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Investing During Coronavirus: Stocks Struggle Heading Into the Weekend

These are the top coronavirus stocks to buy right now, with new stock picks updated daily from the sharpest investing minds in the business

Latest Stocks to Buy Updates:

Stocks Struggle Heading Into the Weekend

[Friday, August 7, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

What a gloomy way to end a weird week in the stock market.

A better-than-expected July jobs report wasn’t enough to turn things around on Friday, as the major indices mostly ended the day in the red. Instead, it appears that the report was actually a downside catalyst, as it reminds investors that the economy is still hurting. Jobs growth massively slowed down compared to June, as did improvements in the overall unemployment rate.

There are another two key pieces of news driving the slump. Worsening U.S.-China trade relations raise a lot of questions. What are investors to do about strong Chinese companies like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) that have become market favorites? Will TikTok and WeChat actually get banned? And is an acquisition by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or one of its rivals possible in the 45-day timeline Trump has established?

Also influencing investors is likely news that Democrats were unable to reach a compromise with Republicans the White House — represented largely by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Bloomberg reported Friday afternoon that Mnuchin was unwillingly to meet Democrats in the middle with their higher-dollar stimulus plan. Republicans’ initial proposal came in at $1 trillion, and Democrats have been eyeing a proposal closer to $3 trillion in value.

After a long week of debates and headlines, investors wanted action and a concrete plan. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t in the cards. As we head into the weekend, know that Monday will likely bring more of the same.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.06%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.17%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.87%

Buy These 4 Stocks for the Coming AI Wave

[Friday, August 7, 2:11 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It looks like I only have 45 more days to binge-watch TikTok videos.

To be fair, in the next 45 days we could see an acquisition by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or a policy reversal from President Donald Trump. But the underlying narrative behind the TikTok drama and worsening U.S.-China trade relations is still worth a closer look here.

Simply put, America and China are duking it out over values, espionage, trade tensions and competition in critical areas like biotech, 5G and artificial intelligence. Huawei has become a symbol of the battle, as countries around the world must choose between Chinese 5G infrastructure or supporting the U.S. in its boycott. And now that popular platforms like TikTok — linked to China through its parent company ByteDance — are making a big splash, even seemingly innocent short-form videos are being painted as threats to national security and the privacy of American consumers.

On the back of this, a handful of lawmakers are pushing for the U.S. to revisit some of these high-tech areas. If China continues to gain ground, they fear that it will not be easy to simply boycott or ban a critical company. Right now, there are few alternatives to Huawei. To change this, they want to see the U.S. government expand partnerships with academia and corporations to develop AI tech.

Their new proposal calls for developing “responsible” AI and building a system for future administrations to work within — expanding initiatives that both Trump and former President Barack Obama began. As Axios’ Ashley Gold summarizes, the outlined plan would largely increase government spending and support.

Investors should be paying attention to all aspects of U.S.-China policy, and seeking opportunities within all potential outcomes. As relations continue to worsen, looking for existing publicly traded companies at the forefront of AI sounds like the best move. Whether or not this specific proposal is implemented, it is likely that in the future, we will see a broader push for the U.S. to focus on cutting-edge tech.

With that in mind, what are the best AI stocks to buy? I will defer to InvestorPlace’s Tom Taulli for this one. In late July, he recommended focusing on large companies that have more resources to focus on new developments. Fortunately, these larger companies are also the most likely partners of the U.S. government. Here are four AI stocks he is recommending now:

  • Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)
  • International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)
  • Yext (NYSE:YEXT)

10 Small-Cap Stocks to Buy for Coronavirus Gains

[Friday, August 7, 12:50 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Big Tech is always in focus in the stock market. But it seems as if the last few weeks have made a handful of names — including Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) — even more relevant. Massive second-quarter earnings reports, antitrust hearings and a handful of high-profile deals have reminded investors just how powerful Silicon Valley is. What happens though when these stocks take a breather?

Well, we have seen that in action over the last few weeks as well. Amid the novel coronavirus, Big Tech seems to be driving the major indices higher while other sectors struggle. On days when Bezos and Zuckerberg need a nap, the major indices tend to drop lower.

For investors, that is undoubtedly a source of frustration. Who wants to be so reliant on a handful of companies? InvestorPlace’s Will Ashworth, seeing this reality, is recommending investors turn to small-cap stocks. The pandemic has not been kind to these small companies, but he believes they will shoot much higher over the next few weeks and months.

If you feel a bit contrarian, consider these 10 small-cap stocks here:

  • iRhythm Technologies (NASDAQ:IRTC)
  • Everbridge (NASDAQ:EVBG)
  • Holdings (NASDAQ:ALRM)
  • Cardlytics (NASDAQ:CDLX)
  • Goosehead Insurance (NASDAQ:GSHD)
  • Newmark Group (NASDAQ:NMRK)
  • Fox Factory Holding (NASDAQ:FOXF)
  • Howard Hughes (NYSE:HHC)
  • Trex (NYSE:TREX)
  • Stag Industrial (NYSE:STAG)

Barron’s: 6 Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Pandemic

[Friday, August 7, 11:38 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Wait, there are still companies paying dividends after all of this?

While it may seem like every company under the sun slashed, slammed or suspended its dividend payouts amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a core group have carried on, rewarding income investors all the way. In fact, Barron’s Lawrence Strauss highlights that there are still 65 companies in the S&P 500 that have paid out a higher dividend every year for at least 25 years.

But before you dive head first into these Dividend Aristocrats, know that Barron’s already did some of the work for you. After running a stock screen, all volatile, high-yield names like Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) were removed. Barron’s also filtered out companies with market capitalizations below $25 billion.

From there, six winners emerged. While Strauss is quick to point out they have been laggards in 2020, the principle of buying the best dividend stocks out there and holding them for the long term is a great one. While you wait for share prices to recover, those dividends will be extra appealing.

Start investing for pandemic-era dividends with these six stocks:

  • Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
  • Sysco (NYSE:SYY)
  • Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX)
  • Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR)
  • Aflac (NYSE:AFL)
  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

Don’t Miss Eric Fry’s Next 1,000% Winner

[Friday, August 7, 11:10 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

Eric Fry has found more 1,000% stock market winners (40 to date) than anyone else I know of in the investment world today…

He recommended another nearly 20 investments that have gained 500% or more…

And he beat 650 of the world’s richest and most famous investors (including people like Bill Ackman, David Tepper, Joel Greenblatt, Dan Loeb and David Einhorn), in one of the world’s most famous investment contests…

His name is Eric Fry.

You’ve probably seen his work here and perhaps when it has been featured in Time, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Businessweek, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and Money, just to name a few.

But today, Eric Fry is going public with what he believes is his NEXT 1,000% stock market winner.

It’s a stock that just went public on a new market a few months ago — and is already one of the most profitable tech businesses in the world.

So, now Eric is doing something different…

He’s giving away the full details on what he believes could be his next 1,000% winner, totally free of charge. No credit card, email address or subscription required.

This is a story every American should know about … but very few do.

Get the full story, including the name and ticker symbol of the stock that could be Eric Fry’s big winner, by clicking here

Stocks Are Lower Despite Jobs Report Surprise

[Friday, August 7, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, the July jobs report was better than expected, but it’s not moving the major indices higher on Friday. Economists were calling for an addition of 1.48 million jobs in the month of June. Beating that estimate, the economy added 1.76 million jobs. Despite the surprise, 1.76 million is still a far cry from the 4.8 million jobs added in June.

Another key takeaway from the jobs report is the look it provides at the unemployment rate. Economists were calling for the rate to fall to 10.5%. It came in slightly better, at 10.2%. However, as Axios’ Courtenay Brown highlights, there is not much reason for celebration. The July jobs report makes it very clear that things have slumped since June. Novel coronavirus cases are rising, businesses are closing down once more and a true return to normal seems ever farther away.

Perhaps the simple fact the report came in better than expected will move stocks higher later, but for now the broader economic situation appears more influential.

