It was a good day for bulls in the stock market today. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) rallied 1.28%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) jumped 1.3% and the PowerShares QQQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) climbed 1.5%.
Betting on hope is rarely a sound strategy, but with futures jumping in the morning, that was the catalyst. China said it wouldn’t immediately retaliate the tariff increases the United States is enacting on Sept. 1. Further, the two countries will meet later next month to discuss trade with a “calm attitude,” according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.
If we’re lucky, the two sides will play nice until that meeting occurs in September. However, if the past few weeks have been any lesson, it’s to take Thursday’s price action with a grain of salt. Until the S&P 500 is able to breakout of its range, investors shouldn’t get too worked up.
It’s Apple Time
With the amount of news surrounding this company, we could probably do an entire column of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stories. The latest has to do with its iPhone unveil.
On Sept. 10, investors, journalists and technology fans will welcome “Tim Apple” on stage as the company is expected to unveil its new iPhone lineup. Taking place in Cupertino, California, the world will be awaiting the iPhone 11. While 5G phones are likely still another year away, many are expecting an improved camera and an organic light-emitting diode screen option.
It’s not just about the iPhone though. Many will be looking for updates on Apple’s streaming TV plans, as well as announcements around its Apple Watch, Macbook Pro and the release dates for Apple’s new operating systems.
There were plenty of big-time movers in the stock market today on account of earnings. Let’s do a quick rundown.
Dollar General (NYSE:DG) climbed 10.7% after beating on earnings and revenue.
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) beat on top- and bottom-line estimates, but guidance caused the stock to fall 1.9%.
Okta Software (NASDAQ:OKTA) reported another great result, but slipped 4.5% on Thursday. That’s despite beating on earnings and revenue estimates and after revenue guidance was better than expected.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (NYSE:OLLI) was hammered, falling 27.5% after missing on earnings and revenue estimates.
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) initially rallied after beating earnings and revenue, but worries over tariffs and guidance sent shares lower by 8%.
GES, BURL, OKTA and OLLI made our list of Top Stock Trades after the big moves.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
The Federal Trade Commission is getting busy, with a few reports popping up with recent inquiries and investigations. On the list is Juul, for which the FTC is looking into its marketing practices. While Juul is a private company, it counts Altria (NYSE:MO) as an investor. MO fell about 3.5% on the day. And don’t forget about the merger talks with Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), which tacked on another 2% loss for the day.
Over the last five days, MO and PM are down 5.2% and 12.5%, respectively.
As you noticed above, a number of retailers caught a boost on Thursday, and Bed, Bath & Beyond (NYSE:BBBY) was no exception. Shares climbed more than 11% on the day on mergers and acquisitions talk. According to reports, the retailer has hired Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to help it explore bids.
But a little word of caution: The reports do not confirm there is an interested party and BBBY has struggled immensely over the past few years.
Finally, the cloud-computing space is a constant battle among big tech. It’s also a growth engine for small- and mid-cap companies. According to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is now taking market share from cloud-leader Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
“We are seeing a clear acceleration of larger and more strategic enterprise cloud deals (both domestically as well as in Europe),” Ives said, adding that he believes Microsoft is poised to win the lion’s share of the next phase of cloud deployments.
Ives also reiterated his outperform rating and $160 price target on MSFT stock.