MSFT - Microsoft Corporation

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
+1.64 (+0.89%)
At close: 4:00PM EST
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Previous Close183.71
Bid185.29 x 1400
Ask185.30 x 800
Day's Range182.65 - 185.41
52 Week Range106.29 - 190.70
Avg. Volume25,412,831
Market Cap1.41T
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.15
PE Ratio (TTM)32.29
EPS (TTM)5.74
Earnings DateApr 21, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield2.04 (1.11%)
Ex-Dividend DateFeb 18, 2020
1y Target Est194.19

    Apple, Microsoft, and Intel Stock Have Been Killing It. Why Fund Managers Don’t Have Enough.

    (MSFT)(INTC) and (AAPL) among the biggest stocks in the S&P 500 index, have well outpaced the market benchmark in the past 12 months. “MIA” stocks is an apt term, given the trio has been underweighted by fundamentally-driven large-cap portfolio managers, according to Harvey. “Ironically, some [portfolio managers] admit they have not gone ‘up-cap’ in order to avoid looking like an index fund (painful mistake!),” he wrote.

  • It isn’t 1999—the party’s not over for tech stocks yet, Goldman says

    It isn’t 1999—the party’s not over for tech stocks yet, Goldman says

    Goldman Sachs analysts believe there’s still upside in tech stocks, even if other observers compare the current moment to the bursting of the dot-com bubble two decades ago.

  • Reuters

    Europe can win global battle for industrial data, EU industry chief says

    Europe may have lost the battle to create digital champions capable of taking on U.S. and Chinese companies harvesting personal data, but it can win the war of industrial data, Europe's industry policy chief said on Saturday. Vast troves of data from how fast we drive our cars to how much time a robot needs to churn out products in factories have yet to be fully exploited, said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the EU single market.


    Cloud Battle Between Microsoft and Amazon Enters New Phase After Judge Orders Suspension of JEDI Contract

    Microsoft investors cheered when it was awarded a $10 billion cloud contract by the Pentagon, but a temporary injunction threw a splash of cold water on Microsoft's ambitions for cloud dominance.


    Coronavirus Won’t Clobber China’s GDP Growth This Year

    UBS stays overweight emerging markets and is bullish on Asia generally. What to buy—and avoid—as the virus spreads.

  • Google Cloud makes ‘small’ job cuts in reorganization

    Google Cloud makes ‘small’ job cuts in reorganization

    Google is cutting an unspecified number of jobs at its cloud-computing business as part of a reorganization in hopes of enhancing operations and improving its standing in the booming market.


    US Indexes Close Mostly Flat Friday With Gains for the Week

    Dow Jones reports a weekly gain of 2.2% Continue reading...


    Facebook and Google Face Real Regulatory Risk. The Pain Is Just Starting.

    Regulators and presidential candidates are calling out big tech companies, but self-imposed checks could be even more painful for the industry.

  • Top 5 4th-Quarter Buys of Chase Coleman's Tiger Global

    Top 5 4th-Quarter Buys of Chase Coleman's Tiger Global

    Tiger cub’s firm takes a stake in PayPal and Google-parent Alphabet Continue reading...

  • Top Hedge Funds Agree: This $1 Trillion Tech Stock Was A Buy In Q4
    Investor's Business Daily

    Top Hedge Funds Agree: This $1 Trillion Tech Stock Was A Buy In Q4

    Hedge funds bought Amazon and Wright Medical Group in Q4, while they sold out of Microsoft and Zimmer Biomet, 13F filings with the SEC show.

  • All 30 Dow Stocks Ranked: The Analysts Weigh In

    All 30 Dow Stocks Ranked: The Analysts Weigh In

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average - that group of 30 blue-chip behemoths with long track records of outperformance - is setting records seemingly every other day.The DJIA has climbed by more than 60% over the past five years on a price basis alone. Add in the dividends - all 30 Dow stocks are dividend payers - and the total return comes to a whopping 85%. The blue-chip average, trading at record levels, has 30,000 in its sights. That would have been unimaginable even half a decade ago.But not all Dow stocks are created equal. Each index component has a solid pedigree. However, their short- to intermediate-term prospects diverge widely, according to Wall Street's analyst community.If you want to pick and choose among the bluest of blue chips, you can look at this full list of 30 Dow stocks that we've sorted by analysts' average recommendation. Here's how it works: S&P; Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts' stock calls and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals a Strong Buy and 5.0 is a Strong Sell. Scores between 3.5 and 2.5 translate into a Hold recommendation. Any score lower than 2.5 means that analysts, on average, rate the stock as being Buy-worthy. The closer a score gets to 1.0, the better.Here's a look at how analysts rate all 30 Dow stocks right now - and why. SEE ALSO: 64 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2020

