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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

Steve Symington, The Motley Fool

The stock market was mixed on Monday after President Trump formally implemented his planned steel and aluminum tariffs. Though the new import tax excluded key U.S. trade partners Canada and Mexico, they sparked fresh fears over an impending trade war with other affected countries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) both ended the day in negative territory.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.62%) (157.13)
S&P 500 (0.13%) (3.55)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Industrials stocks were among the hardest hit today, with the Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEMKT: XLI) down 1.2% as investors worried the tariffs may increase costs and negatively impact international sales for companies like Boeing and Caterpillar. But tech stocks bucked the negative trend, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEMKT: XLK) rising 0.31%.

As for individual stocks, contrasting opinions from Wall Street sent shares of Micron (NASDAQ: MU) and Deckers Outdoor (NYSE: DECK) different directions.

Stock market prices and charts on a colorful digital display

Image source: Getty Images.

Could Micron double again?

After soaring more than 100% over the past year, shares of Micron Technology popped another 8.8% today after Nomura analyst Romit Shah reiterated his buy rating and increased his per-share price target from $55 to $100. Micron stock closed today at $59.37 per share.

To justify his sustained optimism, Shah pointed to a combination of the potential for suppliers to increase DRAM prices later this year, favorable product mix that should help boost margins both this fiscal year and next, and Micron's cash-rich balance sheet providing the flexibility to pay down its entire convertible note balance. Shah also suggested that as one of "few remaining chip companies with a growing scale," Micron could be an attractive merger or acquisition target.

To be sure, Micron is easy to love of late. Shares only just climbed nearly 12% in the month of February after the company announced stronger-than-expected preliminary fiscal Q2 results. Management cited the continued execution of Micron's "strategic priorities" at the time, promising more details on its exceptional quarter when it releases final results on March 22, 2018.

Deckers Outdoor hits the floor

Shares of Deckers Outdoor fell 7.4% after another analyst voiced caution for investors in the footwear designer and distributor. Pivotal Research Group's Mitch Kummetz today reduced his rating on Deckers to hold from buy, reducing his per-share price target to $108 from $122, which is curiously a 19% premium to today's closing price at of $90.28 per share.

Kummetz explained that his firm's previous bullish position hinged on Deckers -- whose brands include Uggs, Sanuk, Teva, and Hoka One One -- being nicely positioned to benefit from a strong winter season. But while he continues to like its long-term story, Deckers stock is up nearly 50% since the beginning of September. As such, Kummetz believes the current risk-reward scenario is simply less attractive.

For perspective, Deckers most recently impressed the market when it announced stronger-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results early last month, helped by what CEO Dave Powers described as "refined product strategies, enhanced consumer messaging," and the optimization of wholesale accounts. Cold weather also boosted sales of Ugg-brand footwear during the key holiday season.

That's not to say Deckers can't continue to climb from here, especially if it's able to sustain its recent outperformance into the spring season. But given Deckers' recent share-price gains, it's hard to blame some investors for taking profits off the table.

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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Deckers Outdoor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.