Resilient Market Fights Past North Korea, Rising Rates and Tariffs

Phew! The week is finally over. It certainly lived up to all the hype as being one of the most eventful of 2018 so far. And through all the worries and frustrations, the market managed to hold up well. 

In the end, the NASDAQ’s weekly gain of 1.3% was actually better than last week’s 1.2% rise. The S&P was breakeven, though if you want to split hairs it was technically up by less than a point. The Dow was the real problem child, losing ground in four of the last five sessions yet keeping its loss below 1%. The index was down 0.9% this week. 

Except for the NASDAQ’s slight improvement, this week took a step back from last…but we should consider all the stuff it had to deal with. It started in Singapore with the long-awaited meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, which was definitely an historic event but was vague on any real progress. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a process that will lead to denuclearization. Regardless, the market wasn’t impacted. 

Stocks weren’t exactly pleased with the Fed meeting on Wednesday, as Jerome Powell & Friends hiked rates (as expected) for the second time this year and left open the real possibility of a fourth hike before the year is out. But we didn’t see a sharp selloff in the market as in the past, either the day of the announcement or the day after. 

And then there was Friday. The White House announced 25% tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese imports…followed closely by promises to retaliate. Stocks DID initially react to this news with a sharp morning decline. However, perhaps hoping that the two countries will figure something out before the tariffs take effect on July 6th, the major indices rallied for the rest of the session and finished well off their lows. 

The Dow was down by nearly 300 points at its worst today, but finished lower by only 0.34% (or about 85 points) to 25,090.5. The NASDAQ was off 0.19% to 7746.4 and the S&P slipped 0.10% to 2779.7. All in all, the market again performed remarkably well as it had to face several of its biggest concerns this week both domestically and internationally. 

AXIR Consulting

Meanwhile, all this activity was occurring on the backdrop of the summer doldrums. We felt it in the portfolios today too, as there were only a couple moves. However, both of them included editors cashing in double digit returns. See the highlights section below for more. 

Today's Portfolio Highlights: 

Technology Innovators: When Zuora (ZUO) was added just two days ago following a selloff, Brian Bolan thought he could make a quick 10% or more. Well, it did turn out to be more…about twice as much more than expected! With this cloud-based software company moving quickly toward the editor’s $35 target, he decided to sell it today and bank an approximately 20% return since Wednesday. The portfolio now has two open positions, which Brian plans to fill next week. 

Insider Trader: The “mini-run” in Cars.com (CARS) seems to be running out of steam and the stock has slipped all the way to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), which means it has to leave the portfolio. However, this digital marketplace for the auto industry showed great momentum in the short time it was in the portfolio. Tracey sold it on Friday and banked a nice gain of nearly 12.5% in just a little over two weeks. Even though insider trading is slowing in front of the second quarter earnings season, the editor plans to replace this name next week. 

Blockchain Innovators: When buying Net Element (NETE) a week ago today, Dave said he was going to have patience with this small mobile payments and transactional services company. But the editor didn’t have to wait long for this stock to lead the Top Movers board. NETE, which has a business unit that invests in blockchain projects, jumped 10% on Friday. That was enough to make it the best performing stock of the day among all the portfolios.

Have a Great Weekend! 
Jim Giaquinto 

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