  • 3 Reasons NVDA Stock Will Beat the Coronavirus

    3 Reasons NVDA Stock Will Beat the Coronavirus

    Despite fears mounting from the coronavirus from China, some viable companies have dismissed the bearishness. One of those is semiconductor and technology firm Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). After tumbling in the tail end of 2018, NVDA stock mounted a credible comeback effort the following year. It now looks to continue the ride, even against negative headlines.Source: Hairem / Here's the thing about Nvidia. As one of the elite semiconductors, their products are already incredibly valuable. But with a new wave of innovations coming - led by the 5G rollout and its inherent synergies, such as artificial intelligence and automation - the company is almost guaranteed relevance. Therefore, temporary headwinds, no matter how bad they look now, aren't enough to derail NVDA stock.As further evidence, take a look at the organization's results for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2020. Simply put, Nvidia blasted away Wall Street's expectations. Against a consensus target for earnings per share of $1.67, NVDA delivered $1.89. On the top-line sales end, management generated revenue of $3.11 billion against a $2.97 billion target.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSome highlights include that EPS was up 136.25% from the year-ago quarter. During the same comparative period, revenue climbed 40.72% higher. In addition, operating income of $990 million represented nearly a 237% lift from fiscal Q4 2019. Finally, the company reported net income of $950 million. * 20 Stocks to Buy From the Law of Accelerating Returns Unsurprisingly, NVDA stock popped up substantially higher during afterhours trading.That's not to say that the coronavirus isn't affecting matters. Management projects a $100 million hit from the outbreak. But the markets have clearly given NVDA stock a vote of confidence.Here are three more reasons to trust Nvidia despite epidemic-related concerns. NVDA Stock Is Simply the Best in ClassOne of the key aspects for Nvidia's resounding and sustained success is not only its dominance in its core markets, but also its commitment to benchmark-setting innovations. Among them, the company's ray tracing capacities for its flagship graphics processing units is a standout attribute.With today's gaming environment, it's no longer just about processing speeds - although that's the bread and butter of the GPU business. Rather, gamers are looking to blur the line between fantasy and reality. That's where ray tracing comes in. Through this next-generation tech, consumers experience subtle nuances in gameplay, such as shadows, opaque reflections, and translucent reflections.However, a "setback" was that not too many gaming titles incorporated ray tracing due to the newness of the technology. But as management highlighted in their fiscal Q4 disclosure, that's rapidly changing thanks to compelling games like "Deliver Us The Moon," "Wolfenstein: Youngblood" and "Bright Memory."Ray tracing is already shifting the paradigm, which bodes well for NVDA stock. And keep in mind that industry experts forecast video games to boom across several countries over the next few years. Just in China alone, the gaming market is projected to hit revenue of $25.3 billion. Nvidia's Innovations Gaining Serious MomentumWhat investors have always respected about Nvidia is management refusing to rest on their laurels. As digitalization trends advanced, the company didn't waste time spectating. Instead, they got out in front, forging a path of their choosing.This initiative continues to pay dividends, especially in the data center and edge computing space. According to their Q4 release, Nvidia unveiled the first scalable GPU-accelerated cloud supercomputer in a partnership with Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure. Additionally, Nvidia will supply Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS with T4 Sensor Core GPUs to support AWS Outposts, a hybrid cloud computing platform.As well, Nvidia is a huge player in the autonomous vehicles space. In December of last year, management introduced an advanced platform that is significantly more powerful than prior-gen autonomous platforms.While driverless vehicles sound like science fiction, the technologies underlining them are becoming a practical reality. A growing body of evidence indicates that modern automotive safety mechanisms, such as forward collision warning and front automatic emergency breaking, save lives.Currently, such extraordinary mechanisms are additive to the human driver. But the next step is to take the human out of the equation. It's a reasonable step given the pace of innovation. Naturally, this too is a net positive for NVDA stock. Cryptocurrencies Offer an Underappreciated BoostLike most tech firms, Nvidia has considerable exposure to China. Therefore, both the coronavirus and tariffs impose some headwinds to NVDA stock.Nevertheless, Nvidia is one of the few companies that is positioned to directly benefit from the epidemic. Despite my pleas for calm and rational thinking, many investors will inevitably panic. Therefore, the gold price has steadily moved higher since late December on risk-off sentiments.In the meantime, another asset has quietly breached a benchmark level. I'm talking about bitcoin, which at time of writing is trading above $10,000. Moreover, the jump in bitcoin has boosted confidence in many other cryptocurrencies.It's not hard to understand the reason. Bitcoin is this century's gold.This creates a compelling tailwind for NVDA stock. Back during the last bitcoin bubble - which saw the virtual currency flirt with $20,000 - Nvidia's crypto-mining optimized GPUs sold for ridiculous premiums. We could see a similar situation pan out if rising cryptocurrency prices spark another mad run.Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors -- by getting them into the world's biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being "first" gave Matt's readers the chance to bank +2,438% in (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. Matt does not directly own the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Exciting Stocks to Buy for Aggressive Investors * 20 Stocks to Buy From the Law of Accelerating Returns * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post 3 Reasons NVDA Stock Will Beat the Coronavirus appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • There Has Simply Never Been a Stock Like Microsoft Stock

