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For the most part, Tesla's Model S has maintained a familiar look since it wasintroduced in 2012 -- the largest external change was the elimination of thefake grille back in 2016
Don’t expect unbridled enthusiasm over Facebook’s reported cryptocurrency push just yet. “I don’t believe it’s going to be this kind of major game-changer,” Brent Thill, Jefferies senior technology analyst, tells Yahoo Finance’s ‘The Ticker.’
Amazon Game Studios has quietly laid off dozens of employees on the last dayof E3, one of the biggest video game conferences in the world, according toKotaku
The most important thing to watch next week is Twitter, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. -- the Twitter account of President Trump, who's likely to have something to say about China and trade that will send the markets lower. Cramer said the numbers will be all investors care about at GE, but even if Adobe reports great earnings, investors might not care as they rotate away from the cloud stocks and into other sectors.
Fast-casual is a subset of the restaurant industry that sits somewhere between fast-food and fine dining, and the concept has caught on with the American public.
The U.S. continues to be the world's top military spender by far, at $619 billion in 2018. China is a distant second at $250 billion but it's moving fast.
The world of exchange traded funds is evolving. With a slew of new ETFs, you will be able to not only diversify your portfolio, but also to take advantage of active management to lower risk while keeping a handle on expenses. The TrimTabs All Cap US Free-Cash-Flow ETF (TTAC) is actively managed and lists its holdings daily, for full transparency.
Goldman Sachs has a new strategy for investors to consider. The firm has now revealed that the most dominant companies in an industry tend to outperform companies with a smaller percentage of market sales. There’s even a name for these kind of companies ‘superstar firms.’ “The market positioning of superstar firms often allows for greater bargaining power over consumers and workers and higher profitability,” Goldman's senior US equity strategist David Kostin told investors. “Superstar firms have been one driver of the explosion in US corporate margins post-crisis.”According to Kostin, companies with the highest share of industry sales have returned 49% since 2015. In contrast, companies with the lowest share of industry sales returned just 16% over the same time-frame. Here we take a closer look at five of the most prominent stocks in Goldman Sachs' 'superstar' portfolio. Should you buy into these names now? Let’s see what the Street has to say now… 1\. Altria (MO) * 88% share of industry US salesDuring the last five years, tobacco giant MO has gained 23%. That’s despite a disastrous 2018 which saw prices pullback 30%. So far in 2019, shares are holding steady- and Wells Fargo’s Bonnie Herzog spies upside ahead. She has just reiterated her Buy rating with a price target of $65 (28% upside potential). She believes that Altria will be able to weather the shift from traditional cigarettes to vapor products. “Major tobacco manufacturers are well-positioned in the current regulatory/political environment driven by strong management teams and a deep reservoir of bench talent and funds to drive innovation” says the analyst. Interestingly, Herzog adds that industry consolidation “will increasingly favor scale in the global ‘arms’ race in reduced-risk products (RRPs) while addressing the youth crisis.” Altria, for example, recently invested $12.8 billion in leading e-cigarette maker Juul Labs as well as a further $1.8 billion in cannabis stock Cronos Group (CRON). Luckily for Altria, Juul recently revealed Q1 sales of $528 million, up 23% from the previous quarter’s revenue. Now there is talk that Juul could be on the way to opening its own chain of vaping shops, starting in Houston and Dallas, Texas. Meanwhile Altria will also exclusively distribute Philip Morris International's (PM) "heat-not-burn" tobacco device. Called IQOS the device heats tobacco to around 350°C vs temperatures in excess of 600°C for a cigarette. “Because the tobacco is heated and not burned, the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced compared to cigarette smoke” claims the company.Overall, we can see that the stock has a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy analyst consensus. This is based on all the ratings received by the company over the last three months. Meanwhile the average analyst price target of $60 indicates upside potential of 18% from current levels. View MO Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail 2\. Alphabet (GOOGL) * 63% share of industry US salesLooking back, GOOGL has almost doubled in value over the last five years. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t further upside potential ahead. GOOGL still retains a bullish ‘Strong Buy’ Street consensus. What’s more, the $1,334 average analyst price target indicates upside potential of over 22%. That’s despite more anti-trust talk from regulators, with Makan Delrahim (Assistant AG, DOJ) suggesting that stricter regulation may be coming.“Investors may be getting relatively comfortable with the underlying regulatory risk given that so far, the financial performance at FB, GOOGL and AMZN continues to be in line or even better than what the Street has been expecting” notes top-rated SunTrust Robinson analyst Youssef Squali. Given the complexity and global considerations of regulating and/or breaking up big tech, Squali is confident that it is likely to take years for regulatory measures to be implemented, and even longer for them to start impacting the financials of these companies. What’s more there is a growing realization that even in case of a break-up of a behemoth like GOOGL, the value of the parts may be higher than the whole over time. For example, Needham analyst Laura Martin has just reiterated her GOOGL buy rating with a $1,350 price target. She has calculated that the company could be worth nearly 50% more than its current valuation in the case of a break-up. Martin values Google search at $600 