Heading into the weekend, investors have a lot to process. They got a good look at the economy this week through this morning’s jobs report and the private payrolls report. They also have a week’s worth of stimulus drama and threats from President Donald trump to ban WeChat and TikTok to digest. Does anyone out there have a crystal ball? We all could use a look.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.29%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.29%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.38%

Unemployment Optimism Takes Stocks Higher Thursday

[Thursday, August 6, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, it looks like investors were busy looking for a silver lining in the stock market today.

This morning we learned that 1.2 million Americans had filed for initial unemployment benefits in the past week. Since March, these weekly numbers have continued to linger above 1 million. This reality, combined with frustration that any stock market enthusiasm has not translated into the economy, initially sunk the major indices on Thursday. That was to be expected. Investors want to see this number meaningfully dip lower — and that just isn’t happening.

But then a sense of optimism took over. Many financial outlets ran with angle that this morning saw a “pandemic-era low.” After initially focusing on the longer-term volume of claims, there now is a real interest in looking at the positives. That change in tune is lifting stocks higher to close out the day.

Things could change again quickly with the July jobs report coming before the opening bell tomorrow. Economists expect job growth to slow from June, thanks to a resurgence in novel coronavirus cases. However, the overall unemployment rate is still expected to drop from 11.1% to 10.5%. Will investors be thankful for any recovery, or will we see red on Friday? As I have been saying, buckle up!

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.64%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.68%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1%

General Motors Climbs Ahead of Lyriq Reveal

[Thursday, August 6, 3:12 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It looks like the legacy carmakers are learning a big lesson.

At a time when Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is red hot, there is very little point trying to compete against electric vehicles. Consumers — and investors — are rallying behind the EV space. Startups and barely public companies are stirring up market frenzy. Tesla is now the most valuable automaker in the world. Instead, legacy carmakers must now try to emulate Tesla. Only then do they have a chance at success.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) plans to make a big step in the right direction later this evening, when it reveals its first all-electric Cadillac model. The Lyriq is intended to jump-start GM on its path to dominance in the luxury EV space. Sure, it has a long way to go, but it does have to start somewhere.

Importantly, as CNBC’s Michael Wayland wrote, despite all of the hurdles that General Motors has faced in 2020, it is not backing away from EVs. GM and its peers were hit hard by the novel coronavirus. Demand for new cars initially dropped and production came to a halt as plants closed. And General Motors had long been struggling to keep up with next-generation Tesla.

Now, the Lyriq represents the future of the company — and hopefully it can deliver that spark. General Motors plans to first debut the car in China, which is currently the largest market for EVs. After that 2021 launch, the Cadillac model should be available in the United States. Additionally, General Motors is working on a series of other all-electric cars, including an EV Hummer. At a basic level of analysis, it appears innovative that GM is combining the futuristic appeal of EVs with already recognizable vehicles like the Hummer. Plus, making a push into China first shows an understanding of the market.

GM stock is up slightly in intraday trading ahead of the vehicle reveal. Although we have made clear that EVs are a worthy investment opportunity, many roadblocks remain for GM. Can it overcome years of struggle and handle the weight of its core business while it pivots to the electric realm? And will models like the Lyriq and Hummer truly be able to compete with offerings from Tesla and a lengthy list of EV newcomers?

If you have confidence in GM’s ability to pivot, it makes sense to buy GM stock here.

8 Penny Stocks to Buy for Coronavirus Chaos in August

[Thursday, August 6, 2:44 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If you have been paying attention to the stock market, the chaos is immediately evident. Weekly unemployment figures continue to suggest the economy is in pain. Youthful day traders are dominating platforms that are more accessible than ever. Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on a stimulus plan to help Americans — and a growing list of hard-hit companies.

As InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto put it, we are witnessing an unprecedented period of disconnect. Instead of trying to balance the bad news with the good news, he has a daring idea. Recognizing that the novel coronavirus is an all-powerful catalyst, he sees potential behind penny stocks. Sure, these names are incredibly risky and not for the faint of heart. But if there is anything the last few weeks have showed us, a penny stock tied even remotely to the novel coronavirus has the potential to soar.

If you have the nerve, put yourself in the mindset of a brazen trader. Know that you likely will not want to hold these stocks forever, and keep a close eye on the daily news. As Enomoto puts it, “if you secure a handsome profit, you should probably leave.” If you like the sound of his advice, start by buying these eight penny stocks connected to the coronavirus:

  • Tonix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TNXP)
  • Zomedica Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:ZOM)
  • Electrameccanica Vehicles (NASDAQ:SOLO)
  • Ideanomics (NASDAQ:IDEX)
  • Red White & Bloom (OTCMKTS:RWBYF)
  • American Lithium (OTCMKTS:LIACF)
  • Fosterville South Exploration (OTCMKTS:FSXLF)
  • XpresSpa Group (NASDAQ:XSPA)

7 Travel Stocks to Buy as Pent-Up Demand Grows

[Thursday, August 6, 12:33 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Beaches, cruises, backpacking trips through unfamiliar cities. Consumers have long put stock in this experience-focused economy, opting to simply go places and do things. As we know, the travel industry responded, boosting companies that facilitate worldwide travel. And companies like Airbnb, which was previously set to IPO in 2020, have even shifted to focus heavily on the “experiences” that come with visiting a new destination.

The novel coronavirus did not care about summer vacation plans or influencer culture. The pandemic closed borders, canceled flights and locked down beaches and public parks across the world. Without consumers, travel companies found themselves in a tricky situation. Companies need money, and there simply was no money flowing into hotels, cruises, airlines or casinos.

Things are changing, and InvestorPlace’s Todd Shriber is bullish on travel stocks.

Granted, times are still tough for the travel companies. But as public fear starts to subside and Americans start thinking about 2021, investors should be looking for an opportunity to play pent-up demand. Trust that one day we will be cruising and gambling like pre-pandemic times. Start cashing in on that reality now with these seven travel stocks:

  • Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS)
  • Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN)
  • Uber (NYSE:UBER)
  • American Express (NYSE:AXP)
  • Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD)
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
  • Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO)

Stocks Dip Lower Thursday on Jobless Claims

[Thursday, August 6, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Every Thursday, investors get a brutal reminder that the economy is struggling to recover. The major indices are continuing to trek higher, vaccine makers are pushing out updates seemingly every week, and there is a whole host of plays dedicated to benefitting from the novel coronavirus.

But each Thursday morning, the weekly look at initial jobless claims shows that despite all that, the economy is hurting. This week we learned that another 1.2 million Americans filed for these initial benefits. The bright side is that this is a new low — at least for the pandemic era. However, seeing these numbers over 1 million each week is proof that the stock market and the day-to-day economy don’t match up.

Where will the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite go from here? Will anything be enough to return confidence to the market today? It looks like we will have to wait and see.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.13%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.14%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.03%

Stocks Close Higher on Stimulus ‘Concessions’

[Wednesday, August 5, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Take a deep breath. We have hit the halfway point in the week, and the major indices are heading higher. This success comes on the back of vaccine updates and stimulus news from Washington, D.C. lawmakers. Will investors get the $600-per-week payments they have been rallying behind?

The first big update comes from Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), a smaller company that has continually thrust itself to the front of the novel coronavirus vaccine race. On Tuesday, the company announced that its vaccine candidate delivered promising results in two preliminary trials. According to the New York Times’ Carl Zimmer and Katie Thomas, one study showed that the candidate was able to trigger an immune response without causing any harmful side effects. The other study showed that candidate “strongly protected” monkeys from coronavirus infection.

Novavax is far from the first company to deliver positive results, but it continues to generate buzz. Investors are waiting for a clear-cut winner to emerge, but in the meantime, any good results are worthy of close attention.

The other big update comes from the White House. Apparently, after weeks of discussion, President Donald Trump and his administration may be willing to compromise with Congressional Democrats. Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already committed to getting a deal done. Now, it seems like the White House may be willing to budge on its opposition to $600-per-week enhanced unemployment benefits. Tomorrow, Democrats are set to reconvene and hopefully make more progress.

