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Market Down on Tech, Turkey, Trade and Tencent

Jim Giaquinto

Looks like this Turkey mess isn’t just a two-day story after all, as stocks took a step backward on Wednesday following what felt like a relief rally yesterday. And it didn’t help that tech had a bad day and a major retailer plunged by double digits. In the end though, the major indices did come well off their lows.

The NASDAQ led the indices downward with a drop of 1.23% to 7774.1. One of the big problems was actually Chinese tech giant Tencent, which saw its profit drop for the first time in a decade. The news exacerbated ongoing concerns about that country’s economy going forward.

Tech is also a big determinant in the direction of the S&P, so it’s no surprise that the index was off 0.76%. But it managed to stay above 2800 at 2818.4. Both the NASDAQ and S&P were within 1% of all time highs before trade and Turkey headlines led them lower starting last Friday. Yesterday’s rebound fostered hopes that the pullback was a blip, but now we have to wonder how long contagion fears will be impacting the market.

The Dow declined 0.54% (or about 137 points) on Wednesday to 25,162.4. However, at its worst of the session, the index was off more than 300 points. In fact, the brightest spot of the day was that all the indices came off their lows, which hopefully means that today’s selloff was an overreaction to the drop in overseas markets.

And speaking of overreaction, Macy’s plunged 16% today after its quarterly report. Sales were down year over year, but the department store giant beat expectations for earnings and revenue. Perhaps this was some giveback for soaring nearly 70% this year going into today's session, but it was definitely a great indicator of how bad the market’s mood was today. But there’s always tomorrow.

“For now, the markets are nervous, but not panicked. The VIX was up, but well off its highs. I’m guessing the rest of the week will be determined on what happens in China and Turkey, for now its best to be patient and wait to see what happens,” said Jeremy in Counterstrike.

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Home Run Investor: Wow! Macy’s (M) just got killed today with a plunge of nearly 16%. The department store staple must have had a horrible report, right? Actually...no. Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 20%, marking its fifth straight positive surprise. It also raised its guidance. Nevertheless, it plunged today after gaining nearly 70% year to date before the slide. Was this an overreaction? Probably. But M has been very good to the portfolio and Brian Bolan wants to protect as much of that gain as possible, so he sold the stock today for a profit of about 20.8%.

The editor wasted no time in replacing the name. He picked up Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) burger chain Habit Restaurants (HABT). Earlier this month, the company reported earnings that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 166%! Sales of $102.9 million also topped expectations by $99.7 million and the guidance was raised. Read the full write-up for a lot more on M and this new buy.

TAZR Trader: Patience pays, and Kevin finally got a price he liked in premium headset maker Turtle Beach (HEAR), which dipped far enough to open a starter position with a 7% allocation. The editor sees this name as a small-cap battleground between short-sellers and “exuberant” new longs looking to get into the gamer mania, so his plan is to trade chunks between $24 and $34. But that wasn’t all...

The portfolio also added to its position in SMART Global Holdings (SGH), as this “’lil’ Micron” of the chip space got beaten up today on tech and Turkey contagion fears. Finally, Kevin also picked up a 10% position in Small Cap 3X Bear ETF (TZA) because he wants some protection from what could be the beginning of a 5% correction (at least) that could take the S&P down to 2700. Read the complete commentary for more on all these moves.

Insider Trader: Earlier this month, gambling services provider Scientific Games (SGMS) reported a solid quarterly report thanks to its accelerating casino business. However, the market was spooked by a hike in its CAPEX. Right now, shares are down about 40% year to date. But the CEO, the CFO and a director are betting that the stock is oversold by buying shares of their own company in the past week. Tracey got in on the action by adding SGMS on Wednesday with an 8% allocation. The editor also has enough cash to buy three more stocks with similar sizes. Read the full write-up for more.

Surprise Trader: Dave wants you to move fast with his latest addition. Qiwi (QIWI) is a mobile payments company that reports before the bell tomorrow. The company has a positive Earnings ESP of 3.85%, but the editor really likes that earnings estimates rise from $1.13 this year to $1.76 next year. That’s year-over-year growth of more than 55% for a stock that’s trading in the $14s. It was added today with an allocation of 12.5%. The complete commentary has more on this new pick.

Until Tomorrow,
Jim Giaquinto

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