measures. Trump himself has partly blamed the Fed for the market adversities.

Halloween to May Day: The Best Stretch to Invest

Despite the market turmoil, the coming days may be a good time to increase your stock exposure until next spring. Of course, we are referring to the stock market's famous six-month seasonal effect which is known by the names of "The Halloween Indicator" and "Sell in May and Go Away."

The stock market, historically, gains in the Halloween-through-May-Day period, or the so-called "winter" months. Meanwhile, markets have been more or less flat during the "summer" months (May-October). Since 1950, the Dow Jones has registered an average gain of 7.5% during the November-April period, while the blue-chip index yielded a meager 0.3% in the May-October period.

Furthermore, the stock market's gain during the winter months of presidential terms' third year, which is just beginning, has been quite impressive. During this period, the Dow Jones has gained an average 12% compared to the winter months of the one-, two-, and four years of the presidential terms average gain of just 2.9%.

But, it's just not historical trends that make one optimistic. Chances of a market downtrend are unlikely as economic fundamentals remain favorable.

U.S. Economy in Good Shape

The U.S. economy has increased at an annualized pace of 3.5% in the third quarter, per the U.S. Commerce Department. Economic growth during the July-September quarter was better than estimates of about 3.4%.

In fact, the country's total output of goods and services followed an even stronger 4.2% growth in the second quarter, which marked the strongest rise since a 4.3% annual gain in the third quarter of 2014. Consumer spending was largely driven by strength in the labor market. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a 49-year low of 3.7% in September, the lowest since December 1969, per the Labor Department.

The two quarters, thus, recorded the fastest six-month growth in four years and is on track to hit Trump administration's annual growth target of 3%. If that happens, it would be the best yearly performance since 2005, two years before the Great Recession.

5 Top Picks

Since a buying opportunity maybe playing out in the equity market, investing in solid stocks will be prudent. These stocks not only possess a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) but also are poised to gain significantly in the near term. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Such stocks also flaunt a VGM Score of A. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum and the score is a weighted combination of these three metrics. Such a score allows you to eliminate the negative aspects of stocks and select winners.

ArcBest Corp. provides freight transportation services and integrated logistics solutions. In the last 60 days, four earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 0.6% in the same period. The company's expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 145.1% compared with the Transportation - Truck industry's estimated rally of 47.6%.

Express, Inc. operates as a specialty apparel and accessories retailer. In the last 60 days, one earnings estimate moved up, while none moved down for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 2.2% in the same period. The company's expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 30.6% compared with the Retail - Apparel and Shoes industry's estimated rally of 9.8%.

Arch Coal, Inc. produces and sells thermal and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines. In the last 60 days, five earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings soared 39.4% in the same period. The company's expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 32.5% compared with the Mining - Miscellaneous industry's estimated rise of 3.4%. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. discovers, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, and distributes biopharmaceutical products. In the last 60 days, six earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 6.1% in the same period. The company's expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 26.6% compared with the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's estimated rally of 8.9%.

Methanex Corp. produces and sells methanol. In the last 60 days, two earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose almost 7% in the same period. The company's expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 65.8% compared with the Chemical - Diversified industry's estimated rise of 15.5%.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce ""the world's first trillionaires,"" but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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ArcBest Corporation (ARCB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Methanex Corporation (MEOH): Free Stock Analysis Report

Arch Coal Inc. (ARCH): Free Stock Analysis Report

Express, Inc. (EXPR): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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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