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Stocks Go Green for the Week...Barely

Jim Giaquinto

If it weren’t for the Fed hiking rates, there really wouldn’t be much to talk about this week. The market had a solid, positive session on Wednesday when Fed Chair Yellen reiterated a gradual dot plot of 3 for this year. However, there wasn't much going on in the days before and after the annoucnement. 

In the end, the major indices got back to reporting positive weekly performances, but just barely. The Dow finished higher by less than 0.1%, but that’s technically its fifth positive week in the last 6. The S&P was up 0.2% while the NASDAQ increased 0.7%, marking their 7th positive weeks in the past 8.

Friday’s session left much more to be desired. Stocks spent most of the day on the positive side and flirted with the possibility of more impressive weekly successes. But it wasn’t to be. The S&P was off 0.13% by the closing bell to 2378.3 and the Dow declined 0.10% to 20914.6. The NASDAQ was up 0.24 of a point, or 0.00%, to 5901. Along with all the normal stuff, these indices also had to deal with quadruple witching day.

The editors are expecting more lazy sessions moving forward. The Fed has spoken and the most important economic reports have been announced. The big icebreaker would be some specific pro-growth plans from President Trump, but we’re still waiting for that. In the meantime, we saw four portfolios buy stocks on Friday, while two of them also sold positions for double-digit profits. Learn all about it below:

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Stocks Under $10: Shares of AXT (AXTI) have been under serious pressure after a fire at one of its plants forced the company to lower its guidance. Brian thought it was best to play it safe and protect the gain, so he sold AXTI today for a nice return of 25.7%. He would consider getting back into the company once things calm down. In the meantime, there is a replacement.

With drones, robots and electric cars coming on the market in ever-growing numbers, the need for ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell modules for backup power is on the rise. That’s where Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) comes in. This Zacks Rank #2 is in the business of energy storage and power delivery solutions. There’s not much to say about its earnings history, but Brian is looking at the long haul and sees good sequential growth coming up. He bought MXWL for Stocks Under $10 on Friday, but stresses the importance of using limits. Make sure to read the complete commentary for more on this new addition.

Value Investor: Aegean Marine Petroleum (ANW) is a small-cap energy logistics company that’s cheap. But in addition to its attractive value fundamentals, it is also expected to grow earnings by 16.8% this year and another 23.4% next year. This is the kind of thing that Tracey has been struggling to find for this portfolio, so she wasted no time in adding ANW on Friday. Its significant cash flow may also lead to an increased dividend moving forward. Read the complete commentary for more specifics on this new addition.

Zacks Counterstrike: Jeremy had been waiting for shares of Square (SQ) to pullback after a positive EPS surprise of 55% sent the stock sharply higher. But it never did. So the editor decided to buy a smaller 7% allocation in the name with plans to double down when the selloff comes. SQ is a Zacks Rank #1 provider of financial and marketing services. Read the full write-up for more on this new pick.

Income Investor: The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) has denied allegations that bank employees were pressured into Wells Fargo-type practices to achieve goals. However, shares have come under pressure and may remain so until investigations are complete. With TD already being a Zacks Rank #3, Neena thought that now would be a good time to take profits on this name and move on to a company with a better Zacks Rank. Therefore, as announced yesterday, the editor sold TD on Friday for a 11.8% return.

The new addition, also announced yesterday, is Bank of Montreal (BMO), which has an enviable Zacks Rank #1. Earnings estimates have been on the rise since its better-than-expected results in its most recent quarter. BMO has also been paying dividends for 188 years, which is the longest payout record of any Canadian company. It has a target payout of 40% to 50%, so Neena is expecting continued steady increases in dividends. Learn more about these moves in the complete commentary.

Have a Great Weekend,
Jim Giaquinto

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