With these headlines swirling, the major indices are ending Wednesday in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.64%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 1.39%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.52%

Here’s Why Gold Will Keep Heading Higher

[Wednesday, August 5, 3:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Isaac Newton’s first law of motion reads as follows: “An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion.” It turns out that InvestorPlace analyst Eric Fry likes that law of motion, and he sees it applying to gold.

Gold just keeps climbing higher. Last week gold futures flirted with $2,000. This morning, the per-ounce gold price surpassed $2,000 — and hit $2,041 — for the first time ever. But Fry knows that the precious metal is far from finished with its sparkling rally.

In fact, he has been calling for gold to reach $3,000 — or even $4,000 — in the coming months.

The setup behind the metal is perfect. The U.S. dollar is weakening, which makes it easier for foreign investors to buy gold. And gold is largely considered a safe-haven investment. This means that when the going gets tough, many investors turn to gold to hedge their portfolios. Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have seen huge interest drive prices higher. That’s also because the Federal Reserve is navigating unprecedented monetary policy, and some investors are worried that near-zero interest rates, bond-buying programs and other stimulus measures could spark inflation.

We are seeing the demand for gold rocket in real time. And the catalysts behind this demand are growing. Goldman Sachs analysts see the dollar weakening more in 2020. The coronavirus is far from a thing of the past, and the Fed is committed to its stimulus plan. Fear is simply a powerful motivator, and there is no shortage of fear in the stock market right now.

Gold’s move above $2,000 proves its potential. Make sure you know how to profit before it’s too late.

Pandemic Trends Give Appeal Ahead of Debut

[Wednesday, August 5, 1:52 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Home improvement projects — at least those that required the help of contractors — took a big pause at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, Americans leaned into their do-it-yourself mentality, buying new decor and furnishing and trying their hands at simpler redesign projects. Investors saw the result of that this morning when Wayfair (NYSE:W) beat earnings and revenue estimates.

Broadly speaking, however, the big projects remained on hold. Things are changing. Early in July, the New York Times declared “The Return of Home Renovations” was coming, albeit with temperature checks, hand sanitizer and face masks. Helping boost this return is pent-up demand from households across the country. Time at home convinced some consumers that they needed a bathroom remodel, a new backyard pool or an extension to escape family members. For other consumers, time at home was a catalyst for big moves. Home improvement companies, and a handful of homebuilders, should see longer-lasting benefits from this reality.

Riding these tailwinds is, an online marketplace for home improvement services, moving help, and real estate prep. Importantly, the company has spent the last several years of its life building up software offerings, helping home improvement service providers with home inspections and insurance.

Porch just announced it will come public via a reverse merger with PropTech Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ:PTAC), yet another special purpose acquisition company. The deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter, and will trade under the ticker PRCH. As GeekWire’s Todd Bishop highlights, the merger values Porch at $523 million. And despite the pandemic, revenue is growing and losses are narrowing. A first look at the company’s financials suggest revenue will grow from $57 million in 2019 to $85 million in 2020. Losses are expected to narrow from $30 million to $10 million.

As with other red-hot SPAC deals, it is important to remember that the alternate IPO process speeds up a company’s debut and protects against the same levels of IPO scrutiny that the traditional route brings. Do your due diligence, and keep your eye out for more financial insight from Porch. But at the end of the day, it seems like this startup offers investors a great way to play growing trends.

3 Electric Vehicle Stocks to Buy That Are Making Big Moves

[Wednesday, August 5, 1:09 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We all know that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Nio (NYSE:NIO) and Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) have been captivating market attention lately. Electric vehicles continue to be hot, as investors scour the world for promising startups, or even deals that promise to one day manifest in a high-demand vehicle. It seems safe to say that electrification is the future.

But what about some of the newer entrants to the EV scene? Not all of these companies have a CEO like Elon Musk to broadcast daily updates and musings about share prices. Also unlike Tesla, many of the newest red-hot companies lack a complete product — many are in design stages for their vehicles. However, there is still serious potential here, and a lot of excitement rallying behind the EV community.

Looking at recent news, it is clear that there are three companies worth a closer look here. The first is Fisker, which will soon go public via a reverse merger with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corporation (NYSE:SPAQ). The company has been generating buzz for several weeks, particularly as its in-development Ocean SUV promises to spark a different sort of consumer demand for electric vehicles. Market data shows that consumers still largely prefer SUVs, and Ocean blends the electric trend with a gorgeous SUV made from recycled materials.

But up until this week, Fisker just had one hot concept behind it. Now, it has four. By 2025, the company says a “super-sports sedan,” a crossover model and the Alaska pick-up truck will join its product lineup. The teased truck also positions Fisker to compete with Tesla’s Cybertruck and Nikola’s Badger.

The second company worthy of attention is Lordstown Motors. The startup just announced its plan to go public via DiamondPeak Holdings (NASDAQ:DPHC), and will eventually trade under the ticker symbol RIDE. Like Fisker, the merger has yet to happen, but investors are already bidding up DPHC shares. Lordstown is currently touting the Endurance, an all-electric truck designed for commercial fleets.

Lastly, investors should consider Ford (NYSE:F). Unlike Tesla and Nio, Ford is having a rough 2020. But recent moves to unveil its fully electric Mustang Mach-E and a shakeup in the C-Suite could help position the legacy automaker for a brighter future. Plus, its new Bronco is already surpassing the company’s expectations. If Ford can embrace the electric future — and embrace it quickly — it may just get a second lease on life.

Teladoc Looks Hot After Announcing Livongo Merger

[Wednesday, August 5, 11:45 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

OK, Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) stock may be down more than 15% in intraday trading. But after the telehealth leader announced its $18.5 billion plan to acquire Livongo Health (NASDAQ:LVGO), there are very real reasons for investors to be excited.

The novel coronavirus has been bad for the world, but it has been excellent for telehealth providers. At the end of the second quarter, Teladoc announced that total visits on its platform tripled in Q2. Revenue was up 85% year-over-year. And things at Livongo similarly looked strong. The smaller company focuses on digitally managing chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Since the start of the year, LVGO stock is up more than 400%.

Importantly, this broad adoption of telemedicine is only going to strengthen. Sure, the coronavirus gave consumers an instant need for virtual appointments. But as patients have seen the potential — and convenience — in telemedicine, post-pandemic offerings will continue to grow in adoption and popularity. After just a few months we have seen virtual appointments for therapy, cancer care, gynecology, cardiology and even radiology. As Axios’ Dan Primack puts it, Teladoc’s big move reflects the “sea change” in telemedicine. Primack also highlights that President Donald Trump just signed an executive order to make telehealth more accessible to rural Americans.

So how should investors approach this pending merger? For this one, I am going to defer to InvestorPlace’s Thomas Niel. Yesterday he walked through three key ways retail investors can approach M&A stocks. Two are relevant here. First, you can try what is known as merger arbitrage and make a play for Livongo shares. Since that can be risky, the second strategy would be to buy TDOC on the back of its game-changing acquisition. My gut says to go with the second approach. Telemedicine is gaining in popularity, and Livongo gives Teladoc access to a new niche in chronic health management. Investors who recognize that telemedicine is a long-term megatrend would do well to consider TDOC here.

And here is one more note. If you like the idea of playing M&A stocks, Niel has seven excellent recommendations outside of Teladoc and Livongo. Make sure to check them out.

R.I.P. Slow Internet … Here Comes a 5G Super Stock

[Wednesday, August 5, 10:36 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

Were you lucky enough to get the chance to multiply your money by 242 TIMES? 

That’s what happened the last time a truly revolutionary tech breakthrough rocked the market.

Were you there when Louis Navellier’s research firm spotted Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) preparing to throw a ton of TNT into the entertainment industry?

A $5,000 bet could have morphed into $1.2 million.

An extraordinary 242 times your money

Pretty sweet, right?

Unfortunately, most folks missed out.

That’s why I’m talking to you today.

Based on my research, today we are on the cusp of the “Biggest Tech Breakout of the 21st Century.”

It has the potential to be bigger than Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) … bigger than Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) … bigger than anything that came before.

I’m talking about 5G.

Right now, internet traffic is EXPLODING.

  • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) just issued a press release saying its bandwidth demands shot up by 75% — in one week alone.
  • And recently, President Donald Trump signed a new law calling for secure, super-fast 5G access for all Americans.

All this unstoppable momentum makes Louis Navellier’s newest buy recommendation more urgent than ever.

Stop what you’re doing now, and use this special link I’ve set up for readers like you to learn about one of our top investment recommendations of 2020.

Stimulus Progress, Vaccine News Send Stocks Higher

[Wednesday, August 5, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The skies may be clearer today, but Wall Street is still in a frenzy.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) just released new pricing data for its novel coronavirus vaccine. Rival Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) just secured a deal to supply the U.S. with 100 million doses of its vaccine. Typically, big news about manufacturing and supply deals has sent the major indices higher because it suggests long-term hope for the stock market.

Elsewhere, talks of stimulus deals, skyrocketing gold prices and a worse-than-expectations private payrolls report are affecting stocks.

Democrats report that they are making progress on a second round of stimulus funding, especially now that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to make a deal. According to the Financial Times’ Henry Sanderson, fears of the pandemic itself, and the potential for inflation as a result of the pandemic, drove gold prices above $2,000 per ounce. And private payrolls only grew by 167,000 jobs in July — while economists were calling for 1.5 million jobs to be added.

As we have all undoubtedly heard a million times, these are uncertain times. And uncertain times bring uncertain price action to the stock market. Keep a close eye on the major indices today.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.33%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.62%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.35%

7 Stocks to Buy for an Eventual Return to Normal

[Tuesday, August 4, 4:24 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Can you even imagine life after the novel coronavirus? Where will you go? What restaurants will you eat at? And what friends and family members will you reconnect with first? Those questions may come with a bit of pain, as a truly “normal” world feels far away, especially as coronavirus cases continue to rise. But InvestorPlace’s Dana Blankenhorn is confident that a return to normal will come.

How exactly will this happen? He wrote today that eventually, a vaccine or treatment will prove effective. From there, businesses will reopen with more confidence. Public fear will start to ease as treatments become mainstream. This will “liberate” the economy.

While it may seem like wishful thinking now, all signs point to this return to normal happening eventually. And when it does, many industries will benefit. Blankenhorn thinks wise investors should be positioning themselves now for this opportunity, however long-term it may be. Here are seven stocks he is recommending now for a post-coronavirus rebound:

  • Visa (NYSE:V)
  • Walmart (NYSE:WMT)
  • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)
  • Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
  • Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR)
  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)
  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Stimulus Talks Help Stocks Close Higher on Tuesday

[Tuesday, August 4, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Democrats, Republicans and President Donald Trump have long been debating the next round of stimulus funds. Reports suggest many Americans are going hungry — and direct payments and enhanced unemployment benefits did not find their way to all families in need.

Last week, acknowledging the need for a second round of funding, lawmakers started to hash it out. Early agreements came on sending a second round of $1,200 direct payments and extending the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses.

Democrats want to extend the $600-per-week enhanced unemployment benefits, which expired last week. Many, like InvestorPlace analysts John Jagerson and Wade Hansen, believe these payments boosted consumer spending and therefore supported the stock market. But Republicans are not fans of the enhanced payments. A proposal last week called for slashing the enhanced benefit to $200, and then gradually raising it to make up for as much as 70% of income.

News today that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to work with Democrats on their proposal — as long as they can strike a deal with Trump. Key Democrats are set to meet with Trump this afternoon to hopefully move toward that reality. Investors, sensing that an ideal solution could be en route, are bidding up the major indices on Tuesday.

Granted, there is still a lot of ugliness in the market. Natural disasters are wreaking havoc across the United States, earnings are coming in below estimates and the economy is still hurting. But after weeks of debate, it will be a great lift to the market if the stimulus deal comes through.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.36%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.62%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.35%

3 Pharma Stocks to Buy on a Coronavirus Drug Collab

[Tuesday, August 4, 3:14 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There is no shortage of new drugs in development for the novel coronavirus. As we reported earlier today, even the tiniest of biotech companies are racing to develop treatments. But many experts have pointed out that the largest pharmaceutical names have been absent in the race. Particularly, BioPharma Dive’s Jacob Bell wrote yesterday that these companies have struggled to find existing drugs that will be effective in fighting Covid-19 and its many symptoms.

Of course, notable exceptions to this trend are Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Takeda (NYSE:TAK) and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) — along with 18 other companies — are looking to shake up the drug trial process and change up their luck. The key drugs in the trial are Amgen’s Otezla, Takeda’s Firazyr and AbbiVe’s cenicriviroc. The study will allow researchers to look at different combinations of these three drugs to ultimately determine if any are effective against the coronavirus.

According to POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle, this alliance, dubbed the COVID R&D Alliance, will minimize the time it takes to evaluate existing drugs and also the number of participants needed. If each existing company were to compete for trial participants, they would face serious roadblocks. Plus, investors have to consider how many other trials for coronavirus drugs and vaccines are underway. Hopefully, this alliance will speed up the process and finding a winning drug or two.

One last point of interest is the particular focus of the trial. The pharmaceutical alliance is focusing on severely ill patients who require high-flow oxygen. This group of patients has a Covid-19 death rate as high as 50%. As we have seen from other trials — like the one Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is launching in nursing homes — there is great interest in honing in on the most at-risk populations.

Although there is a fair chance this alliance does not yield an effective drug, it is helpful to investors that each participant has a robust business and drug pipeline outside of the coronavirus. This should help minimize the risks.

4 Stocks to Buy for the Great American Outdoors Act

[Tuesday, August 4, 1:36 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

I have always loved the great outdoors, but prior to months of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, I took a lot for granted. To start, the only nature I saw most days was through the subway window. Hikes, camping trips and log cabins all sounded delightful, but I wasn’t looking for opportunities to get outside. Now, I covet my daily walks to get iced coffee. Looking at short-term rental demand and reports of consumers panic-buying RVs, it is very clear that I am not alone.

The novel coronavirus kept Americans inside for weeks and weeks. Daily walks or long drives out of urban areas became a source of comfort for many. And as lockdowns eased, families packed up and headed out to explore the Great American Outdoors. For investors, this initially created a major opportunity in a certain subset of travel stocks. Hotels and cruise operators will take longer to recover. But RVs, short-term rental operators and camping supply retailers became hot stocks.

Now, a new piece of legislation is reaffirming that investment thesis. President Donald Trump is set to sign the Great American Outdoors Act today, a bipartisan law that some have called “the legislation of a generation.” It provides funding for priority repairs on National Park Service land and for the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as permanently granting money to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

In late June, after the Senate first passed the Great American Outdoors Act, the bill was framed as a way to embrace the natural beauty of the U.S. Senators commented on how increased funding for parks and conservation would encourage a certain type of recreation — one that is conveniently adherent to coronavirus guidelines and in demand right now.

Sure, the Great American Outdoors Act may not create instant change in the stock market. But the funding — and the bipartisan interest in national parks — should serve as an indication that this investing thesis should hold up with time. I have been bullish on these four travel stocks since the early days of the pandemic, but they are worthy of a second look now:

  • Thor Industries (NYSE:THO)
  • Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE)
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS)
  • Brunswick (NYSE:BC)

8 Critical Tests a Stock Must Pass Even in a Bull Market

[Tuesday, August 4, 11:45 a.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

If you’ve been following along this week, then you know about Dow vs. Bitcoin: The Race to 40K, a live event that I am hosting with my fellow InvestorPlace analyst Matt McCall this Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

But if you haven’t seen any updates, allow me to fill you in: Matt and I both see the market rallying over the next year; however, I expect the Dow Jones Industrial Average will reach 40,000 first while Matt looks for bitcoin (CCC:BTC) to hit the 40,000 mark first. (Click here to RSVP, if you haven’t already; the event is free to attend.)

Let me start off by saying that I hope you’ve enjoyed the articles from Matt. As far as my articles go, we have talked about why I think stocks are the best game in town. On Thursday, I explained why interest rates could be a catalyst to push the Dow from 26,000 to 40,000, making it not just possible — but probable.