per Alphabet share, YouTube at $200, and the Android App Store at $100. Plus there are extra contributions from Gmail, Maps, Waymo, DeepMind etc. “Elevated regulatory scrutiny adds costs and margin pressures for 2-4 years, but probably has little impact on revenue growth or consumer usage until outcomes are determined and then fought out in the courts,” she concluded.View GOOGL Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail 3\. General Electric (GE) * 51% share of industry US sales With new CEO Larry Culp at the helm, General Electric has put on a remarkable year-to-date rally of over 40%. The company was primed for a rebound after plunging over 50% in 2018. And analysts are currently divided about the stock’s outlook going forward.The key question is whether Culp’s multiyear turnaround plan will succeed to boost the company while reducing its massive $110 billion debt pile (as of March 31, according to FactSet). Cowen & Co’s Gautam Khanna sums up the problem here: “The major debates on GE's stock, which won't be resolved for years, are whether cost cutting & portfolio actions will return Industrial to sustained high FCF [free cash flow] conversion, & if Capital will require more cash support.” As a result, the analyst reiterates his Hold rating on GE with an $8 price target. That suggests shares could fall 20% from current levels. However, there are some more positive voices in the crowd. Most noticeably, William Blair’s Nicholas Heymann has just reiterated his GE Buy rating. He believes GE can ‘materially outperform’ the market over the next 12 months.“We continue to believe GE’s underlying intrinsic value (with no value assigned to Power) is somewhere in the range of $14-$16 per share,” the analyst revealed, describing this as a “highly feasible base-case valuation for GE’s share price over the next 6-12 months.”“The unbridled fear that overshadowed a rational assessment of the company’s underlying fair value exiting 2018 is beginning to recede and be replaced with far less ambiguous and more tangible plans and actions that will support a likely materially higher value for GE’s stock over the next 12 months and beyond,” said Heymann. View GE Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail 4\. Walt Disney (DIS) * 49% share of industry US salesThis is a critical year for Walt Disney. As well as two new Star Wars attractions, DIS is also launching its own direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming service known as Disney+. Clearly investors are feeling optimistic- boosted by the success of Avengers: Endgame (the second highest-grossing film of all time), shares are up 29% year-to-date. This brings Walt Disney’s total five-year gain of over 70%. It’s not just investors that are bullish on DIS right now. In the last three months, 16 analysts have published DIS Buy ratings vs just 3 Hold ratings. That gives DIS its ‘Strong Buy’ Street consensus. Meanwhile the average analyst price target of $153 indicates upside potential of 8%. “I believe that Disney+ will be a significant revenue driving opportunity along with the ongoing success of Disney Studios and Theme Parks” commented five-star Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth. “I further believe both Star Wars and Marvel franchises including a number of series from both these franchises will be significant drivers for Disney+ subscriptions,” Feinseth wrote. ‘Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ is set for release this December, and could also generate a whopping $2 billion in box office revenue.At the same time Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne has just raised Disney’s long-term DTC subscribers and earnings estimates. This leads him to a new $160 price target and $210 bull case. He is now forecasting over 130mm global OTT subscribers by 2024, and is confident that DIS shares can sustain a premium multiple as the service ramps up. The analyst’s willingness to underwrite these higher estimates stems from: 1) A faster-than-expected global launch for Disney+; 2) More IP aggregating more quickly than anticipated; and 3) A plan to leverage third-party distribution. View DIS Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail 5\. General Motors (GM) * 48% share of industry US salesOnly three analysts have published recent ratings on GM. Two analysts are staying neutral on the stock, while one analyst- Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas\- has a bullish rating on GM. Encouragingly, out of the three analysts, Jonas is the analyst with the strongest stock picking track record. Following relatively ‘in-line’ Q1 earnings results, Jonas reiterated his buy rating and Street-high price target of $44. From current levels that translates into 23% upside potential. According to the analyst, Q1 earnings didn’t fundamentally change his take on the GM story- especially if you strip away the mark-to-market ‘noise’ from the Lyft (LYFT) and PSA revaluations. Nonetheless, Jonas revealed that he was "sympathetic to some investor profit taking" after prices climbed 5% in April.And the analyst also moved to temper expectations surrounding GM’s self-driving Cruise unit. "While we think GM Cruise has important technological value, we urge investors to lower expectations on revenue generation and profitability of the unit," Jonas advised. "Taking nothing away from GM cruise, it is our understanding that the technology required to remove human drivers at an acceptable level of consumer safety is likely many years away." He continued: "And the legal and regulatory construct to support, even proven technology, may present even greater hurdles largely outside of GM Cruise's control."At the time of writing, General Motors has enjoyed a modest year-to-date rise of 7%. Despite rallying in both 2016, and 2017, 2018 was a more difficult year for GM investors with the stock losing 19%. View GM Price Target & Analyst Ratings DetailDiscover stock ideas from the Street’s best performing analysts here
Disney and Comcast are near buy points after holding up well in the stock market correction. Cadence Design Systems, Estee Lauder and TransDigm also are near breakouts from shallow bases.