    There Has Simply Never Been a Stock Like Microsoft Stock

    It's likely that no other company has done what Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has of late. To be sure, there is only one other stock that has done what Microsoft stock has done: reach a market capitalization over $1.4 trillion.Source: Peteri / That company, of course, is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). But the Apple story is different.Its historic rally has come from a point when the stock actually was cheap by fundamental standards. After a plunge in early 2019, its shares traded at just 12-13x forward earnings expectations.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsMicrosoft stock did see a sharp decline in late 2018 during the last broad market correction. But even at December 2018 lows, investors still were paying a healthy multiple for the stock. MSFT didn't have a core bearish argument as Apple did, as investors fretted about "commoditization" and pressure on sales in China.The argument over Microsoft stock largely came down to valuation -- and the bulls won. Incredibly, at highs reached earlier this month, the stock doubled in less than 14 months. For a company that was already worth almost $700 billion at the lows, that's an incredible accomplishment. If it weren't for the even faster rally in Apple, it would be unprecedented -- even mind-boggling. * 7 Exciting Stocks to Buy for Aggressive Investors Back near the highs, the argument over the stock again comes down to valuation. And in that context, it's worth noting what truly is unprecedented about Microsoft. Microsoft Runs With the Growth GiantsMicrosoft reported its fiscal second-quarter earnings on Jan. 29, which handily beat analyst estimates. The beat wasn't much of a surprise. Microsoft revenue and earnings have topped Wall Street consensus almost without exception for over four years now.But investors should take a step back from the expectations game and consider just how extraordinary the report was. This is the second-most valuable company in the world. It's a mature business. And it grew revenue 14% year over year, and adjusted net income by 36%.That type of growth from that type of business simply doesn't happen. Increases of 36% in net income are what small- and mid-cap growth stocks provide in good quarters.And even among the market's most valuable companies, Microsoft's numbers look impressive: * Apple drove 9% revenue growth and 11% net income growth in its fiscal first quarter -- but benefited from an easy comparison. Remember, it was slashed guidance for last year's first quarter that led AAPL stock to plunge in early 2019. * Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) increased revenue 17%. Operating income climbed just 13% against a 35% jump for Microsoft. (Alphabet's net income did grow 19%, but that metric is affected by a series of accounting factors.) * Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) drove faster revenue growth, with its top-line rising 25%, but it's obviously a much younger company than Microsoft. Operating earnings rose only 13%, which badly lags the growth rate at Microsoft. * Sales at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) rose 21% in a blowout quarter. Operating income gained 2.4%, thanks to costs from one-day shipping. * Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), purely from a growth perspective, did top Microsoft, with revenue up 38% and Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) up 37%. Earnings Are AstoundingTo be sure, some of those companies grew revenue or profits at a faster rate than Microsoft. But they should be growing faster. They are younger companies that are earlier in their development.Indeed, Microsoft was dominating the software industry before most of those companies (save Apple) even existed. And they are the best, most valuable companies in the entire market.It's possible that a company like General Motors (NYSE:GM) or General Electric (NYSE:GE) posted similar growth in a single quarter when they were the market's most valuable company (or second-most) decades ago. But it's likely that kind of growth would have come after the Great Depression or during the postwar period, thanks to either an easy comparison and/or external factors.Whether the specific numbers Microsoft posted in Q2 have been reached or not isn't necessarily the point. Rather, the point, again, is to step back.A mature, dominant company just grew profits 36% year over year. And while it is just one quarter, analyst estimates (which have a strong probability of being raised again) suggest a full-year increase in earnings per share just shy of 20%.Companies don't drive 20% earnings growth in their 45th year in a normal environment. Cyclical names might post those numbers in the recovery from a recession: Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), for instance, grew profit over 50% in 2010, when it was the world's most valuable company. (Incredibly, its market capitalization is now less than 20% that of Microsoft or Apple, a little over eight years after Apple passed Exxon for good.)This is not a cyclical company. There has been no recession. Microsoft doesn't have some soft earnings comparison in fiscal 2020: in fact, adjusted net income rose 22% in fiscal 2019. This is just a massive company driving essentially unprecedented growth. Is Microsoft Stock Too Expensive?The one concern is that the valuation assigned Microsoft stock, too, seems unprecedented. Shares now trade at over 32x the consensus EPS estimate for fiscal 2020 (ending June). The figure is still right at 30x, even backing out the net cash on the balance sheet.45-year-old companies don't grow like Microsoft in normal conditions; they also don't receive price-to-earnings multiples of 30x in normal conditions.And so there are valuation concerns, one reason I argued ahead of earnings that the gains in Microsoft would slow, if remain nicely positive. That was half-right: Microsoft stock already has risen 17% in 2020.But as I wrote before, this market valuation alone has not been a reason to sell. Now, the biggest risk to Microsoft stock seems to be a decline in the market as a whole -- as seen in the fourth quarter of 2018.Investors are not going to decide that the stock is too expensive without making similar calculations for the rest of the market.If investors are going to own U.S. equities, then, Microsoft stock still seems like a strong pick. Yes, the valuation is high. So is the earnings growth. But it's that unprecedented growth that drives the unprecedented valuation.As of this writing, Vince Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Exciting Stocks to Buy for Aggressive Investors * 20 Stocks to Buy From the Law of Accelerating Returns * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post There Has Simply Never Been a Stock Like Microsoft Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • 4 Reasons Why the Rally In Intel Stock Might Slow Down