The reality is the Dow reaching 40,000 is going to be a huge milestone for bullish investors. I am certainly looking forward to the massive bull rally over the next year! However, I don’t even need a bullish market to maximize gains in my portfolios, thanks to the beauty of my stock-picking system. No matter the market environment, my tried and true Portfolio Grader has helped me find all of the biggest winners in my career.

So, today, I want to share the “secret sauce” behind my growth investing strategy.

Now, every stock I recommend must pass these 8 critical tests first:

1. Sales Growth: the percent change in a company’s sales this quarter versus the same quarter last year. Companies that show increasing sales at a very high rate are among the best candidates to become big winners over time. If a company can continually increase sales over long periods of time, then it would seem to indicate that they have a product or service that is very much in demand. I look for companies that show year-over-year sales growth of 20% or more.

2. Operating Margin Growth: the profits left after direct costs such as salary and overhead are subtracted. I then look at whether this percentage margin is contracting or growing year-over-year. A company’s operating margin will increase when its product is in such high demand that the company can continue to raise prices for the product or service without an offsetting increase in costs.

3. Earnings Growth: the percent increase in a company’s earnings per share (EPS) this quarter versus the same quarter last year. EPS is just the company’s earnings divided by the number of shares it has outstanding. Naturally, companies that are continually growing earnings year-over-year get a higher score than those that aren’t.

4. Earnings Momentum: how rapidly a company’s earnings have been accelerating over the past four quarters. Companies that are accelerating and growing earnings faster year-over-year are stronger candidates for my Buy Lists than those where earnings are slowing.

5. Earnings Surprises: a company’s ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimate among Wall Street analysts. Here I am looking for stocks that can exceed what Wall Street believes they can achieve. Stocks that deliver positive surprises for several successive quarterly earnings periods often go on to become growth stock megastars.

6. Analyst Earnings Revisions: the size of raised magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month. When an estimate is raised, it has tremendous positive implications for a company and its stock. If the expectation is up, then the stock should be worth more — and rise in price to reflect that fact.

7. Cash Flow: the money the company has left after paying the cost of doing business and the upkeep and the maintenance needed to stay in business (relative to its total market value). In simple accounting terms, free cash equals operating earnings minus the capital expenditures needed to run the business. This is especially important for dividend stocks. And in a bear market, analysts suddenly emphasize this part of the balance sheet above all others. It shows if the company has the liquidity it needs to ride out the storm.

8. Return on Equity: a company’s profitability in terms of profits made from the money shareholders have invested. It is calculated by dividing the earnings per share by the equity (book value) per share. The higher the number, the more profitable a company is, and the higher return management is providing to shareholders.

From there, a stock must also prove its mettle, so to speak, on Wall Street. When it also earns a strong Quantitative Grade (my proprietary measure of institutional buying pressure), it becomes an urgent buy in my Portfolio Grader.

This system allows me to avoid the bad stocks and also signals when to sell a stock if its fundamentals begin to deteriorate or institutional buying pressure dries up. By concentrating on the numbers, my system takes the guessing out of picking winning stocks.

Take CyberOptics (NASDAQ:CYBE), a company specializing in 3D sensing technology solutions, for example. When the company smashed earnings in the first quarter of this year, my stock-picking system upgraded the stock from a Hold to a Buy. I told my Breakthrough subscribers to buy the stock in May, due to the positive earnings forecast and strong fundamentals that my system picked up on.

CyberOptics released its second-quarter earnings announcement last week and, once again, crushed expectations, with an over 200% earnings surprise! The stock is sitting pretty at a 29% gain in less than three months since my initial recommendation!

And I’ve got much more where that came from. At my debate Wednesday with Matt McCall, I’ll be giving away another of my favorite Breakthrough Stocks, to prove the exciting opportunities available for stock investors right now.

In the meantime, you’ll be hearing from Matt tomorrow. He’ll share some of the positive rumors swirling around in the cryptocurrency community, as well as the major catalyst he’s eyeing to win our bet, The Race to 40K. And then Monday, I look forward to talking with you about the earnings environment that helps make MY case for stocks!

Go ahead and RSVP now and tune in to our debate on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, where Matt and I will thoroughly debate whether stocks will reach that milestone first, or if bitcoin will. I’m very confident I’ll win. And that you’ll see the explosive potential of the stocks my Portfolio Grader is uncovering now. You don’t want to miss it!

Again, I’ll be giving away one of my favorite stock picks on Wednesday … and remember, this event is 100% free, no strings attached.

As I say, I’m putting my money where my mouth is — and so is Matt. He’ll also be giving away a pick for free, to help investors profit as bitcoin also climbs to 40K.

I’d never bet against Matt, long term. I simply think that my horse in this race will get there first.

Click here to RSVP now for Wednesday’s Race to 40K debate and claim a free spot in the webinar.

Cocrystal Pharma Pops on Coronavirus Drug Results

[Tuesday, August 4, 11:29 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Another day, another company popping on news its drug for the novel coronavirus is moving along through trials. Today micro-cap Cocrystal Pharma (NASDAQ:COCP) jumped 15% in intraday trading after releasing its findings in Science Translational Medicine.

Speaking of the science, let’s dive in. Cocrystal Pharma is a tiny, clinical-stage biotech company. And it truly could not have a more perfect focus. Its pipeline focuses on antiviral drugs designed to stop viruses — specifically coronaviruses, noroviruses, influenza viruses and hepatitis C viruses — from replicating. According to the new release, protease inhibitors that it in-licenses from the Kansas State University Research Foundation demonstrated ability to prevent the novel coronavirus from replicating.

Science Daily wrote that coronavirus 3C-like proteases — also known as 3CLpro — play a vital role in helping a virus to replicate. This means that many antiviral drugs, like the one Cocrystal Pharma is researching, attempt to target 3CLpro. In animal studies, Cocrystal Pharma found that its 3CLpro inhibitors were able to block the human replication of the novel coronavirus and MERS. Now, according to a press release, the company is going to move forward with antiviral development as it believes finding an effective treatment, in addition to a vaccine for the coronavirus, is key.

But what about in-licensing? This is a business model apparently quite common in the pharmaceutical world. And some see it as the best way to accelerate drug development while mitigating risks. The Kansas State University Research Foundation has given Cocrystal Pharma exclusive, royalty-bearing rights to its 3CLpro-inhibiting compounds. As trials progress, both groups should benefit, and COCP stock could see its share price continue to climb.

As it is a tiny company with a tiny market capitalization, there is plenty of room here to be cautious. However, with so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, any good news about a treatment is good news for the stock market. Keep a close eye on COCP.

A New ETF Is Embracing the Red-Hot SPAC Craze

[Tuesday, August 4, 10:45 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As InvestorPlace’s Will Ashworth wrote last week, special purpose acquisition companies — or SPACs — are incredibly hot in 2020. Also known as blank-check companies, these IPO alternates emerged from the shadows. Now that they are in the spotlight, it seems like they may never fade.

Anecdotally, you have likely heard about a few high-profile SPACs like Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE), which emerged from Social Capital Hedosophia and Fisker, which is set to debut out of Spartan Energy Acquisition (NYSE:SPAQ). But the numbers also back up that this alternate route to public markets is gaining in popularity and investor attention. Since the start of the year, 51 SPACs have raised more than $22 billion. Talk about a lot of money.

On the back of this trend comes a new exchange-traded fund, SPAK. According to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Defiance NextGen SPAC IPO ETF will soon hit the market. Beyond its ticker and its focus on SPAC IPO stocks, very little else is known. CNBC’s Yun Li wrote that not even the fund’s expense ratio is included in the filing from Defiance ETFs (subscription required).

Importantly, this form of debut seems to be hot thanks to the novel coronavirus. Investors waited months without initial public offerings, and then eagerly bid up newly public companies like Lemonade (NYSE:LMND) and Vroom (NASDAQ:VRM). But SPACs are seen as an easier way to hit the market, and they can emerge quite suddenly. Right now, many popular SPAC IPO stocks are not included in existing ETFs. For investors bullish on Virgin Galactic and its peers, the SPAK ETF will be a unique vehicle.

