18 stocks that could rise 25% in ’18

If Bitcoin's too crazy a ride for you, here are 18 stocks that analysts say could enjoy their own personal bull runs in 2018.The "18 stocks for '18" list includes oil and natural gas drillers and drug makers. It also spotlights an internet travel company and high-tech firms that make the digital computing world go.This lineup of potential stars (shown below) is based on a simple methodology: They're the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 with the biggest potential to rise when you compare their closing share price on Dec. 15 to the higher projected price targets of Wall Street analysts, using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Aside from strong-performing tech names, many of these stocks are considered good deals or "value plays," because their prices were beaten down in 2017 despite a nearly 20% gain for the broader market.Energy companies, which fell more than 3% in 2017 and were among the worst stock market performers, dominate the list. More: 401(k) savers: Where the stock market is headed in 2018 More: 401(k) savers: Hot industries for stock investors in 2018 More: Investors: 5 market milestones that mattered in 2017 The industry -- which includes companies that drill for oil as well as ones that provide services and storage facilities to energy customers -- is seen bouncing back in 2018. Analysts expect them to benefit from stronger prices, bigger earnings gains following government tax cuts and a global economy that is growing virtually everywhere. Tech companies, which enjoyed the biggest gains of all industry groups in 2017, are expected to fare well again. A strong economy and cash windfalls from tax cuts could fuel a rebound in corporate spending on equipment and a continued push into emerging technologies like the cloud, artificial intelligence and robotics.18 stocks to consider for 2018 All of the names are seen rising Continue Reading

Tech giants lead rally as stocks near records; Amazon surges

NEW YORK (AP) — Some of the biggest companies in the world had their best day in years Friday as Microsoft and Alphabet soared following strong third-quarter reports, as did online retail giant Amazon. U.S. stocks set more records as their winning streak extended to a seventh week. Intel made its biggest gains in three years, while Microsoft had its biggest jump in two years and Alphabet, Google's parent company, made its largest move in more than a year after each company's results were better than Wall Street expected. Amazon jumped 13 percent, its biggest move in two and a half years, after it got a big boost from its latest "Prime Day" promotion and the purchase of the Whole Foods grocery store chain. "The transition to cloud computing really played a role in all of those tech results to some extent," said Brad Sorensen, the director of market and sector analysis for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Technology companies get a lot of their profits outside the U.S. compared to other industries, so the improving global economy is helping them more. Other stocks were mixed: retailers fell after J.C. Penney cut its annual forecasts. Drugstores, drugmakers, health care suppliers and pharmaceutical distributors and retailers fell. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 20.67 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,581.07. The Dow Jones industrial average made a comparatively modest gain of 33.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,434.19 as drugmaker Merck and oil company Chevron skidded after their third-quarter reports. The Nasdaq composite made its biggest gain since November as it soared 144.49 points, or 2.2 percent, to 6,701.26. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 10.86 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,508.32. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished at all-time highs. The S&P 500 also rose for the seventh consecutive week, something that hadn't happened since late 2014. Alphabet climbed $42.25, or 4.3 percent, to $1,033.67 and Continue Reading

Stocks lose steam at end of solid month; British pound slips

By Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major stock markets around the globe ended a solid May on a weak note on Wednesday, while the British pound fell as conflicting poll results stoked worries whether the ruling Conservatives could lose seats in next week's UK general election. MSCI's global equity index , which tracks 45 stock markets, dipped 0.1 percent, paring its month-to-date gain to 1.8 percent. The index booked seven months of increases, which would be its longest monthly winning streak in over a decade. The diminished appeal of stocks on Wednesday underpinned safe-haven bids for gold and low-risk U.S. and German government bonds. Oil prices declined to a three-week low as news of a rebound in Libyan production exacerbated worries about a global oversupply despite OPEC's pact to extend output cuts last week. Despite Wednesday's losses, hopes for an economic pickup in Europe, together with signs of stability in Japan and China and moderate U.S. growth, supported expectations for steady gains in stocks, corporate bonds and other risky assets in the near term, analysts said. "You have some cyclical recovery in some of the major countries in Europe," said Robert Tipp, chief market strategist at PGIM Fixed Income in Newark, New Jersey. "This should be a favorable environment for risky assets." The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 22.39 points, or 0.11 percent, at 21,007.08, the S&P 500 finished 1.12 points, or 0.05 percent, lower at 2,411.79 and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 4.67 points, or 0.08 percent, at 6,198.52. For May, the Dow gained 0.3 percent; the S&P 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq 2.5 percent. Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.1 percent lower, at 1,532.14. It gained 0.8 percent in May. A sharp fall in euro zone inflation led investors to believe the European Central Bank will not be quite as hawkish at its policy meeting next week as had originally been expected. Benchmark 10-year Treasury note Continue Reading

