Ouch. Last week, it looked like the market was going to be able to sidestep some trade-related trouble. But we learned the hard way on Monday that this wouldn’t be the case. With a new batch of tariffs that will further gum up business between China and the U.S., the S&P 500 fell 2.4% to start the new trading week, breaking below some key technical support levels in the process.
And the market was already feeling the weight of excessive gains reaped during the first four months of the year.
It remains to be seen where this is all going. Odds are good that the sheer scope of the losses suffered since the beginning of this month will inspire some sort of bounce, perhaps beyond Tuesday’s snapback rally. But there’s no assurance such a bounce would yank stocks out of a new downtrend, if a bounce takes shape at all. A bigger correction, like it or not, is still overdue.
With that as the backdrop, here’s a rundown of ten stocks to sell sooner rather than later. They’re likely to be in trouble regardless of how well the marker performs (or fails to perform) for the foreseeable future. In no particular order…
Even with its recent stumble, shares of athletic apparel brand Nike (NYSE:NKE) are still up an impressive 60% from their late-2017 lows. The company finally got its all-important American mojo back. Though the knee-jerk response to March’s earnings report was a bearish one, that selloff quickly reversed to carry the stock to new highs after investors digested the fact that North American sales improved by 7%.
The renewal of what had been cooling trade tensions with China, however, may be just enough to prod investors into rethinking just how ownable NKE stock is here.
To its credit, Nike has been backing off on using China as a manufacturer of its footwear. It hasn’t been able to entirely do so, however.
More than that though, China is a growth opportunity for Nike that’s now back in jeopardy. CFO Andy Campion commented in March “We have great momentum in China, but we are still far from realizing the long-term opportunity in this market.” Now the cultural aspect of the trade war will push that opportunity even further away.
The refined focus on more franchises and fewer corporate-owned stores has been a fruitful one for fast-food giant McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD). As expected, though revenues have fallen, earnings have grown. Royalties are higher-margin revenue than can be produced by selling food as a restaurant owner.
The market has responded too. MCD stock is up a solid 22% for the past twelve months, and investors celebrated the more profitable reshaped business model. McDonald’s shares even reached record highs earlier this month.
The move, however, ultimately puts more of a financial burden on franchisees. They’ve not been shy about voicing their frustrations either, with many lodging their complaints about rising costs despite fading foot traffic in unison late last year.
Between an overbought stock and renewed worries that franchisees are being driven away, this may be a great time to lock in gains.
Align Technology (ALGN)
You know the company, even if you don’t know you know the company. Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) is the organization that brought Invisalign invisible dental braces to the market.
It’s been a great success, with double-digit revenue growth being the norm for years. But, it’s also success that depended on patent protection that largely expired in 2018, prompting a surprise drop in its average selling prices in the third quarter of last year.
The patent-minded concern was a legitimate one, though the 50% stumble from last year’s high to the December low was mostly overbaked. The 80%+ rebound from that low has also been overdone, however. Align Technology still faces a myriad of patent (and partnership) problems that could still easily undermine the stock. It’s never going to be ‘like it used to be.’
Best Buy (BBY)
Source: Austin Kirk via Flickr
Credit has to be given where it’s due. Turnaround expert Hubert Joly has done what he was asked to do when he took the helm of electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) back in 2012. Income has grown more often than not under his tenure.
The turnaround may have gotten as much traction as it’s going to get, however, as the electronics and appliance market is about as fully saturated as it’s going to be able to get.
Moreover, Joly will soon be stepping down as chief, handing the reins to CFO Corie Barry. While Barry is certainly capable of taking the top spot, it’s still a disruptive leadership change at a time when it’s not clear there’s any more growth to reap. Analysts are calling for less than 2% sales growth this year, and next.
Besides, the shallow rebound BBY stock has mustered since late last year has unraveled in a big way in just the past couple of weeks.
If it was going to happen for IBM (NYSE:IBM), it would have happened by now.
Once the big name in computer technology, IBM is now a has-been. The tech giant attempted to recover, unveiling a so-called ‘strategic imperatives’ initiative in 2015 meant to fast forward the company’s foray into modern opportunities like mobile security and cloud computing.
But, it was too little, and too late.