Bloomberg’s Katherine Greifeld adds in a couple of key points. Individual investors are all over these SPACs. But in recent days, institutions have cautioned against buying into the craze. Goldman Sachs analysts recently urged investors to make sure they fully understood the SPAC process before buying (subscription required). Additionally, although each new week has brought investors a handful of exciting SPAC deals, it is unclear if this trend will continue at its current pace. If it slows down, the SPAK ETF could start to lack important diversification.

With those points of caution in mind, it is also important to realize the SPAK ETF will generate a lot of excitement. This IPO alternative has gone from a market secret to a buzzword in every financial publication. When individual investors get a chance to focus on a unique fund tracking some of these hot companies, it could be big.

Stocks Open Lower Tuesday as a Storm Hits the Market

[Tuesday, August 4, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Hurricane Isaias is making its mark Tuesday morning, threatening tornadoes, flash floods and powerful winds. But there is another storm brewing on Wall Street, and it is seriously weighing on the major indices. You can thank the novel coronavirus for that one.

According to Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick, one cause for the storm is less-than-stellar earnings results. Investors likely were expecting revenue and earnings to come in below expectations, but it still hurts. Today investors are awaiting updates from Disney (NYSE:DIS), Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND).

But there are other causes for the storm. President Donald Trump is threatening short-form video platform TikTok, and now Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is rushing to make an acquisition. This is causing concern in China, pushing state media outlets to condemn the U.S. In general, worsening U.S.-China relations are coming back into the spotlight as the U.S. braces for the November election.

Oh, and investors are still facing a long week filled with stimulus news, economic reports and a weekly look at initial jobless claims. Add in a literal hurricane to that mix, and it’s no wonder the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are opening in the red on Tuesday.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.14%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.04%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.04%

Stocks Close Up Monday, Nasdaq Hits Record High

[Monday, August 3, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Investors really are feeling confident to start this week. On the first day of trading in August, the Nasdaq Composite hit an intraday high of 10,905.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 similarly ended the day in the green. A storm may be brewing on the East Coast, and novel coronavirus cases may be continuing to rise, but investors are clearly optimistic about what this week will bring.

Today, the first piece of positive economic news rolled out. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index hit 54.2. This beat economists’ estimate of 53.6, and broadly indicates an expansion in factory activity. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus, many factories shuttered operations to prevent outbreaks. Any hint of recovery is good news that investors are more than ready for.

Later this week we still have the June jobs report, another look at weekly initial jobless claims and the private payrolls report. If any of these releases mirrors the ISM announcement in positivity, we could see this same level of confidence in the stock market to close the week. Cross your fingers and buckle up!

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.72%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.9%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.47%

10 Stocks to Buy Now as the Dollar Weakens

[Monday, August 3, 3:42 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The latest victim of the novel coronavirus may very well be the U.S. dollar. July marked its worst month in a decade, and experts are projecting the so-called reserve currency will continue to slump. Why? Well, the Federal Reserve has embraced unprecedented monetary policy to protect the U.S. economy from the pandemic. As Investopedia’s Evan Tarver highlights, when the Fed lowers interest rates, it can in turn have a weakening impact on the dollar.

Instead of fretting, analysts at Jefferies are looking for ways to play the dollar’s decline. Historically, riskier assets like stocks benefit from a falling dollar. But at a time when the stock market is in uncharted waters, it is important to look for stronger names.

Jefferies understands that. The companies on the firm’s list all outperform — by at least 1% — during periods when the dollar is falling. This list has a strong focus on construction stocks, but it also includes a tech giant, a real estate investment trust and a beauty retailer. Without further ado, here are 10 stocks you should be buying now (subscription required):

  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Mastercard (NYSE:MA)
  • Honeywell (NYSE:HON)
  • Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)
  • BlackRock (NYSE:BLK)
  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)
  • Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX)
  • Deere & Company (NYSE:DE)
  • Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL)
  • MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI)

7 Restaurant Stocks to Buy for a Big Rebound

[Monday, August 3, 3:15 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

You know the story. Lockdowns forced restaurants to close dine-in eating. Americans started spending more time than ever at home, buying more groceries and cooking more meals for themselves. Restaurants suffered, struggling to pivot to drive-thru, pick-up and delivery models. Broadly, investors shunned restaurant stocks, focusing on grocery store plays.

Things are changing now, albeit slowly. Americans are venturing out for a meal or two, and many restaurants are gradually reopening their dine-in options. Plus, after months of binge-eating packaged snack foods, many consumers are likely ready for a dietary change.

With those factors in mind, InvestorPlace’s Chris Lau writes that now is the time for investors to reconsider restaurant stocks. In fact, he sees the market really shifting away from packaged food plays. Changing consumer behaviors, a return to face-to-face interaction and a gradual recovery all support the case that a rebound in restaurant stocks is coming. When it does, investors who get in now will benefit.

If you’re feeling hungry for gains, start with Lau’s seven recommendations:

  • Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR)
  • McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)
  • Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)
  • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)
  • Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ)
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG)
  • Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK)

Eli Lilly Stock Pops on New Coronavirus Drug Trial

[Monday, August 3, 2:47 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Everything about the last few months has been highly unusual. In fact, many are dubbing the novel coronavirus pandemic a once-in-a-lifetime event. Understanding that, Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is arming itself for battle against the virus in a highly unusual way. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Peter Loftus, the pharmaceutical giant is prepping for a Phase 3 drug trial — focused exclusively on nursing home residents.

Eli Lilly has largely been flying under the radar as it develops antibody treatments for the coronavirus. However, it is also largely a leader in the race, competing alongside Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) and a host of smaller drug companies. Now, using its expertise, its launching a Phase 3 trial through the National Institute of Health, it is studying its LY-CoV555 drug in nursing homes. Why? Nursing homes — and elderly individuals — are at high risk of contracting the virus. Unfortunately, high-profile outbreaks at nursing homes across the U.S. have highlighted just how deadly the situation is.

Understanding that older populations are more at risk, Eli Lilly wants to see if its drug can reduce the rate of infection and disease at senior homes. In particular, the study will focus on homes where one or more individuals have already tested positive for Covid-19. Making this study even more unusual is its methodology. BioPharma Dive’s Ben Fidler reported this morning that Eli Lilly will be relying on a “fleet” of RVs, which it will use as mobile infusion centers. Traditional drug trials would typically occur at highly monitored research centers or top-notch medical facilities. Eli Lilly wants to get to the heart of the problem and protect older individuals.

Eli Lilly’s LY-CoV555 is in development through a partnership with AbCellera Biologics. Thus far, small-scale trials have shown that the drug is safe, but data on its effectiveness are not available. The Wall Street Journal reports the company is also running trials focused on hospitalized patients. Lilly also has one more antibody drug in development, and Barron’s Bill Alpert previously reported the company is testing its arthritis drug, Olumiant, as a potential coronavirus treatment.

InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier sees Eli Lilly as a Big Pharma play with big potential, and the stock market agrees. LLY stock is popping in intraday trading on news of its Phase 3 trial, and further data on the drug’s effectiveness could bring the company great things. Although much of the current focus is on vaccine makers, the world will also need a variety of treatments. Don’t forget that when you’re making a portfolio of coronavirus stocks.

Stocks Open Higher Ahead of Key Economic Updates

[Monday, August 3, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Boy are we set for a busy week in the stock market. On tap are earnings reports from blue-chip companies like Disney (NYSE:DIS), the highly anticipated July jobs report, the private payrolls report and another weekly look at initial jobless claims. If the last few weeks are any indication,investors are headed for a somber few days of trading if these reports show that employment has not meaningfully recovered.

But that surely is not all that will be driving the stock market this week. Last week, a key investing influence came from talks of stimulus funding. Republicans were struggling to get the White House on board, and now Republicans and Democrats are far from agreement. One thing investors can cheer is a consensus on $1,200 direct payments. But as CNBC’s Tucker Higgins reported, lawmakers are “deadlocked” on enhanced unemployment assistance. At the end of last week, the $600 enhanced payments expired without a plan.