    4 Reasons Why the Rally In Intel Stock Might Slow Down

    Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has seen its value drop precipitously on several occasions over the past two years. In the summer of 2018, it began a steep decline that lasted well into the fall. Last April, Intel stock dropped 25% in little over a month. However, since then, the stock has been on a tear.Source: Pavel Kapysh / It's up 50% since last August. Now trading at $67.46, it has posted a gain of nearly 13% so far in 2020 alone -- helped by a big Q4 earnings beat in January.The question is, will Intel continue to shine in 2020? Or is it due for another one of those big corrections? Here are four factors that have the potential to trip up the company's current run.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Advanced Micro DevicesAdvanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) has been a thorn in Intel's side for the past several years. AMD has been cutting into Intel's marketshare in desktop computer PCs.At CES it unveiled new Ryzen mobile processors that seriously outperform Intel's offerings, and announced that over 100 laptops are already signed up to ship with "AMD Inside" in 2020. AMD has also launched an assault on Intel's data center business.Last fall, the company announced second generation Epyc processors that are now being used in data centers by high profile clients, including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google. AppleThe last big drop in Intel stock was last April, and it kicked off shortly after news that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was dumping Intel modems in the iPhone in favor of a return to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).Rumors have been growing that Apple is planning to dump Intel processors in its MacBooks this fall in favor of its own ARM-designed chips. If that happens, it would be another Apple-induced blow to Intel. If Apple is successful, it could also tempt other PC manufacturers to follow suit. ChinaIntel sees 24% of its revenue generated by the Chinese market. Because of that exposure, it's one of the American chipmakers that saw its stock hit by the launch of the trade war between the U.S. and China in 2018.The company has also benefited from the thawing of trade relations between the two countries, especially since the fall of 2019, when a Phase One trade deal was first announced. However, if the trade war should heat up again, Intel is exposed. Another risk is China's slowing economy, with growth recently nearing a 30-year low. CoronavirusA wild card in the 2020 mix for Intel is the coronavirus from China. So far, it's having an impact on the Chinese economy, and there have been plant closures.Should the coronavirus breakout spread further in China, it could result in PC manufacturers closing factories and halting production, slowing demand for Intel chips. In the bigger picture, if the coronavirus turns into a worldwide epidemic, it could trigger a global recession. That would be bad news for virtually all stocks, including shares of Intel. Bottom Line on Intel StockInvestment analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal are taking a cautious line on Intel stock, giving it a consensus "hold" rating. Their median 12-month price target of $66.41 shows no confidence that Intel stock is going to continue its current gains through 2020. Among the 40 in the group, the highest price target is $85, which represents 26% upside. On the other side of the equation, InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango has Intel in his list of Strong Value Stocks for 2020. He notes Intel's "combination of big growth exposure and dirt cheap valuation" will help it to out-perform.What will Intel's story end up being for 2020?AMD is a real threat, but other factors are conjecture at this point. If any of them end up coming into play, Intel could stumble. If they don't, Intel stock could very well continue its growth streak and perform well in 2020. As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Exciting Stocks to Buy for Aggressive Investors * 20 Stocks to Buy From the Law of Accelerating Returns * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post 4 Reasons Why the Rally In Intel Stock Might Slow Down appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • American City Business Journals

    Real Estate Notes: A dynamic urban environment like 'San Fran or Manhattan,' but at a fraction of the cost

    When U.S. companies contemplate major expansions in the Sunbelt, Atlanta’s Midtown continues to emerge as a routine contender to land those projects. In a Feb. 6 earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Colin Connolly, president and CEO of Cousins Properties Inc. (NYSE: CUZ), one of the largest office landlords in the South, cited Midtown Atlanta and downtown Austin, Texas, as two of the region’s most rapidly urbanizing districts.