While its strategic imperatives businesses now account for more than half the company’s total business, a closer inspection of the numbers reveals that’s more the result of its other lines losing ground than its new-tech business lines gaining ground. Last quarter’s total revenue was still down 5% year-over-year.
There’s a reason IBM stock just renewed a downtrend that’s been in place since 2013.
It’s difficult to categorize Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) as one of only a handful of stocks to sell at this time. It’s been one of the biggest success stories of late, and the stock was almost back to all-time highs late last month when the marketwide tide took a turn for the worst.
Facebook’s future isn’t apt to look a lot like its past, however. Facebook fatigue has already become a real thing, marked by reports from August that the amount of time users were spending on the site had fallen 6.7%. It wasn’t the first time such red flags had been waved.
At the same time, regulators — particularly in Europe — are putting an increasing amount of pressure on the social networking giant. The U.S. is scrutinizing the website more as well.
Facebook will survive to be sure. But this is the year that could serve as turning points in a couple of different ways. The market doesn’t appear to be pricing in any threat yet.
Goldman Sachs Group (GS)
Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) was once the head-turning name in the investment banking business. Things were never quite the same for the company after the subprime mortgage meltdown, however. Adding to its challenges, rival banks started to step up their games, and Goldman wasn’t ready to fend them off. Revenue has been flat since 2010. Income hasn’t exactly grown either.
Now, though perhaps a much-needed shakeup just for the sake of change, long-tenured CEO Lloyd Blankfein has stepped down, replaced last year by David M. Solomon.
Solomon, the company’s former COO, is an industry veteran and capable leader. He may find there’s a steep learning curve in replacing Blankfein, though, and the stock’s sub-par performance since he took over in 2018 may be a hint worth taking. GS stock largely skipped the rally that carried most other stocks higher through the end of April. Investors aren’t yet convinced much growth is in the cards, or that Solomon is the best man for the job. That’s weighing on GS stock, and will for the foreseeable future, as will its tepid revenue growth forecast, making this one of the top stocks to sell.
The next stock to sell was once the king of the computing world. All the most in-demand computers had Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) technology powering them.
The company has lost a step (or two) in recent years though. Not only was it blindsided by a tech-driven turnaround from Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), it was embarrassed last year by the discovery of several security flaws in its older CPUs. AMD even reported earlier this year that it had gained market share in every quarter of last year.
Intel will survive. It’s already regrouping, planning on the launch of its long-touted 7 nanometer CPU lineup in 2021. AMD already has 7 nm chips on the market though, with a major launch of its next-gen 7 nanometer technology slated for Q3 of this year. Meanwhile, after several delays, Intel is only going to be launching its new 10 nanometer CPUs in June.
Investors finally took notice of the company’s woes in April, sending INTC stock down more than 20% from last month’s highs. More of the same could be in store though.
Alibaba Group Holding (BABA)
Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA), not unlike its U.S. counterpart Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), has been forced to figure out how to handle the trade slowdown stemming from ever-expanding trade wars. Alibaba has arguably been hit even harder though, in that it relies more on trade with U.S. than Amazon relies on trade with China.
The evidence? The most recent round of new tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump and counter-tariffs put in place by China thwarted a budding uptrend from BABA stock and instead has shaved 10% off of its value in just a few days.
The cause-effect relationship between tariffs and Alibaba’s results isn’t entirely clear. But, with the tariff war likely to escalate before it de-escalates given that both nations are surviving it, a repeat of last year’s weakness from BABA stock is too likely to stick with the name. Founder Jack Ma fears the war of tariffs could linger on for years.
Finally, add Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to your list of stocks to sell sooner than later, particularly in light of the fact that it’s still holding on to most of the big gains reaped from the 60% gain from December’s low. It’s still up almost 50%, but that gain’s hanging by a thread.
Yes, the impending launch of a rival streaming product from Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is a concern, but hardly the only one. TimeWarner is planning to launch its own streaming platform before the end of the year, and NBCUniversal aims to launch one by the middle of next year.
Thus far Netflix has been able to hold into its commanding market share. But, everybody’s getting into the game now with a product that looks pretty good; there are now more than 100 streaming options. Collectively, they’ll likely be able to start chipping away at Netflix’s dominance, even if loyal Netflix shareholders are choosing not to see the legitimate threat.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about James at his site, jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.
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