Elsewhere in the investing world, U.S.-China tensions continue to grow. Now, after President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok over the weekend, things are taking an unusual turn. Trump has delayed his ban by 45 days. Why? To allow Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to work on an acquisition of the short-form video platform from China’s ByteDance. Did you see that one coming?

Despite all the chaos, investors are feeling optimistic to kick of the week. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.6%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.53%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.97%

Stocks Close Higher Heading Into the Weekend

[Friday, July 31, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Right now we are looking at the battle between Big Tech and the rest of the world. Earnings yesterday from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) brought impressive EPS and revenue beats. Plus, each company demonstrated its ability to innovate. Not only do these companies succeed at providing products and services for daily life. They also tackle next-generation tech, bringing it to the mainstream.

Today investors learned that Facebook would roll out new music video offerings. Apple remains on track with its 5G iPhone. Amazon is disrupting pretty much everything. Alphabet delivers answers to all of our quarantine questions — like how to make DIY face masks or bake a loaf of sourdough bread. If you looked at just these four companies and their impact on the Nasdaq Composite, you would think that the stock market was in pretty good shape.

But that is the problem. Yesterday we saw the worst-ever contraction in GDP. More than 1 million Americans have filed initial jobless claims each week for the last 19 weeks. And last night, lawmakers failed to extend enhanced unemployment benefits that have been reviving consumer spending amid a hurting economy. Within the stock market itself, earnings on Friday from legacy companies like Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) better show the pain caused by the novel coronavirus.

What will Big Tech dream up next week? And will it be enough to keep the major indices headed higher? Who knows. For now, it’s the weekend, and stocks are mostly in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.77%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.44%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.49%

7 Stocks to Buy as Live Sports Return

[Friday, July 31, 3:00 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Athletes, fans and cable companies are all cheering. The NHL, NBA and MLB have returned to play. Nike (NYSE:NKE) debuted a visually stunning advertisement. Consumers can now wave goodbye to marble racing, game re-runs and cherry pit spitting and welcome back beloved sporting events. Investors should also rejoice, as there are clearly stocks to buy as a result of this return.

The first pick comes from Barron’s Connor Smith. Citing Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne, he writes that Madison Square Garden Sports (NYSE:MSGS), the parent of the Knicks and Rangers, looks like a good buy here. Why? It is truly a “pure play” on sports, meaning MSGS shares stand to gain quite a bit from this return to live events. Plus, investors who buy it now will likely benefit over the long term — particularly if the NBA and NHL see normal seasons next year. Getting in now at a discount could pay off handsomely.

The next grouping of stocks to buy focuses on the cable companies. Unsurprisingly, marble racing and cherry pit spitting do not generate the same levels of viewership as high-speed hockey games. Equally unsurprisingly, cable companies have struggled since the onset of the novel coronavirus. Some once-strong names just couldn’t make up for the money lost without games. Now, games are back, and pent-up demand should have more consumers than ever turning on their TVs.

The Motley Fool’s Bradley Freeman is concerned about adjustments to college sporting seasons, but is still broadly bullish on companies with content rights. Madison Square Garden Networks (NYSE:MSGN) is his top pick, while ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC), Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) also get shout-outs.

Pent-up demand will also be driving more people than ever to sports betting. At least, that’s the argument Barron’s Andrew Bary makes for DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Flutter Entertainment (OTCMKTS:PDYPY), the parent company of FanDuel. A recent game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals saw “record” bets placed for a baseball game. Turns out the boring — sorry, couldn’t help it — sport can actually draw some excitement.

Here is one note of caution. Analysts like InvestorPlace’s Thomas Niel are worried about the amount of excitement and pent-up demand behind live sports right now. As coronavirus cases continue to rise, there is room for concern. If the MLB, NBA or NHL has to cut already-short seasons even shorter, fans will lose it. Furthering this concern is news that several players, including 20 members of the Miami Marlins team have tested positive for Covid-19. That’s why Niel recommends waiting to buy DKNG stock until the pro football season launches.

Whether you follow Niel’s advice or that of other experts, know that sports are back and consumers are ready. In the long term, this should drive impressive rewards.

Buy Facebook Stock on Strong Earnings, Long-Term Plans

[Friday, July 31, 1:49 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango is calling it loud and clear. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) looks hot after its second-quarter earnings report. It is only going to look hotter, and Facebook stock could soon be headed to $300 and higher. Why? Facebook is thriving despite the novel coronavirus and looks ready to capitalize on a series of long-term market opportunities.

Lango names a handful of those opportunities, like its ability to monetize new platforms like Reels and further monetize existing platforms like WhatsApp. He is also bullish on its growing e-commerce business, namely the potential it is unlocking through Facebook Shops. News from the company — released less than a full day after its stellar earnings beat — should have investors excited too.

On Friday morning Facebook announced a new plan to roll out official music videos on its social media platforms. According to CNBC’s Megan Graham, the company was previously able to use popular music in the background of videos. However, Facebook did not have the rights to host actual music videos. That all will change, thanks to a series of deals with major music labels including Warner Music Group (NASDAQ:WMG) and Kobalt. An exciting part of this announcement is the potential for Facebook to take music market share from Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube, which is still a top destination for labels and consumers.

The first step in this move to take market share is offering new content. Artist Lele Pons will launch her newest music video through Facebook, and will livestream on the platform to kick off the debut. A company press release details plans to launch specific playlists for hip hop and pop music, as well as integrations that will let consumers share videos on Facebook, Messenger and Groups. Down the line, listeners can expect new music from Blake Shelton, Jonas Brothers and Nicki Minaj.

To be clear, Facebook stock is not exclusive a “buy” because of its new music video offerings. However, especially as views of new and old music videos continue to rebound amid the pandemic, it is clear there is demand for content. In fact, the demand for new music videos is so high that many artists are turning to at-home shoots and risking infection to film more traditional content.

With that background, and Facebook’s excellent second-quarter performance, investors should recognize that FB will continue to execute on its long-term potential. While you champion this Big Tech leader, you can also enjoy a new video. That sounds like a win for everyone.

Johnson & Johnson Stock Looks Hot on One-Shot Vaccine

[Friday, July 31, 12:55 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) exists in a weird in-between spot in the race to develop a novel coronavirus race. It is behind other leaders like Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and the duo of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) in starting late-stage human trials. But JNJ is pushing forward, and recent news about its vaccine offers investors a serious opportunity.

According to BioPharma Dive’s Ben Fidler, Johnson & Johnson just began its first human trial of its vaccine candidate. This first trial is smaller in scale, enrolling just 1,000 adults in the U.S. and Belgium. However, Fidler suggests this trial could very quickly pave the way for two more small human trials. From there, a larger-scale trial, like those its peers are launching, could begin in September 2020.

More important than the size of the trial is the company’s belief in its candidate’s ability. Johnson & Johnson is testing both one-dose and two-dose regimens of its vaccines. And after studying the vaccine in animals, the company believes a one-shot vaccine would be enough to meet endpoints set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for mass deployment. Why is this a big deal? Well, it will be hard enough to deploy one shot across the population of the U.S. — and the rest of the world. Manufacturing remains a challenge as companies struggle to scale up at record pace. Although President Donald Trump is providing funding and military support through Operation Warp Speed, mass vaccination will undoubtedly be a challenge for officials involved.

If Johnson & Johnson can successfully deliver a one-shot vaccine — and a vaccine that effectively protects against coronavirus infection — that would be huge.

But there is some reason for caution. As Fidler reported, fellow vaccine company AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) previously planned on going with a one-shot model. However, study data made it very clear a candidate would be stronger with a so-called “booster” shot. Johnson & Johnson could run into a similar dilemma. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson and its peers have not yet proven any of these vaccine candidates can protect against infection. Right now, companies are merely evaluating whether their vaccines are safe and can trigger some sort of immune response.

With that being said, Johnson & Johnson is a solid company with a solid candidate. Keep a close eye on its human trials, and understand it is a more diversified play than a company like Moderna. If JNJ succeeds, your portfolio will, too.

Stocks Open Higher on Big Tech Earnings Beats

[Friday, July 31, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Does anyone still care about antitrust concerns this morning? Just one day after testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) knocked it out of the park with their earnings reports.