  • Shopify Is 'Accelerating Like A Champ' Again — Should You Buy?
    Investor's Business Daily

    Shopify Is 'Accelerating Like A Champ' Again — Should You Buy?

    Shopify is a big winner in 2020. Earnings are booming and the company plans to compete more with Amazon. But is SHOP stock a good buy now?


    Buy AMD Stock If You Like Nvidia’s Earnings, Analyst Says

    Advanced Micro Devices shares are getting a bump Friday from RBC Capital analyst Mitch Steves, who lifted his price target to a Street-high $66, from $63, citing yesterday’s better-than-expected results from rival Nvidia.

  • Why Shopify Could Keep Rising

    Why Shopify Could Keep Rising

    The company’s strategy may boost its earnings growth rate Continue reading...

  • Investopedia

    Is It Time to Buy Nike Stock?

    Nike's long-term uptrend is showing no signs of topping out, but the stock is overdue for a correction.

  • Microsoft JEDI defense contract delayed by federal judge
    American City Business Journals

    Microsoft JEDI defense contract delayed by federal judge

    This multimillion-dollar defense contract that was supposed to start Feb. 14 has been delayed by a federal judge.


    Amazon vs. Microsoft, Assessing the Virus, Sticking Up for Judy Shelton

    Fed repo policy changes confirm that external issues are having only a small impact on U.S. economic performance.