Stocks slip on Trump agenda concerns, dollar gains

By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global equity markets edged lower on Thursday amid investor worries over U.S. government funding, but the U.S. dollar rebounded after recent weakness as central bankers convened for an annual policy summit at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yields on U.S. Treasury debt rose in light trading as investors awaited speeches scheduled for Friday by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. The annual central bankers' retreat coincides with fresh indications of global growth, with copper rising to a near three-year high on signs of stronger demand in top consumer China as inventories fell in London warehouses. President Donald Trump's inability to usher legislation through Congress, however, is worrisome, said Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey. "Investors are reluctant to get too far out on their skis in terms of buying stocks," Meckler said. "Rallies are not extending the way they had when people had more confidence that the Trump agenda, particularly tax cuts, would be passed." In a post on Twitter, Trump said Congress could have avoided a legislative "mess" if it had heeded his advice on raising the amount of money the government can borrow, known as the debt ceiling. A late-September deadline looms for U.S. officials to raise the debt ceiling or risk default, leading investors to anticipate a volatile month, said Michael Purves, chief global strategist and head of equity derivatives research at Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut. "Why would you rush to buy this dip with the debt ceiling looming?" Purves said. MSCI's broad index of world stock markets see-sawed for most of the session, ending 0.06 percent lower. In Europe, but the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares closed 0.22 percent higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 28.69 points, or 0.13 percent, to Continue Reading

S&P 500 index gains after recent selloff; energy stocks fall

By Kimberly Chin (Reuters) - The benchmark U.S. S&P 500 stock index ended up slightly on Monday after two days of declines, though a drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares and tensions between the United States and North Korea kept investors on edge. Market participants began to turn their focus to the Federal Reserve meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week which will be attended by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi, and other global central bankers. Investors are looking for further direction on where monetary policy is headed given persistently low inflation in the U.S. and Europe. Fed Vice Chair William Dudley, who has in the past supported accommodative monetary policy, earlier this month said that the recent easing in financial conditions, despite Fed interest rate increases, is a reason to keep plans to tighten policy in place. "That confluence of strong growth and low inflation, which is somewhat like nirvana for equity investors, we don't think can last forever," said Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer at ICMA-RC in Washington. "We're hopefully getting a couple of more data points to see where the Fed takes their temperature on where they're feeling the economy is at this juncture so that we can anticipate if something happens in the fourth quarter or not." Geopolitical concerns are still weighing on investor sentiment also. The United States and South Korea began their annual autumn joint military exercises on Monday, heightening tensions with North Korea, which called the drills a "reckless" step toward nuclear conflict. Still, absent U.S. economic data and with the second-quarter earnings nearly over, "it’s a quiet Monday and people are still feeling the effects of last week... there's just not a whole lot of catalysts," said Ian Winer, head of equities at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. U.S. stock futures trading volume fell during the two hours that people left Continue Reading

Summer rumblings could herald a stormy fall for U.S. stocks

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Megan Davies NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Trump-fed rally in stocks, lately showing signs of faltering as the long Wall Street summer nears its end, faces a key test in the weeks ahead with the approach of a historically unkind season for equities and a clutch of issues - such as raising the debt ceiling - awaiting the return of lawmakers to Washington. With September, typically the worst month in the year for stocks, on the doorstep, investors are likely to be nervous that cracks seen in the more than-eight year bull run in equities will turn into a steeper selloff. "September is historically one of the most volatile months of the year," said Michael Purves, chief global strategist at Weeden & Co in New York. "Why do you want to chase the S&P right now if there's a good shot that September can be an ugly, volatile month." On Thursday, the S&P 500 recorded its biggest daily percentage drop in three months, hurt by speculation about White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn's possible departure, and failed to reverse course even after the White House said he was not leaving. Stocks edged higher on Friday. The weakness came just as stocks were recovering from last week's swoon on worries linked to escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States. The market is up more than 8 percent so far this year, fueled by hopes of bumper corporate earnings and expectations that the Trump administration’s policies will spur growth. Yet the catalysts could be over. "This wave of good news coming in the form of this double-digit earnings growth is in the rear-view window now and I think it's kind of hard to look out and see what's the catalyst to get buyers to jump back in aggressively," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer, North Star Investment Management Corp., Chicago. (For a graphic on historical performance of major U.S. stock indixes, click http://bit.ly/2whFbZC) BUY THE DIP? Cracks have started Continue Reading

