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S&P Retakes 3,000 as Earnings Season Heats Up

Jim Giaquinto

The S&P finally closed above 3,000 on Monday for the first time in over a month, as the market is feeling pretty good about earnings season after its better-than-expected start.

The index advanced 0.69% today to 3,006.72, which was the first time above this milestone since September 18. It’s now just about 20 points away from an all-time high!

However, the biggest gain of the session came from the NASDAQ, which surged 0.91% (or more than 73 points) to 8162.99. Shares of Apple gaining more than 1.7% were a big help.

The S&P and NASDAQ are now on 2-week and 3-week winning streaks, respectively.

The Dow got beaten up by Boeing for the second straight day, as the stock dipped another 3.8% to add onto Friday’s plunge of nearly 7%.

This aerospace giant was the main reason why the index didn’t join its counterparts on the plus side last week.

However, despite the Boeing pressure, the Dow still managed an advance of 0.21% (or about 57 points) on Monday to 26,827.64.

Last week made investors feel a whole lot better about this earnings season, which many feared would show the strains of slowing global growth and the trade conflict.

And those challenges certainty DID have an impact, but companies like JPMorgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and many others still reported better-than-expected results.

And now we embark on an even busier, even crazier week with reports from Amazon, Microsoft, Caterpillar, Intel, Procter & Gamble and numerous others.

If we get another solid week of results, will that be enough for the S&P to make new highs for the first time since July? We’ll see…

By the way, this positive start to the week wasn’t all about earnings season. We enjoyed some good vibes on the trade front as well, as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said the two side have made “substantial progress” and that negotiations will continue.

Good news for earnings and trade to start the week! Let’s hope it lasts long enough to make some history…

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Surprise Trader: With prices elevated as rates have dropped, the market has high expectations for gold miners. In fact, the space is in the Top 4% of the Zacks Industry Rank. For his first of five picks this week, Dave is capitalizing on this area by adding Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) with a usual 12.5% allocation. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) has a positive Earnings ESP of 7.93% for the quarter coming after the bell on Wednesday. Read the full write-up for more.  

Counterstrike: There’s a decent chance that stocks could see new highs in the near-term, so Jeremy decided to start the week off with a buy. He added a 10% allocation in Steelcase (SCS), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) office furniture solutions company that sells seating, desks, technology products, etc. Shares of the company have held some of the gains it enjoyed after beating earnings estimates by 16% in its report last month. The chart is telling the editor that SCS has Fib support and a defined risk/reward. Read the full write-up for a lot more on this new buy. 

TAZR Trader: It’s time for the portfolio to add more Alteryx (AYX) after the data analytics provider dipped below $92. Kevin originally bought this name on Oct. 3 after a major brokerage upgraded a number of software companies. Well, nothing has changed except for a better entry point to add more. You may remember that the portfolio pulled double-digit profits out of AYX in August and September. Read the full write-up for more on today’s move.

Technology Innovators: This portfolio needs more names, especially after Brian dropped the underperforming Zscaler (ZS) position. Fortunately, the editor found a stock that looks like its done moving lower and could be ready for the rebound. On Monday, he added NetScout Systems (NTCT). This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) is a leading provider of business assurance for service provider, enterprise and government networks. Brian really appreciates its valuation. Make sure to read a lot more about NTCT in the complete commentary.

Black Box Trader: Half of the portfolio was changed in this week's adjustment. The positions that were sold today included:

• Newell Brands (NWL, +6.7%)
• Jacobs Engineering (JEC, +1.9%)
• Arconic (ARNC, +0.8%)
• International Game Technology (IGT)
• US Foods Holding (USFD)

The new buys that replaced these names were:  

• Lowe's Cos. (LOW)
• D.R. Horton (DHI)
• Allstate (ALL)
• NRG Energy (NRG)

Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service designed to take the emotion out of investing.

Until Tomorrow,
Jim Giaquinto

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