MarketBeat Week in Review – 1/23- 1/27

The recent rally in equities is trying to continue as we end the week. Markets were flat in early morning trading but nudging higher at noon. Recession fears and layoff announcements offset two data points that suggest inflation may be easing.

First, the December PCE number was in-line with expectations.

Second, there was a downward revision in consumer spending and an upward revision in consumer saving in December. We’ll know how the Federal Reserve feels when it meets next week. That’s also when investors will get earnings reports from bellwether companies Apple and Amazon. This is a time when you need to stay informed.

And the MarketBeat team will be keeping their eyes on the stocks and stories that affect your portfolio. Here are some of the most popular articles from this week. 

Articles by Jea Yu 

This week Jea Yu had his eye on disruptive technology. For example, you’ve heard much about OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGBT. Some believe that will make 2023 the year artificial intelligence (AI) stocks take off. If so, Yu makes a case for Inc. (NYSE: AI) which has existing contracts with Microsoft, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Amazon.

Yu also notes the company has moved to a consumption-based pricing model that is more suited for a slowing economy. Yu also set his sights on how the stars may align for Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPCE). The stock is up 30% in the last 12 months, and the company hopes to resume commercial space flights in the second quarter of this year.

And as the move toward electric vehicles continues to gain momentum, Yu suggests it’s a good time to put a company like EVgo Inc. (NYSE: EVGO) on your watch list. The company supplies a growing clean energy network of direct current (DC) fast charging stations.  

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) was back in the news this week as shareholders approved a reverse split and increase in share count. Thomas Hughes has been on top of the Mullen story from the beginning and suggests the vote is bullish for Mullen in the long term, but MULN stock still faces significant obstacles in the short term. Specifically, the company must start to deliver vehicles.

Investors looking for a safer option may want to look at Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI). A solid earnings report contradicts the bearish expectations of analysts and pushed the stock up more than 7%. As investors look for safe dividend stocks, LEVI stock is worth a look. And as the U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war continues to escalate, Hughes writes about two defense stocks that should be on every investor’s radar.  

Articles by Sam Quirke 

Are we beginning to see a revival in the chip sector? If we are, as Sam Quirke writes this week, industry heavyweights such as NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) are likely to lead the way. Both companies are getting bullish recommendations from analysts.

That doesn’t mean revenue is not prone to continued softening due to stubbornly high inflation and a weak economy. But a long-term trend looks to be in place as the stocks continue to move off their 2022 lows. Quirke was also looking at the current situation surrounding Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). The stock is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels as investors feel that the Covid rally is ending.

However, Quirke points out that Pfizer is well-positioned to be part of the increase in global drug spending that is being forecast. And right now, investors can get PFE at a cheap valuation and with an attractive dividend.  

Articles by Chris Markoch 

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been making news for many reasons. But none captured the interest of investors as much as its partnership with OpenAI the creator of the chatbot ChatGBT. Chris Markoch wrote this week about the impact this could have on Google’s dominance of online search and the chances of Microsoft buying OpenAI.

Markoch was also looking at three wireless stocks and offering his view on which one may be best for investors to consider in 2023. And one of the biggest names reporting this week is Chevron (NYSE: CVX). Markoch is bullish on the stock, and one reason is the company’s dividend which he predicted (correctly) was likely to be increased before the company’s earnings report.  

Articles by Kate Stalter 

Kate Stalter was also looking at the chip market, but she had her eyes overseas. Specifically, Stalter was eyeing STMicroelectronics N.V. (NYSE: STM). The Swiss-based chipmaker’s stock is up sharply after the company posted strong earnings. The company’s performance is outpacing the sector, and with positioning in the EV and robotics sectors, this could be the start of a longer rally.

For investors willing to be risk-on in a risk-off market, Stalter offers Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKLB) as one for your watch list. The company sends satellites into orbit and recently staged its first U.S. launch.

That is fueling hopes that the company will get more business, but as Stalter notes, you should wait for confirmation. And for investors looking at a sector that is more of a sure thing, Stalter suggests looking at four oil and gas stocks that are showing signs of breaking out.  

Articles by Matthew North 

As Matthew North writes, the recent surge in the price of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is likely due to analysts issuing a bullish rating even though earnings are more than a week away. If the company delivers earnings that match these forecasts, it could have investors craving more than the fast-casual chain’s food. North was also writing about Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which is up for the month but still down over the last 12 months.

But as North writes, the company had little choice but to conduct layoffs. And now that it has, it may be a catalyst for continued growth. And Apple (NASDAQ; AAPL) also reports next week. Investors will be keen to hear more about its plans to shift some of its manufacturing capacity to India. North notes this may be a short-term drag on earnings but could set the company up for significant cost savings for the company.  

Articles by Keala Miles 

When investors think about dividend stocks, they often think of names with a hefty price tag. But this week Keala Miles was on the hunt for several cheap stocks that still offer an attractive dividend. These stocks may bring more volatility than some investors are comfortable with, but the dividend you receive may be worth the risk.

Miles was also writing about how the slowing economy affects some small biotech companies. These companies are often not profitable, and some are even in the pre-revenue stage. Miles writes about how five small-cap biotech companies are implementing layoffs early in 2023 to weather the storm.  

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