  • The 10 Best Mutual Funds for Your 401k

    The 10 Best Mutual Funds for Your 401k

    If you're like many Americans, retirement is arguably the biggest expense you're saving for. To that end, there's a good chance that your biggest pool of assets is your 401k account at work.According to industry group Investment Company Institute, at the end of 2018 there are more than 55 million Americans actively participating in their 401k accounts. Moreover, they have just over $5.7 trillion dollars in those accounts. And it's easy to see why as 401k's do provide plenty of benefits. From tax-deferred savings to employer matching, the accounts can be a real cornerstone to meeting retirement goals.The problem is that many 401k accounts are plagued with lousy mutual funds. Thanks to loose fiduciary standards, many plan providers aren't doing their part to help investors find the best mutual funds for their portfolios. Truth be told, the average 401k plan is a minefield.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Dividend Stocks to Buy (With Brands You Can Find In Your Kitchen) But luckily, here at InvestorPlace, we care about your returns and reaching your retirement goals. To that end, we've combed through the hundreds of portfolio options to bring you the best mutual funds to buy in your 401k.These 10 funds appear in plenty of plans and represent some of the best mutual funds to buy for long-term savings. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSAX)Expense Ratio: 0.04%, or $4 per $10,000 invested annuallyIt should come as no surprise that an option from Vanguard would be top-dog on a list of the best mutual funds. Investors are waking up to the power of index funds as they tend to outperform active management and feature rock-bottom expenses. And Vanguard is the indexing king.Plenty of 401k plans feature the top-notch Vanguard 500 Index Admiral (MUTF:VFIAX), which tracks the S&P 500. However, the Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Index (MUTF:VTSAX) may be a better choice for your 401k.The reason comes down to simplicity. VTSAX tracks everything. And we do mean everything. The mutual fund follows the CRSP US Total Market Index. This measure looks at the entire U.S. stock market. That includes giants like Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as well as absolute small fries that you've never heard off. All-in-all, VTSAX holds more than 3,590 different U.S. stocks.That huge breath of holdings means there's no need to hold individual funds covering every corner of the market. It's all here in VTSAX. This makes the option one of the best mutual funds for your core portfolio. After all, the whole point of a 401k is long-term growth. With VTSAX, you can get that all with ease.You also get some decent returns as well. Since its inception in 2000, the fund has managed to return at least 7.2% annually. Part of that comes from the fund's rock-bottom expense. VTSAX costs just 0.04% or $4 per $10,000 invested.With low costs, good returns and one-ticker access, VTSAX is a great core mutual fund for your 401k account. Fidelity Puritan (FPURX)Expense Ratio: 0.53%Thanks to their all-in-one diversification, balanced funds are often seen as one-stop shop for 401k investors. That's because they own both stocks and bonds under one ticker, usually at a 60/40 stock/bond split. The Fidelity Puritan (MUTF:FPURX) is considered a balanced fund. But one big twist makes it one of the best mutual funds to own for the long haul.FPURX isn't static in that 60/40 allocation. Unlike most balanced funds, Puritan's underlying asset allocation can shift as market conditions change. Managers can gauge market sentiment and play with that 60/40 weighting.So, in rising and bull markets, that 60/40 stock/bond split can be as high as 80/20. In declining markets, the reverse is possible. And since the fund's managers aren't tied to an index in either their bond or stock allocations, they can move around in this regard as well.This means they can load up on dirt-cheap values or small-cap stocks as well as tread into high-yield bonds. As a result, FPURX is a very different balanced mutual fund than what most investors are used to and it is more of a total return element for a portfolio. That makes it perfect for a tax-sheltered 401k. * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness Speaking of those returns, Puritan has been spot on. Over the last decade, FPURX has managed to beat the average balanced fund in its category by roughly two percentage points annually. That return has been pretty close to the S&P 500 as well. And yet, FPURX has managed to produce less volatility.With low expenses of 0.53%, FPURX is a great all-in-one choice for your 401k. American Funds Washington Mutual Investors (AWSHX)Expense Ratio: 0.57%"The Bluest of the Blue Chips" would be a prime way to describe American Funds Washington Mutual Investors (MUTF:AWSHX) fund. The reason for that moniker comes down to conservativism and stock picking requirements of its managers.Founded in 1952 specifically for fiduciaries, lead manager Alan N. Berro and his team use a variety of strict eligibility screens covering everything from debt levels, quality of earnings, dividend strength and other fundamental criteria. Only about 1% of all available U.S. companies are good enough to make into AWSHX's holdings.The end result in those strict requirements is a list of those stocks that absolutely dominate their respective fields, have been around since the beginning of time and feature strong sales/profit profiles. They churn out some hefty dividend income, too. Top holdings for the fund include Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Merck (NYSE:MRK).A despite being a gigantic fund -- with more than $120 billion in assets -- AWSHX has been pretty nimble. The focus on strong dividend-paying equities and holding them for the long-haul has resulted in some great returns. Over the last decade, the mutual fund has managed to pull in just over 12% annually. That's not too shabby at all.What's also not too shabby is its expenses. As an active fund, AWSHX's expense ratio of 0.57% is actually lower than some index funds. That makes it one of the best mutual funds to own for 401k investors heading into retirement. Dodge & Cox Stock (DODGX)Expense Ratio: 0.52%While "growth" has been a favorite since the recession, "value" has been the proven winner. And that's why 401k staple Dodge & Cox Stock (MUTF:DODGX) has been one of the best mutual funds to own.The fund has long had a contrarian and value tilt to its stock holdings. The key to DODGX's 8.95% annual return over the last two decades has been its unique strategy for picking stocks.DODGX runs on a committee basis. That is, each of its managers come up with stock ideas and screen for various value and metrics. Those ideas are taken to the fund's underlying committee who hold a vote for inclusion into the fund.Because stocks require an all or nothing vote, only a handful of values make into the portfolio. The fund has nearly $70 billion in assets and it only spreads those onto just 63 different names. Top holdings include Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX). * 10 Best Cloud Growth Stocks Right Now This, plus the fact that that DODGX tends to hold stocks for a long time once they're in the portfolio have made it an outstanding performer over the long haul. That includes besting the S&P 500 for much of the fund's lifetime. However, the shift to growth over value stocks in recent years has put pressures on its performance. But given values history of winning, it shouldn't be long before DODGX is back on top.With low expenses and a 1.79% dividend yield, investors can sit comfortably while they wait. Metropolitan West Total Return Bond (MWTRX)Expense Ratio: 0.67%Interest from bonds and cash holdings are generally taxed at ordinary income rates. So, a 401k or similar retirement plan is a great place to park fixed income mutual funds. The Metropolitan West Total Return Bond (MUTF:MWTRX) could be one of the rock stars of the sector.As its name implies, MWTRX is a so-called "total return" bond fund. That means the team at the fund isn't just buying bonds and clipping coupons. They are actively performing credit analysts to find bonds trading for discounts to their par values and underlying cash flows.At the same time, they're willing to sell overvalued bonds or securities that have seen their discounts shrink from their portfolio for gains. The combination of coupon clipping and price improvements results in the fund's return.This also has the fund not just buying IOUs from Uncle Sam. MWTRX holds a mix of government debt, corporate bonds and asset/mortgage-backed securities.The real win is that MWTRX's team happens to be one of the best at doing this. Fixed income is one of the few areas that active management can actually add real alpha to a portfolio. What makes this one of the best mutual funds to buy is its returns. Over the last decade, MWTRX has managed to outperform the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index by more than 1% annually. For boring fixed-income investments, those are some serious extra returns.Moreover, those extra returns make the fund's expenses of 0.67% much easier to justify. T.Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth (TRBCX)Expense Ratio: 0.7%Most active managers are pretty terrible. But when they are good, they are really good. Case in point, Larry Puglia and the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth (MUTF:TRBCX). Puglia has been guiding TRBCX for twenty-five years and the results have been more than impressive.Since the fund's inception back in 1993, it's managed to produce an 11.01% annual total return. This compares to just a 9.6% return for the S&P 500 over that time. The reason for those extra returns comes down to stock selection.Puglia's combs the large- and mid-cap stock universe for stocks that have plenty of competitive advantages and wide moats. He then screens for those that have faster earnings growth than the broader market as well as high measures of free cash flows. The combination creates a portfolio of stocks primed for long term capital appreciation. * 7 Utility Stocks to Buy That Offer Juicy Dividends And speaking of the long haul, Puglia tends to stick with his winners. For example, he's held Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) shares for roughly than 15 years. Add in a relatively concentrated portfolio of holdings -- at just 128 different stocks -- and you have a recipe for one of the best mutual funds to buy.Perhaps the only hit to TRBCX could be its expense ratio of 0.7%. However, given the continued gains and market-beating record of the fund, the higher than average expense ratio is justified. In the end, TRCBX is proof that active management can work. Vanguard PRIMECAP (VPMCX)Expense Ratio: 0.38%As we said, Vanguard is the index king. But you know what? It's a pretty great active fund manager as well. And the Vanguard PRIMECAP (MUTF:VPMCX) is its top dog.VPMCX is closed to new outside investors, but there is a backdoor. The fund is still open to those investors who have it as a 401k. Those investors should jump on the opportunity to own one of the best mutual funds around.Primecap is run by arguably one of the best sets of active managers in history. And while each of the fund's five managers are responsible for their own sleeve of assets, the idea is the same. PRIMECAP focuses on large- and mid-cap stocks that trade at bargain prices. However, these stocks do have plenty of growth behind them and many have specific growth catalysts that could propel them forward. This could mean an announced massive buyback program, segment disruption or even restructuring efforts.With the fund currently holding 139 different stocks, VPMAX's managers aren't afraid to place their bets on just a few key ones. Top holdings include Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV). Better still is that the team at VPMAX tends to hold stocks for the long haul in order to realize those growth catalysts and value creation.The end result? VPMAX has crushed the S&P 500. Over the one, five and 10-year periods, the fund has managed to beat the S&P 500 by over 1% annually. Constant outperformance is what makes Vanguard PRIMECAP a top choice for your 401k. Vanguard Real Estate Index Admiral (VGSLX)Expense Ratio: 0.12%When it comes to real estate mutual funds in a 401k, there really is only one option. And that's the Vanguard Real Estate Index Admiral (MUTF:VGSLX). Luckily, VGSLX is a great option and investors don't really need to look anywhere else.Thanks to its immense size -- nearly $70 billion in assets -- VGSLX was recently forced to switch indexes to accommodate that heft. It now tracks the MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50.But that switch may not be a bad thing after all. VGSLX's new index includes previous ignored real estate segments like data centers and timber REITs as well as real estate management firms like CBRE Group (NASDAQ:CBRE). This provides extra diversification and the ability to tap into some niche real estate sectors. All in all, the new index expands the fund's holdings from about 150 to 185 different real estate stocks.It's hard to gauge returns for VGSLX because the index transition is relatively new. However, over the longer term, the fund has done a great job mirroring its exposure and has produced some hefty average annual returns. * 7 Large-Cap Stocks to Buy For Insulation From Volatility And there's a reason to believe that VGSLX will keep that streak alive. Once again, as a Vanguard index fund, fees are dirt cheap for the fund. VGSLX only charges 0.12% in expenses. Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund (FLPSX)Expense Ratio: 0.62%Retirement plans are required to include some specialty mutual funds and diversifiers in their mix. There's a good chance that includes the Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund (MUTF:FLPSX), which is good because FLPSX has long been a great performer for investors.The fund is a bit of an odd bird in that manager Joel Tillinghast is forced to buy, as its name implies, low-priced stocks. The fund's mandate requires managers to only buy stocks that are initially trading for less than $35 per share. While that may seem crazy, it actually is really smart and helps generate some really big returns over the long haul.For starters, that low price requirement causes FLPSX to buy many small- and mid-cap stocks. Secondly, this requirement tends to skew the portfolio towards value names. The combination puts the mutual fund right in the sweet spot of the market. Small-cap value stocks have traditionally been the market's best performers for decades. And the fact that Tillinghast typically holds onto stocks for a long time only enhances this effect for the fund.What it really does is cause FLPSX to produce some top-notch returns. Over the life of the fund, FLPSX has managed to crush the Russell 2000 Index by nearly four percentage points per year. Meanwhile, the fund has managed to see lower drawdowns versus the index during rough patches such as over the last year.In the end, FLPSX is weird and but funky, and it has been a proven winner in many 401k plans. Vanguard Target Date Retirement SeriesTarget date funds get a bad rap from many investment professionals. And it's easy to see why. Many come layered with fees, under-performing active management and too much or too little risk for timelines. But when they are done right, they can be wonderful core or sole positions in a 401k plan. It's not surprising that Vanguard offers the gold standard.Funds like Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 (MUTF:VFIFX) and Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (MUTF:VTTVX) offer a blend of stocks and bonds that get more conservative as investors get closer to the date listed in the fund name. The funds are set up as "through" retirement funds and, as such, do include stock allocations during retirement.Vanguard uses just four underlying broad index funds to create the asset mix: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares, Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares, Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund and Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund Investor Shares.With those four holdings, investors literally own every stock and bond on the planet. The diversification is amazing and supports long term growth until retirement. Even better is that Vanguard does a roll-up fee scheme in that the 0.15% you pay to hold the target date fund is the total fee for everything.All in all, if your plan offers Vanguard's target-date funds, it could be the only holding you need to have. And that makes them some of the best mutual funds around for retirement savers.At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt held a position in VFIFX. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Dividend Stocks to Buy (With Brands You Can Find In Your Kitchen) * 7 Hot & Trendy Generation Z Stocks to Buy * 5 Stocks to Buy in the Mighty Middle The post The 10 Best Mutual Funds for Your 401k appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Apple Stock is a Tasty Breakout Candidate