Wall Street stock rally could be derailed by U.S.-North Korea war of words

By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cracks are showing in what has been a virtually non-stop U.S. equity rally after a rapid escalation of tension between North Korea and the United States this week. Market analysts expect that the pullback in stocks due to the increasingly aggressive tone in exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang will continue, although investors hope that the selling will not escalate to a correction - a decline of 10 percent or more. The benchmark S&P 500 index tumbled more than 1 percent on Thursday, only the third time this year it has fallen that much, while the Nasdaq shed more than 2 percent. "Markets are looking for any reason at all for a reset. That reset is being triggered by North Korea geopolitical concern and stretched valuations," said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group in New York. "I do think we could see markets pull back between 1 and 5 percent." The S&P is trading near its most expensive valuation level since 2004, as measured by the price-to-12-month forward earnings ratio. U.S. stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that U.S. President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day. Until this week, the equity market had managed to shake off negative news, including previous saber-rattling over North Korea and failures in Washington to pass high-profile bills, such as repealing and replacing Obamacare. But although U.S. equities on Wednesday managed to close only slightly down even after Trump's warning that "fire and fury" would rain on North Korea, on Thursday the chickens came home to roost on Wall Street. More than 430 stocks from all U.S. exchanges hit their lowest levels in 52 weeks or more on Continue Reading

RadioShack stock jumps 16% to one-year high

Helped by its push into mobile phones and calling plans, electronics giant RadioShack said its latest quarterly sales were better than expected, propelling its stock up 16% to a one-year high.While profits were slightly below estimates, the sales stats revived confidence in a retail chain that's been hit by a pullback in consumer spending and tougher competition from the likes of Best Buy.The retailer recently signed a deal with wireless carrier T-Mobile USA and is now focusing more on selling both handsets and air time, as well as popular electronics products such as iPods.The retailer, which has about 4,470 company-operated stores, almost 1,300 dealer outlets and more than 450 wireless phone kiosks nationwide, said sales at its stores and kiosks open at least a year fell 2.9%.Net sales totaled $990 million, down 3.1% from the year-earlier level of $1.02 billion. Net income fell to $37.4 million from $49.1 million a year earlier.RadioShack stock closed at $18.15, up $2.49 or nearly 16%, far ahead of its previous 52-week high of $17.45 and nearly triple its 52-week low of $6.47. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

June car sales plummet for nearly all automakers

DETROIT - Nearly all the major automakers reported steep sales declines for June, but for General Motors at least there was consolation: Toyota, its leading international competition, had it worse. Even Toyota, with its flexible, efficient factories, couldn’t make the shift from trucks to cars as quickly as American drivers. Its sales for June shrank 21 percent. So the Japanese automaker fell short of some analysts’ predictions that it would overtake GM as the U.S. sales leader. June sales at GM had a still-dramatic drop of about 18 percent. The overall market fell 18.3 percent, according to Autodata Corp. It was the worst June for the industry in 17 years, said Jesse Torpak, chief industry analyst for auto information site Edmunds.com, who predicted more misery ahead. Torpak said automakers simply did not react quickly enough to the staggering rise of gas prices. "I think the gas price rise that we’ve seen from March through June was so fast and so dramatic that even Toyota, which is known to really forecast consumer demand, was caught off guard," he said. The shrinking market continued its shift toward more fuel-efficient models. Some automakers were caught with too few of the smaller cars. That includes Toyota, which didn’t have enough of its fuel-efficient Prius, Corolla or Yaris cars at dealerships to keep up with demand. Prius sales were hurt by a battery shortage, while sales of the Corolla and Yaris suffered because of plant capacity. When consumer tastes change as quickly they have this year, it’s tough for automakers to react in a matter of months. Additional workers have to be brought in to factories and trained to build different cars. Ford has been trying to raise output of the lone factory near Detroit that makes the Focus compact, but still couldn’t meet demand this month. Both GM and Ford have announced plans for new subcompacts, but it will take at least two years to gear up factories for the new products. "That Continue Reading

Krispy Kreme stock sinks 38 percent

CEO Daryl Brewster told analysts the company is closing or improving underperforming shops, shedding a manufacturing facility, helping current franchisees restructure their operations and continuing expansions overseas. But analyst John Ivankoe told investors in a note, "Krispy Kreme is not yet in turnaround mode and we don't expect near-term brand recovery. After the markets closed Thursday Krispy Kreme said its quarterly loss widened to $27 million from a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter fell 7.5% to $104.1 million. The stock dropped $2.42 yesterday to a 52-week low of $3.91. Shares had once traded at more than $50, but bottomed out at about $4 in late 2005. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading