U.S. equities are suffering from a rare bout of volatility on Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite reversing a push to new record highs at the open to fall more than 1% amid an aggressive selloff in key technology stocks. While no specific catalyst triggered the move, it could be an indication that the historic market calm investors have enjoyed in July could be ending.
Volatility works two directions, and indeed, a survey of the market reveals big moves both up and down are underway. Most of this is a result of Q2 earnings reports. Some of this is reflective of market-wide volatility being coiled up, like a spring, and ready to explode for given the right trigger. And some of this is reflective of the growing importance of momentum as investors (and computer trading algorithms) chase clear moves up or down.
Here are four stocks making strong moves to the upside; as well as three that are suffering to the downside.
Hot Stocks on the Rise: Boeing (BA)
Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) shares have gone vertical this week after reporting solid quarterly numbers. Up more than 20% so far this month, BA stock has roughly doubled from its pre-election low; an impressive move out of a four-year consolidation range that had been in play near $130.
Boeing reported earnings of $2.55 per share — 24 cents better than expected — despite an 8.1% decline in revenues. Forward guidance was strong as well. The company will next report results on Oct. 25 before the bell. RBC Capital Markets analysts upgraded the stock and raised their price target on Thursday citing ongoing execution on the 737 and transition to MAX.
Hot Stocks on the Rise: Facebook Inc (FB)
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares are up 3% in trading on Thursday, breaking out of a multi-week sideways crawl, after reporting better-than-expected results on Wednesday night. Earnings of $1.32 per share beat estimates of $1.12 on revenues of $9.3 billion. Daily active users increased 17% from last year.
Aegis Capital analysts increased their price target on FB stock to $200 on the company’s continuing streak of quarterly beats and strong revenue growth amid solid user metric gains. The company will next report results on Oct. 25 after the close.
Hot Stocks on the Rise: Walt Disney Co (DIS)
Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) shares are breaking higher, up 2.5% on Thursday, exiting a four-month pullback and return to levels not seen since May. Media stocks have been bid recently on takeover activity chatter. Specifically, the NY Post reported Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) could make a bid for the company.
DIS will next report results on Aug. 8 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.56 per share on revenues of $14.8 billion. Investors will be closely watching the company’s television business performance, with ESPN in particular in focus amid concerns about cord cutting.
Hot Stocks on the Rise: Verizon (VZ)
Verizon shares are exploding higher, up nearly 8% in trading on Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results. This ends a year-to-date excursion below the 200-day moving average and returns VZ stock price to levels last seen in April.
The company reported in-line earnings of 96 cents per share on a 0.1% increase in revenues to $30.55 billion vs. the $29.84 billion analysts were expecting. Verizon’s decision to relaunch an unlimited data plan package back in February resulted in an 614,000 net increase in retail postpaid connections, a 1.2% increase overall from the year-ago period.
Hot Stocks Going Lower: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are moving sharply to the downside on Thursday, testing support at the 50-day moving average and threatening to return to the bottom of a four-month trading range near $143. AAPL shares are losing momentum here amid broad selling pressure among big-cap technology stocks and apprehension ahead of the company’s next earnings report on Aug. 1.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for the company ahead of the unveiling of the eagerly anticipated iPhone 8 later this year. 9-to-5 Mac is reporting that Apple has started trial production of its new 2017 handsets; countering recent chatter that the company was struggling to source OLED display panels in time for an expected September debut.
Hot Stocks Going Lower: United Technologies (UTX)
United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) shares are rolling down and out of a four-month consolidation range threatening a breakdown below its April/May low of $118. Watch for a decline back to the 200-day moving average near $112, which would mark a return to the November-April range near $112.
The decline comes after UTX reported results on Tuesday, with earnings of $1.85 beating estimates by 8 cents on a 2.7% rise in revenues. Guidance was somewhat light, however, disappointing investors. The company will next report results on Oct. 25 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.68 per share on revenues of $14.93 billion.
Hot Stocks Going Lower: Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)
Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) shares are down 2.5% in trading on Thursday, falling away from double-top resistance near $185 and threatening to return to lows not seen since the middle of June. The decline comes despite the reporting of better-than-expected earnings and revenues and the issuing of upbeat revenue guidance. The whisper numbers on Wall Street, apparently, were higher.
AMGN will next report results on Oct. 26 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $3.10 per share on revenues of $5.7 billion. Watch for a decline to the May lows near $155, which would be worth a near 10% loss from here.
Anthony Mirhaydari is founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.