    Apple Stock is a Tasty Breakout Candidate

    With the Nasdaq courting record highs daily, you would think low-risk opportunities are drying up. As it turns out, you are half right. Some tech giants like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are indeed overstretched and tough to chase. But not Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)! Apple stock is on the brink of a breakout and might be one of the tastiest looking trades of the bunch.Source: pio3 / And you better believe it's on the radar of active traders everywhere. Last year's 86% gain proved the aging giant still knows how to party and can wow the momentum crowd when it wants to.While its peers, like the aforementioned AMZN and MSFT, have been flying high, Apple stock has spent the past month in digestion mode. The respite was well-deserved, no doubt, but also necessary. It allowed weak hands to wash out via profit-taking and a new base to form. The next advance now has a sturdy foundation to launch from.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Apple Stock ChartsLast year's fourth-quarter push jammed Apple's valuation into the stratosphere alongside its stock price. Cautionary comments surged, warning of the lofty price tag. I even tossed my hat into the ring. Fast forward five weeks and the stock hasn't really budged. The beauty of a multi-week pause is it allows overbought conditions to ease and more palatable entries to develop.Source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD AmeritradeThe weekly time frame is still gloriously bullish. Sellers had their chance to take a bite out of Apple shares with the scare surrounding the China coronavirus. And they failed miserably. Sure, AAPL stock experienced a 7.8% peak-to-trough drop, but it was much more benign on a closing basis and, perhaps more importantly, it was over as quickly as it began. * 7 Large-Cap Stocks to Buy For Insulation From Volatility Throughout the entire episode, we only saw two (two!) closes below the 20-day moving average. The daily view reveals the 20-day still rising in bullish fashion. And with resistance looming overhead, it's decision time! Either Apple finally breaks out of its consolidation pattern and joins its tech brethren at record highs. Or it slips below the 20-day, and a more severe pullback develops.Source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD AmeritradeGiven the resilience of the broader market, don't you have to bet on the former? A climb above Wednesday's high of $327.22 is as good a trigger as any if you want confirmation that buyers are pressing their advantage. Options Offer a Smart PlayImplied volatility is retreating from its pre-earnings surge but is still high enough to make spreads preferable over buying options outright. Plus, at $326, Apple is probably too rich for most traders to buy call options comfortably.Bull call spreads have worked well for AMZN, MSFT, and even Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, GOOG) in recent weeks, so I think it's a smart play for Apple as well.The Trade: Buy the April $330/$340 bull call spread for $3.50.The risk is limited to your initial cost and will be forfeited if AAPL sits below $330 at expiration. To minimize the loss, consider exiting on a break of support near $305. The max reward is $6.50.As of this writing, Tyler Craig held bullish options positions in AAPL. For a free trial to the best trading community on the planet and Tyler's current home, click here! More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 20 Stocks to Buy From the Law of Accelerating Returns * 10 Strong Lottery Ticket Stocks That Could Soar in 2020 * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post Apple Stock is a Tasty Breakout Candidate appeared first on InvestorPlace.