The voices are growing louder that the US economy is starting to sputter. From Morgan Stanley, stock strategist Michael Wilson said last month, “Recent data points suggest US earnings and economic risk is greater than most investors may think,” and the May jobs report, released on June 7, backed him up. The numbers were grim, with only 75,000 new jobs reported for the month, and the previous two months revised down by an equal amount. Other data has shown a slowdown in the services sector, and a nine-year low in manufacturing activity.The data is starting to point towards trouble, but the real problem with protecting your portfolio in a downturn lies in the lagging definition of a recession: two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. Given that growth data is typically reported one month after the fact, this means that investors will always be 4 to 7 months late in taking protective measures. So, let’s be proactive about this, and take a look at TipRanks’ database to find some reliable stocks for defensive investing. These are not necessarily “classic” defensive stocks; rather, these companies have shown by recent performance that they can deliver profits even in a downturn. Apple, Inc. (AAPL)First on our list today is Apple, partly because these days it seems you just can’t build a portfolio without a tech giant but mostly because Apple has proven both its long-term reliability and its short-term resiliency. For the long term, Apple is up 130% in the last five years, while in the short haul the company recovered well from the Q4 2018 downturn and has already made up more than half the losses from last month’s market swoon.More importantly, Apple has also shown that it can adapt and change. Steve Jobs’ unique vision underlay his company’s growth in the early 2000s, and his death in 2011 prompted fears that his successor, Tim Cook, would not fill his shoes and the company would stagnate. It is fair to say that events of the past three quarters have laid that fear to rest. While Cook is not Jobs, he hasn’t needed to be – he took over a mature company with established niches and a growing customer base. He has shown himself fully capable of meeting the challenges the market has posed.Cook met last year’s market dip head-on. He admitted that Apple’s core iPhone sales were not going to fully recover, and orchestrated a plan to meet the changing conditions by shifting the sales focus to Services, reconciling iPhone to a longer replacement cycle, and promoting the iPad, iMac, and Macbook lines. Under all of this, helping to ensure success, is the near-billion strong loyal customer base that the company has built over the past decade.So, Apple has the solid foundation that every defensive stock needs. Looking forward, the company made a favorable impression on market analysts earlier this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Kathryn Huberty (Track Record & Ratings) of Morgan Stanley said after Apple’s presentation, “After (Monday’s) announcements, we believe Apple Watch and Mac will more meaningfully contribute to App Store growth, while further solidifying Apple as the most attractive platform for app developers.” Noting the company’s commitment to increasing its Services sector, she added, “Apple's top growth opportunity is driving increased user engagement with apps.” Huberty gives Apple a buy rating with a $231 price target, seeing an upside of 19%.Piper Jaffray’s Michael Olson (Track Record & Ratings) also gives Apple high ratings. Peering into the future of iPhone, he notes that 20% of current owners are interested in upgrading to 5G, and says, “Interest in 5G will only grow from here, so this is a favorable early sign that 5G is viewed as a key feature… we believe that as long as services revenue continues to perform well, it will tide many investors over until anticipation for 5G iPhones intensifies.” His price target on AAPL, $230, also suggests an 19% upside.The analyst consensus on AAPL shares is a ‘Moderate Buy,’ based on 19 buy ratings, 16 holds, 2 sells given over the last three months. Shares are trading at $192, so the $212 average price target indicates an upside of 10%.View AAPL Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)This one is a traditional defensive stock, and it has a reputation for being a bit staid, but don’t let that fool you: Johnson & Johnson offers real value, consistently delivering on both dividend and long-term equity growth. Both are markers of a strong defensive play.The company’s current dividend yield is 2.72%, which may seem small, but at current share prices it equates to an annual payout of $3.80. Better than the actual dividend payment, however, is JNJ’s dividend history. The company has been paying, and steadily increasing, its dividend since the early 1970s. This policy of consistently rewarding shareholders provides a steady source of income for investors, and also encourages them to reinvest that income in the company. It’s a win-win policy.As a long-term investment, JNJ has, like Apple, proven its worth. The stock has gained 56% in the last 5 years, and