Market Preview: Retail Sales and Productivity Numbers in Focus, Home Depot and Cisco Earnings

Tuesday investors will continue to watch the currency crisis in Turkey unfold, and try to decipher what, if any, impact it will have on U.S. markets. While viewed in isolation, the crisis has little impact on U.S. companies. But, analysts fear a domino effect from the weakening lira. On Friday the market suffered its largest one day decline since early June, and investors don’t want to be left holding the bag if decisions in Turkey begin spilling into other markets. Protecting gains and hiding in quality may be the buzzwords most used for the remainder of the week.

On Tuesday Home Depot (HD) reports earnings. Analysts are looking for the home building and remodeling stock to put up good numbers. After missing earnings projections earlier this year, due to cold and severe weather, HD is expected to rebound in the second quarter and benefit from an upward remodeling trend. The trend has been fueled by construction costs outpacing home appreciation numbers, which are forcing homeowners to postpone new home purchases. Also reporting on Tuesday is Advance Auto Parts (AAP). Tom Greco, Advance CEO, also blamed weather for the auto parts retailer’s numbers earlier this year. Analysts will be looking for the company to continue to increase operational efficiency numbers this quarter, and improve the top-line as well.

Tuesday’s economic calendar brings import and export prices. Analysts are looking for July import prices to rebound after an unexpected .4 percent decline in June. Wednesday investors will focus on retail sales numbers. The headline number is expected to be a relatively weak .1 percent gain, but that is due to weakness in auto sales. The ex-auto numbers are expected at a more healthy .4 percent increase. Productivity and cost numbers for 2Q will also be released on Wednesday. High unit costs in the first quarter limited productivity gains, but those numbers are expected to rebound in 2Q with productivity projected to jump 2.5%, holding down labor costs. Investors will also have to digest new mortgage application numbers, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey and industrial production, all Wednesday morning.

Earnings are on tap from Macy’s (M) Wednesday morning and Cisco Systems (CSCO) after the close. After excellent inventory control measures buoyed the stock last quarter, analysts are looking for a continuation of the turnaround story at Macy’s this quarter. Momentum gained earlier in the year is expected to vault the retailer to another earnings beat on Wednesday. Analysts are giving Cisco a pass on earnings this quarter. With European weakness and the recent announced acquisition of Duo (a network security company) analysts believe CSCO may miss earnings this quarter, But, consensus is that the networking provider is on the right strategic path and that the upcoming quarter will be the real litmus test for the San Jose based tech company.

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10 Killer Stocks to Buy That No One Knows About

We have all heard about the big stocks a million times. That’s not to say they are bad investing prospects. Not at all. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), for example, is an expensive stock with robust growth potential.

However, there are thousands of stocks out there. What about the stocks no one else is talking about? They can make compelling investing propositions too. In fact, some of the stocks covered below are performing incredibly strongly right now. They deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Plus if other investors aren’t investing in these stocks, there’s still a strong chance that they are trading on the cheap.

Here I turned to TipRanks’ Stock Screener to pinpoint 10 killer stocks that are floating under the radar. All the stocks covered below have a “strong buy” analyst consensus based on the last three months. This is apart from Solid Biosciences (NASDAQ:SLDB) which has a “moderate buy” consensus but was just too promising not to include! I also use TipRanks to track the upside potential of each of these stocks from their current trading levels.

Let’s take a closer look now:

Top Stocks to Buy: Activision (ATVI)

Top Stocks To Buy: Activision (ATVI)

Source: Shutterstock

Game on! So says top Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea (Profile & Recommendations). He has just selected Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) as his No. 1 Franchise Pick with a bullish $86 price target (22% upside potential).

And now is the perfect time to jump in: “With ATVI down 7% since July 25, we see a buying opportunity given the numerous major catalysts coming in 2H and into 2019.”

Notably, Call of Duty (Oct 12) is expected to again be the No. 1 best-selling title globally. In addition to expansions for World of WarcraftHearthstone, and Destiny, the second half will feature a major mobile game from King (potentially a new Candy Crush).

O’Shea concludes “ATVI remains a Franchise Pick given our expectation for nice leverage as the new mobile game and ad businesses scale.”

Bear in mind that this “strong buy” stock has received an impressive 11 recent buy ratings vs just one hold rating. This is with an $83.5 price target (17% upside potential). See what other Top Analysts are saying about ATVI.

Top Stocks to Buy: Galmed (GLMD)

Top Stocks To Buy: Galmed (GLMD)

Source: Shutterstock

Liver disease biotech Galmed Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GLMD) has 100% Street support. Seven analysts have published GLMD buy ratings in the last three months. And their $38 average analyst price target predicts massive upside potential of 191%.

Analysts are excited about lead product candidate, Aramchol. The drug has the potential to be a disease modifying treatment for fatty liver disorders, including NASH (Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). This is a chronic disease that constitutes a large unmet medical need. According to statistics published by GlobalData, the NASH market is slated to balloon to $25.3B by 2026.

“We believe that Galmed, with a market cap of $230 million, is undervalued in relation to its peers in the NASH space” writes Cantor Fitzgerald’s Elemer Piros (Profile & Recommendations). He points out that Arachmol has so far demonstrated a strong safety profile with positive efficacy across numerous endpoints. See what other Top Analysts are saying about GLMD.

Top Stocks to Buy: KKR (KKR)

Top Stocks To Buy: KKR (KKR)

Source: Shutterstock

Investment management company KKR & Co. (NYSE:KKR) is a top pick for Oppenheimer’s Allison Taylor (Profile & Recommendations). She recently attended the company’s first investor day after five years.

Since the previous investor day, “The results have been excellent, and we think the growth targets laid out by management across the platform are conservative and achievable.”

Most notably, KKR is growing fast, and thus gaining share in an already fast growing industry — 20% CAGR since 2004 vs. 12% industry CAGR. It’s been doing that by diversifying the scope of the products it offers and assets it manages.

As a result, Taylor concludes: “We left with every reason to believe that the stock remains significantly undervalued in a world where undervalued growth is very hard to find.” She has a $35 price target on the stock (30% upside potential). See what other Top Analysts are saying about KKR.

Top Stocks to Buy: Parsley Energy (PE)

Parsley Energy (NYSE:PE) – a “strong buy” stock according to the Street — is a promising oil stock. The company is focused exclusively on the Permian Basin, one of the most resource-rich oil basins in the world.

“We believe PE shares should outperform the company’s peer group over the next 12 months” cheers RBC Capital’s Scott Hanold (Profile & Recommendations). “PE’s production growth profile, balance sheet, and oil hedge book are best-in-class and differentiate from peers”

Notably, PE is focused on improving development cycle times which could drive upside to 2018 and beyond’s oil volumes and higher present value from core Permian assets. Hanold’s $40 price target falls just below the average analyst price target of $42.64 (36% upside potential). See what other Top Analysts are saying about PE.

Top Stocks to Buy: Gray Television (GTN)

Atlanta-based Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) has just snapped up Raycom Media in a $3.65 billion deal. Following the deal, Gray will become the third-largest TV station owner in the US. Plus Gray’s station reach will rise from about 10.4% of total U.S. television households to 24%.

“The deal positives appear to vastly outweigh the associated risks” applauds top Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos (Profile & Recommendations). He recently reiterated his “buy” rating with a $26 price target (75% upside potential). Even with the heavier debt load, he still sees significant further upside potential ahead.

“The Raycom acquisition meshes two highly complementary station portfolios from both a quality and culture perspective, while also enhancing opportunities to capture political upside and participate in the growing market for original content.” See what other Top Analysts are saying about GTN.

Top Stocks to Buy: Solid Biosciences (SLDB)

Top Stocks To Buy: Solid Biosciences (SLDB)

Source: Shutterstock

This is an extremely interesting life science company focused on solving Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Solid Biosciences (NASDAQ:SLDB) is a genuine rival for larger biotech Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT) — but at a much-reduced price. (Solid is trading at $38, while SRPT is already at $120)

And now Sarepta Therapeutics has announced that its phase I/II trial of its micro-dystrophin gene therapy (GT) for DMD has been placed on clinical hold. This gives Solid the advantage says five-star Chardan Capital analyst Gbola Amusa (Profile & Recommendations).

He writes “Solid to us may gain the edge on timing, also as a result of its clinical trial design being more consistent with FDA guidelines.”

The conclusion “With Pfizer’s market cap at $222.2 bn, Sarepta’s at $8.6 bn, and Solid’s at $1.4 bn, Solid to us continues as the most logical play for profound stock price upside based on emergence of potentially breakthrough AAV-based GTs [gene-therapies] in DMD.” His $60 price target indicates 56% upside potential. See what other Top Analysts are saying about SLDB.

Top Stocks to Buy: Trupanion (TRUP)

Top Stocks To Buy: Trupanion (TRUP)

Source: Shutterstock

Welcome to Trupanion (NASDAQ:TRUP), a pet insurance provider for cats and dogs in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The company has just smashed its second-quarter earning results. As a result, five-star RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney (Profile & Recommendations) ramped up his price target from $36 to $44.

“TRUP posted very strong Q2 results with accelerating subscription pet growth, expanding EBITDA margins, and a full-year revenue guidance raise that was larger than the Q2 revenue beat,” Mahaney told investors in his Aug. 3 report.

He sees a long growth runway ahead as Trupanion faces a large growth opportunity (TAM could be $3–5B+) in an underpenetrated market (less than 1%). Ultimately: “we continue to believe TRUP has the characteristics of a high-growth, subscription-based ‘Net company and benefits from a highly recurring model, which adds predictability.” Meow! See what other Top Analysts are saying about TRUP.

Top Stocks to Buy: Splunk (SPLK)

Top Stocks To Buy: Splunk (SPLK)

Source: Shutterstock

Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) turns machine data into answers. This can cover anything from security and compliance to actionable business insights e.g. into customer behavior. Now Splunk is trading at just over $100. This is down around 5% on a three-month basis.

For top-rated Monness analyst Brian White (Profile & Recommendations), this price is far too low. “Essentially, Splunk’s stock did not experience the upside of other rapidly growing companies over the past four years, yet the recent market volatility hit the stock harder than most.”

This is even though “Splunk reported one of the best quarters in our universe just over a month ago and raised its revenue outlook for FY19.”

That’s lucky for investors, because we are now looking at an attractive entry point says White. This is “one of the most consistent companies we cover and with strong revenue growth that we peg at 30% in CY18.” See what other Top Analysts are saying about SPLK.

Top Stocks To Buy: MOMO (MOMO)

Top Stocks To Buy: MOMO (MOMO)

Source: Shutterstock

Known as the “Tinder of China.” Momo (NASDAQ:MOMO) is a free social search and instant messaging mobile app that specializes in match-making. This is especially true following the February acquisition of Tantan — “China’s Tinder” — for $735 million. However, it has also morphed into a gaming and social platform, much of it driven by streaming video.

Five-star Standpoint Research analyst Ronnie Moas (Profile & Recommendations) has just upgraded Momo from “hold” to “buy.” He believes the stock is now trading at a far more attractive level. Indeed, his new $54 price target indicates upside potential of over 30%.

“The stock is now trading at just ~13 X earnings estimates for next year. Revenue growth should be 25%. There is 1 billion dollars in cash on their balance sheet with no debt against the market cap of 8 billion dollars. If you stripped out the cash, the stock is trading at 11.5 X earnings” points out Moas.

And the Street as a whole is even more bullish. The $58 average analyst price target indicates upside potential of over 40%. See what other Top Analysts are saying about MOMO.

Top Stocks To Buy: Marinus Pharma (MRNS)

Top Stocks To Buy: Marinus Pharma (MRNS)

Source: Shutterstock

Last but not least, Marinus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MRNS) is a cutting-edge biotech with a unique focus. The biotech is developing ganaxolone to improve the lives of patients with epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. This includes postpartum depression — a massive market opportunity.

Mizuho Securities’ Difei Yang (Profile & Recommendations) is one of the Top 100 analysts ranked by TipRanks. She sees prices surging by almost 130%. She is extremely optimistic about the upcoming results of a Phase 2 study of ganaxolone IV in women with postpartum depression (PPD).

“We anticipate this will be an important catalyst for the shares” writes Yang. She continues “We see upside potential of 100%+ assuming convincing data including a clear dose response.”

And the best part: “We believe the downside is limited given the history of the compound and potential in other indications.” The data is now due in Q4 instead of Q3, but Yang isn’t worried. “With no change to the trial design, we are not concerned about the slippage on the timeline by a few weeks.” See what other Top Analysts are saying about MRNS. offers exclusive insights for investors by focusing on the moves of experts: Analysts, Insiders, Bloggers, Hedge Fund Managers and more. See what the experts are saying about your stocks now at As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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3 Quick Buys for Dividends Up to 6% (and 112% Upside)

There’s been a massive discount building in a pocket of the market where you can get big dividends that are entirely tax-free.

And I’m going to show you three “1-click” ways to tap this income investor’s wonderland today.

I know that tax-free anything these days sounds impossible, but in this case, I assure you it’s not. The key is investing in municipal bonds, which give you a passive income stream that is entirely tax exempt at the federal level. Plus it’s also exempt from state taxes in many situations, too.

That means a 4%-yielding municipal bond, or “muni,” is more like a 5.3%-yielding dividend stock for a family earning $100,000 per year—and that’s before we factor in state taxes.

Plus, there are some funds out there that hold munis that can get you much more than 4%. Below I’ll show you 3 of them with “regular” yields as high as 5.8%. First, let me tell you why now is the perfect time to buy them.

How to Amplify Your Muni Gains (and Dividends)

To get the biggest bang for your buck in munis, buy them through closed-end funds (CEFs). There are nearly 200 muni-bond CEFs out there, and most of them yield over 4%. And since they’re CEFs, several are priced far below their “true” value.

How can you tell?

Because the average municipal-bond CEF’s market price is 8.6% below its net asset value (NAV, or the market value of all the holdings in its portfolio).

That discount to NAV is a key number to watch in any CEF, and with a wide 8.6% average markdown, it’s easy to snap up a great muni-bond CEF cheap, then set yourself up for some nice price upside as that gap narrows to its traditional level.

Muni CEF Pick #1: A 4.9% Yield at a Massive Discount

A good example of a great marked-down fund is the Eaton Vance New Jersey Municipal Income Fund (EVJ), which pays a 4.9% dividend and currently trades at a massive 12.3% discount to NAV.

EVJ is no slouch in the performance department, either. On a NAV basis, the fund has earned an 11.5% return over the last 3 years, which is nearly double the gain posted by the muni-bond index fund, the iShares National Muni Bond ETF (MUB).

EVJ Demolishes the Benchmark

On top of that outperformance, EVJ’s yield is about twice that of MUB, making it both a market outperformer and a big yielder.

But should you worry that the fund focuses on just one state? In a word, no.

New Jersey’s average income is $62,554 per capita, the third highest in the union. And while the state’s GDP grew more slowly than that of America as a whole in 2017 (0.9% versus 2.1%), New Jersey is the eighth-wealthiest state in America, which means its growth rate will tend to be lower than those of poorer states.

That wealth has also resulted in fast-growing investment in infrastructure (this spending is budgeted to rise 172% in the next year), which tends to boost economic growth.

But here’s the real key: New Jersey revenues are set to rise 5.7% in 2019 after gaining in 2018. That 2019 estimate is far higher than the 4.2% growth in the state’s spending, so the bottom line here is that New Jersey’s fiscal health is getting better. And that makes EVJ worth considering for income and growth now.

Muni CEF Pick #2: Unbeatable Safety and 4.1% in Tax-Free Cash

Nonetheless, if you do want to go beyond a fund that focuses on just one state, you’d be smart to snap up the BlackRock Municipal Intermediate Duration Fund (MUI), one of the best-performing muni CEFs over the last decade. Just look at how it’s done compared to MUB:

MUI Quietly Delivers Big Profits

This outperformance isn’t rewarded with a premium price; MUI trades at a 13% discount to NAV, which is double its 6.5% average markdown over the last decade. That also means the fund’s 4.1% dividend yield is extremely sustainable, since MUI’s management only needs to get a 3.6% income stream in the muni-bond markets to keep the payouts coming.

Then there’s the diversification. Here’s a chart from BlackRock breaking down the fund’s exposure by state—you can see that it focuses on the biggest states with the healthiest budgets:

A Diverse Fund

Plus, MUI is exposed to the northeast, southwest and every area in between—the fund actually holds municipal bonds from 44 states in total!

If you’re looking for a sleep-well-at-night, high-yielding, tax-free income stream, MUI is a great option.

Muni CEF Pick #3: Crushing the Index for Over 2 Decades

The last fund I want to show you is another BlackRock fund, the BlackRock MuniHoldings Fund II (MUH), which is one of the best-performing muni CEFs of all time. Over the last decade, it’s returned 7.5% annualized. Just look at what it’s done compared to MUB!

Another Long-Term Winner

What’s the secret to this fund’s success?

Two things. First, it invests in municipal bonds that are income tax free but not alternative minimum tax (AMT) free. That limits the appeal of these bonds to some investors, making the market for them less efficient. That, in turn, lets the geniuses at BlackRock easily spot bargains that will boost your returns (as management has for the last decade).

Another big reason for MUH’s healthy gains is the fund’s use of derivatives. By using a mixture of futures, options and interest-rate swaps, MUH can boost your total return by actively playing the bond market as it relates to the Federal Reserve’s changing monetary policy. This approach has worked well over the fund’s history, going back to the 1990s.

Finally, MUH trades at a 7.6% discount to NAV, far higher than the 3.4% markdown it’s averaged over the last decade. That discount has gotten unusually big in the last year—but it’s also starting to recover:

Sale Ending Soon

That makes a good time to consider moving into MUH. You’ll collect a nice 5.8% income stream while you wait for its discount to close.

Beyond Munis: 4 Buys for 7.8% CASH Payouts and 20%+ Upside

As I mentioned earlier, a CEF’s discount to NAV is an incredibly reliable indicator that it’s poised to deliver serious price upside.

That’s true of the 3 funds I just showed you … and it goes double for the 4 other CEFs I want to show you now. Each one trades at an even more absurd discount to NAV than our 3 muni funds … so these 4 unsung funds are spring-loaded to catapult us to price gains of 20%+ in the next 12 months.

When you combine these 4 buys with our muni-fund CEFs, you get an “instant” portfolio that lets you dip a toe in some of the best income investments in the world: munis, high-yield REITs, preferred stocks, corporate bonds and dividend stocks, to name a few.

PLUS, these 4 amazing income plays also pay dividends 3 or 4 TIMES higher than your typical stock—up to 8.0%! So you’re getting paid very handsomely while you wait for these funds’ discount windows to slam shut.

Here’s a quick look at each of them:

  • The real estate mogul: This fund has DOUBLED the market’s return since inception—including during the financial crisis—by investing in real estate, the very thing that caused the meltdown in the first place! It pays you 7.8% in cash today, and its silly discount points to a shockingly big price rise ahead.
  • The bond play with a fat 7.2% payout: This one trades at a totally unusual 14.9% discount to NAV. And it has something I love in a CEF: management with skin in the game. The team at the top includes a Wall Street vet with $250,000 of his own cash in the fund, so you can bet he’ll be working for you.
  • The perfect buy for rising rates: This one holds floating-rate loans, whose rates adjust higher with interest rates. If you want to hedge your portfolio against the Fed’s next move (and collect 6.4% in cash while you do) this fund is for you.
  • The preferred-stock player: Preferred stocks trade around a par value, like a bond, but pay outsized dividends, fueling this fund’s amazing 6.9% payout. Better yet, preferreds have gone on sale in the last few months, driving this fund to a rare discount—and giving us our in.

Michael Foster has just uncovered 4 funds that tick off ALL his boxes for the perfect investment: a 7.4% average payout, steady dividend growth and 20%+ price upside. — but that won’t last long! Grab a piece of the action now, before the market comes to its senses. CLICK HERE and he’ll tell you all about his top 4 high-yield picks.

Source: Contrarian Outlook