Stocks have been listless and lifeless for since the panic selloff in February, oscillating through a narrowing trading range bounded roughly by the 50-day and 200-day moving averages on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The 24,000 level seems to have a gravitational pull, with the index repeatedly returning to that level in recent months.
Sure, many unknowns still linger, such as the outcome of the U.S. vs. China trade spat, the impact of the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening campaign, and the outcome of the Russia investigation.
But amid a historically strong Q1 earnings season, there are signs that optimism is returning as a number of key Dow component stocks perk up. Here are seven to watch:
Dow Titans to Watch: Home Depot (HD)
Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) shares are perking up from a four-month downtrend pattern from the January high, crossing above its 50-day moving average and thus pulling its 20-day average above its 50-day average. Watch for a run at the January highs, which would be worth a gain of more than 10% from here.
The company will next report results on May 15 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $2.07 per share on revenues of $25.2 billion. When the company last reported on Feb. 20 earnings of $1.69 beat estimates by five cents on a 7.5% rise in revenues. Analysts at TAG believe that home improvement companies have the best fundamentals in the retail headlines category, despite weather-related headwinds.
Dow Titans to Watch: McDonalds (MCD)
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) shares are consolidating a post-earnings push above its 200-day moving average, threatening to break up and out of a consolidation range going back to February, as new initiatives such as the rollout of fresh beef nationwide drives renewed interest in the American icon. Other initiatives such as delivery, mobile ordering and fresh store remodels is driving strong same-store sales growth.
The company will next report results on July 24 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.93 per share on revenues of $5.3 billion. When the company last reported on April 30, earnings of $1.79 per share beat estimates by 12 cents on a 9.5% decline in revenues.
Dow Titans to Watch: Nike (NKE)
Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) shares remain within the confines of a five-month consolidation range but look ready for an upside breakout with the 20-day moving average perking up once more. The company continues to enjoy solid execution and pricing power as rivals such as Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) suffer setbacks.
The company will next report results on June 28 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 64 cents per share on revenues of $9.4 billion. When the company last reported on March 22, earnings of 68 cents per share beat estimates by 15 cents on a 6.5% rise in revenues. The company was recently upgraded to “buy” by analysts at HSBC, who are carrying a $77 price target.
Dow Titans to Watch: Apple (AAPL)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are up another 5% on Wednesday, boosting its post-earnings performance and representing a rise of more than 10% from the lows seen last week. The move brings the stock back to the upper end of the consolidation range that’s been in play since November as concerns about iPhone X demand first appeared. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity are looking for a $208 price target.
Quarterly results are impressive, with earnings of $2.73 per share beating by five cents on a 15.6% rise in revenue amid better-than-expected iPhone demand. But what has got investors really excited was the announcement of a new $100 billion share buyback program. The company will next report results on July 31 after the close.
Dow Titans to Watch: American Express (AXP)
American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) shares are challenging their January high, up more than 11% from their March/April lows to threaten an end to the consolidation range that has been in place since December. Investors have been encouraged by growth in its loan portfolio and a decline in its effective tax rate.
The company will next report results on July 18 after the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.81 per share on revenues of $10.1 billion. When the company last reported on April 18, earnings of $1.86 per share beat estimates by 15 cents on an 11.6% rise in revenues.
Dow Titans to Watch: Chevron (CVX)
Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) shares are arcing towards their January high boosted by the rally in crude oil towards the $70-a-barrel threshold. Also helping was a solid earnings report and the expansion of upstream profit margins and volumes. Output from the company’s operations in the Permian Basin were up 65% from the year prior.
The company will next report results on July 27 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.85 per share on revenues of $44.5 billion. When the company last reported on April 27, earnings of $1.90 per share beat estimates by 41 cents on a 13% rise in revenues.
Dow Titans to Watch: General Electric (GE)
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has been the dog of the Dow for months, and is only now showing renewed signs of life with some stabilization materializing since February. Another rally attempt is underway now with a move above the 50-day moving average in response to solid earnings.
The company will next report results on July 20 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 18 cents per share on revenues of nearly $29 billion. When the company last reported on April 20, earnings of 16 cents per share beat estimates by five cents on a 6.6% rise in revenues. Forward guidance was reaffirmed.