shows a 9% gain over the past 12 months. And also like Apple, JNJ has proven resilient in the face of adversity: last December, the stock took a hard hit from bad press related to the widely reported talcum powder recall, but has since regained most of that loss. In another example of corporate resiliency, JNJ was recently given a buy rating with a $157 price target by five-star analyst Joanne Wuensch (Track Record & Ratings) of BMO Capital, after she reviewed the status of current legal action the company faced in the state of Oklahoma in regard to the opioid abuse epidemic. Wuensch notes that the case will likely be resolved quickly, and points out, “Litigation is a common occurrence in the health care sector that takes significant time to resolve, and often headlines are worse than reality.” Her price target indicates confidence in the stock, and a 12% upside.Johnson & Johnson’s success rests on two separate bases. The first, and most widely recognized, is the company’s array of popular consumer brands. JNJ is the producer of Band-Aids, Listerine, and Tylenol, to name just a few. Consumer products provide a respectable 16.7% of annual revenue (nearly $14 billion), but the real money for JNJ lies in pharmaceuticals. To put it in perspective, two drugs – Remicade and Simponi – account for 11.3% of the company’s total revenues, two-thirds as much as all of the consumer products.Unlike many large-scale drug producers, Johnson & Johnson is not deeply exposed to payment issues with the Medicare and Medicaid systems. This is important for investors, as both programs have reputations for underpaying, and with an election year coming up both programs are likely to become political footballs as candidates promise ever more benefits. This is a key point noted by Terence Flynn (Track Record & Ratings). Writing for Goldman Sachs, Flynn says, “The company has the lowest exposure to Medicare/Medicaid within the group. As a result, the stock will be less impacted by potential drug pricing headlines/policy proposals ahead of the 2020 presidential election.” Flynn sets a price target of $163 for JNJ, suggesting an upside of 16%.JNJ’s consensus rating of ‘Moderate Buy’ is derived from 7 buy and 5 hold reviews. The stock’s $149 average price target and $140 share price equate to an upside potential of 7%.View JNJ Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail McDonald’s Corporation (MCD)Fast food burgers might not come immediately to mind when you hear the phrase ‘Return on Investment,’ but McDonald’s has been delivering more than just quick eats. The company has gained an impressive 16% so far this year, rising from $176 on January 2 to a closing price of $205 on June 14. Even more impressive, between May 3 and June 3, while the S&P 500 was slipping 6.8%, MCD shares were gaining 1.2%.It’s all part of a steady-growth story going back to May of 2015, when current CEO Steve Easterbrook took over. McD’s had just posted its first sales decline in more than a decade, and the new chief’s mandate was simple: refresh a stale brand. His ‘Turnaround Plan’ got the company back to basics, emphasizing fresher, higher quality ingredients; a streamlined menu; and physical rebuilding efforts in the company’s aging franchise locations. Through it all, McDonald’s has maintained its high dividend; the payout is now $4.64 annually, for a yield of 2.26%.The market’s analysts agree that MCD is on a stable upward path. Writing at BTIG, Peter Saleh (Track Record & Ratings) says, “The company's menu strategy shift has boosted comps. Expect the increased menu focus on bundles and full price items – and away from deep discounts - to drive higher U.S. average check for the next couple of quarters.” Saleh boosted his price target to $220 on MCD, suggesting an upside of 7%.Saleh’s not alone. Weighing in from Merrill Lynch last week, Gregory Francfort (Track Record & Ratings) sees “2Q-4Q same-store sales (including 3.9%-4.2% for the U.S.) looking conservative with more upside potential than downside risk.” Like Saleh, he gives MCD a $220 price target.Overall, MCD has a ‘Moderate Buy’ consensus based on 19 analyst ratings given in the last three months, including 14 buys and 5 holds. The stock sells for $205 as of June 14, and the average price target of $216 indicates an upside potential of 5.5%.View MCD Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)If the US economy does turn down to recession, Lowe’s is in an excellent position to take advantage of the changed conditions. The do-it-yourself home improvement supplier operates on the big-box model, using bulk to offer discounts on the products and services that, in bad times, homeowners are more likely to handle as DIY.This puts Lowe’s strength as a defensive play is in its niche – the stores offer products that most people need, at discounts that grow more attractive in a downturn. Home maintenance won’t stop for a recession, and DIY really is a good way to save money. In addition, Lowe’s has maintained its lucrative contractor business.And now we get to the weakness in this stock. Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement superstore, after Home Depot (HD), and the company is having trouble boosting revenues and earnings against its larger competition. LOW shares have been on a roller coaster ride for the last 18 months, although they are up nearly 8% year-to-date. On an operational level, Lowe’s has had difficulty executing online sales strategy and home delivery, and managing inventory control. Both are putting serious drag on the bottom line, and holding down revenue growth.Pushing back is CEO Marvin Ellison, who took over in July of last year. He has marked both online sales and inventory control as key parts of a turnaround effort to improve the company’s sales and revenue growth. Early assessments of Ellison’s success are guardedly optimistic; LOW did beat sales and revenue expectations in its most recent quarterly report, although EPS missed by 8%. As Keith Hughes (Track Record & Ratings), of SunTrust Robinson points out, “The recovery will not be a "quick story", even though we are positive on the re-set of expectations and maintain that the 10% projected earnings growth this year still tops Home Depot's (HD) expected flat growth.” Hughes sets a $120 price target on LOW, suggesting an upside of 20%.UBS analyst Michael Lasser (Track Record & Ratings) also sets a buy rating on LOW, with an upbeat $115 target and 15% upside. He writes, “The risk-reward ration on the stock is attractive.”On consensus, Lowe’s keeps a ‘Strong Buy’ rating, based on the 14 buys and 4 holds given in the past three months. While the company faces headwinds, it holds a strong position in a valuable niche, and is widely perceived as facing its difficulties effectively. Of the stocks in this article, LOW offers the best upside potential, at 16%, based on the $99 share price and $115 average price target.View LOW Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Walmart, Inc. (WMT)Like Lowe’s, Walmart gains its defensive-stock status from its business model. The king of brick-and-mortar retailers offers discount customers the ultimate in one-stop shopping, putting everything that consumers could want or need under one roof, from baby diapers to daily groceries to minor car repairs. Really, there’s nothing you can’t get at Walmart and that fact has made it the world’s largest company by revenue and the world’s largest private employer.Walmart’s biggest competition comes from Amazon.com (AMZN), but it is more of a whale and elephant story than a cage match. Each company is dominant in its own domain, and each has faced challenges trying to expand on the other’s territory. Walmart may have found a way to leverage its existing stores for an online advantage – rather than offer home delivery (an area in which Amazon already excels), Walmart offers online purchasers an option to pick up their merchandise at the nearest Walmart location. This is a viable alternative, since according to some estimates everyone in the US lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store.As a defensive play, Walmart’s greatest advantage is the pedestrian nature of its business. Everyone needs the products they offer, and in hard times, Walmart’s famously low prices will simply look more attractive. Writing after WMT reported FY20 Q1 earnings, Raymond James’ Budd Bugatch (Track Record & Ratings) said, “Investors should be most encouraged by the U.S. segment, which showed a 5.5 percent year-over-year increase in operating income to $4.1 billion. The business saw strength from a favorable sales mix while e-commerce margins came in better than management's own expectations.” While he believes the company is on firm footing, his price target, at $110, suggests only a modest 1% upside.Guggenheim’s Robert Drbul (Track Record & Ratings) sums up Walmart’s case quite well in his recent research note: “We believe the business remains quite healthy, with solid physical/digital results in recent quarters… We continue to believe WMT’s resources uniquely position it to successfully evolve in an ever-changing retail environment. While trade concerns/tariffs may create quarter-to-quarter fluctuations, we believe the management team will astutely navigate any changes.” Drbul maintained a $115, which indicates a 5.5% upside from current levels.On average, WMT shares have a price target of $113, which gives an upside of 4.5% from the share price of $109. The analyst consensus of ‘Moderate Buy’ is based on 8 buys, 2 holds, and 1 sell set in the last three months.View WMT Price Target & Analyst Ratings DetailYou can learn more about these stocks using TipRanks Stock Comparison tool. This is a powerful new tool that shows all the data on multiple stocks. See for yourself how the Comparison Tool works, by using it to look at the stocks in this article.Disclosure: This author holds a long position in Apple, Inc.
Investing.com - The Federal Reserve policy meeting is expected to be the biggest event for markets this week. Expectations for a rate cut have increased in recent weeks as President Donald Trump's trade policies fueled fears over the prospect of a U.S. recession.