All four Big Tech leaders beat estimates for revenue and earnings per share. Why does this matter? Besides providing a bit of refreshing earnings excitement in an otherwise lackluster — if not downright awful — earnings season, these earnings beats offered a different sort of hope. Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet have all become even more critical to daily life. Consumers rely on one-day shipping, social media platforms and consumer tech to navigate working from home.

Despite their increased relevance, there was still valid concern that the novel coronavirus would weigh on quarterly performance. For instance, investors were unsure if decreased digital ad spending could be offset by other success at Alphabet. But Thursday evening closed that book of concerns, giving something for investors to cheer heading into Friday.

Sure, antitrust concerns still linger, and many experts believe that Wednesday’s testimonies will have longer-lasting impacts on Big Tech. But for now, these tech giants have created a much more favorable set of headlines to drive trading.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.57%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.17%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 1.46%

Stocks Are Mixed With Big Tech in Focus

[Thursday, July 30, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Investors are on the brink of key second-quarter earnings reports from Big Tech. After markets close, we will hear from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Why does this matter? Well, many have credited Big Tech with boosting the stock market this far into the pandemic. The novel coronavirus has greatly disrupted the lives of average consumers, and products and services from these four companies have filled the gaps. Facebook has rolled out in-app shopping features to support smaller merchants. Amazon has leveraged its grocery store business and one-day delivery to get essential goods to households across the country. And in general, people are just spending a lot of time online.

However, it is not exactly smooth sailing for this quartet. Digital advertising spending has been affected by the pandemic, and Facebook in particular stands to lose ad dollars as part of the Facebook Boycott. Investors will be looking today to see how much success in top verticals offset coronavirus-driven losses. Plus, yesterday, the CEOs of this same quartet stood before the House of Representatives’ House Judiciary Committee to testify on different antitrust concerns. According to Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick, while there may be longer-term repercussions for Big Tech, many of the sector’s bulls saw yesterday’s proceedings as a sign lawmakers do not understand Silicon Valley.

For right now, that is a good sign. Let’s just wait and see what happens after the bell.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.37%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.84%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.43%

Here’s Why Cryptocurrencies Are Just Getting Hotter

[Thursday, July 30, 3:44 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

InvestorPlace analyst Matt McCall has long been pounding the table on cryptocurrencies. Months before the recent “halvening” — an incredible phenomenon that occurs when mining rewards are cut in half — McCall was telling investors to get out and buy cryptocurrencies. That was because he knew that after halvenings, bitcoin (CCC:BTC) and alt-coins, or smaller cryptos, soared to record highs.

The halvening event happened early in May 2020, but the fire beneath cryptocurrencies is far from getting put out. Even in just the last week investors have seen amazing gains and a rush of headlines that should only catalyze cryptos higher.

There are almost too many upside catalysts to list. To start, many in the investing world see cryptocurrencies as safe-haven assets, similar to gold. And right now, safe-haven assets are performing extremely well. That is because many are afraid that monetary policy movies by the Federal Reserve will lead to inflation after the pandemic eases. Gold shines in these moments because it is often seen as a hedge against such inflation — or really any other apocalyptic event.

For crypto bulls like McCall, digital assets are much more attractive in times of trouble than gold.

But there is also so much more supporting cryptocurrencies right now. CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De recently wrote that the Office of the Comptroller of the currency (OCC) will now allow chartered banks in the U.S. to provide custodial services for cryptos. In other words, you can turn your private keys over for safekeeping to banks. Through this decision, the OCC recognizes the need for digital wallets, and also that this will be a lot different than other safekeeping services provided by banks. For crypto bulls though, it’s a sign that regulatory moves needed to boost crypto adoption are coming.

Emerging Tech Brew’s Ryan Duffy was similarly stoked about the OCC news. He sees it as an “on ramp” for new investors who were nervous about dipping their toes in the crypto water. Additionally, the decision comes not long after investors learned crypto exchange Coinbase is considering an IPO. Add to that news JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) will provide Coinbase and peer Gemini banking services, and it is abundantly clear why McCall is so bullish on bitcoin and alt-coins.

If you saw the news this week that bitcoin crossed $10,000 again for the first time in two months, you may be wondering if it is running out of steam. But since Sunday, when it hit $10,135, it is still moving higher. Right now it sits near $10,800.

And hear me out. Not only does McCall see bitcoin thriving at the $10,000 level. He actually sees it hitting $40,000 — sooner than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. With the halvening in the rear-view mirror, you don’t want to miss out on the big crypto potential.

Buy Shopify Stock for Its Partnership With Affirm

[Thursday, July 30, 2:50 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Investors should know by now that Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is playing to win.

Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the e-commerce solutions provider has partnered with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to support its in-app Shops feature. It also has partnered with Walmart (NYSE:WMT) as part of an initiative to connect third-party merchants with the retailer’s audience. And as a company that largely connects smaller merchants with the wider world, Shopify has positioned itself as a resource for those businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

Shopify just keeps going. InvestorPlace’s William White wrote earlier in July that Shopify handily beat revenue and earnings per share estimates. CFO Amy Shapero focused her comments on how Shopify extends the benefit of scale to smaller merchants. Now, thanks to a new exclusive partnership, it is also extending the benefits of buy now, pay later (BNPL) tech.

Retail Dive’s Tatiana Walk-Morris wrote recently that Affirm was partnering with Shopify to offer merchants payment installments. Amid the pandemic, consumer data suggests BNPL helps get shoppers spending, therefore helping merchants. According to Walk-Morris, that is just the angle Shopify took in announcing the deal. Knowing that millennials and Generation Z shoppers are big fans of the payment innovation, Shopify positioned the deal as a way to help struggling merchants. When times are tough, everyone needs to innovate and embrace industry disruptors. Honestly, it adds up.

Retail Brew’s Halie LeSavage similarly reported on the deal, focusing more on the strength behind Affirm. According to founder Max Levchin, demand at Affirm has “quadrupled” since the start of the pandemic. If you recall, we have shared bullish recommendations of Affirm’s competitors on this blog. Klarna and Afterpay (OTCMKTS:AFTPY) are truly innovative. Consumers may not want to drop $100 all at once, but four interest-free payments of $25 are psychologically — and financially — much easier to stomach. For the same reasons, Affirm looks to be a hot company in a hot niche.

For investors, Shopify’s quick and definitive pivot into the space is further proof it is a company with the future in mind. Over the last few months it has continued to adapt, bringing in more customers and strengthening its business. Affirm, while still private, deserves attention too. For now, pre-IPO trading platform SharesPost offers you a chance to get in.

Here is the bottom line. Fintech solutions, especially BNPL, are rising up from the ashes of the pandemic-driven retail apocalypse. Companies like Affirm and Shopify stand to benefit.

A Potential Hut Group IPO Benefits From Pandemic Trends

[Thursday, July 30, 1:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Oh, makeup. How I long to have more of an excuse than a work video call to get excited about eyeshadow, concealer and mascara.

Consumer spending data affirms that I am not alone. With the exceptions of skincare and spa products, it is safe to say that the cosmetics industry has been hurt by the novel coronavirus. But rumors of an upcoming IPO from Hut Group are proof of the industry’s resilience and what is working for cosmetics companies.

According to the Financial Times’ Arash Massoudi and Jonathan Ely, the online health and beauty retailer has recruited a team of investment banks as it considers coming public. You may not be familiar with the name, but perhaps its brands like Espa, Ameliorate and Christophe Robin stand out more. These brands are reporting “unprecedented demand” amid the pandemic and cautioning consumers it will take longer than usual to get their products. And more importantly for investors, Hut Group also markets its “Ingenuity” platform. Understanding the disruption coming to the retail space, Hut Group’s Ingenuity is e-commerce tech, that it uses both for its own brands and to license to other retailers.

There are two takeaways for investors here. If Hut Group does go through with an IPO, and especially if it is accessible to U.S. investors, it would be a key stock to watch. Before the pandemic, McKinsey reported that even shoppers from Generation Z made 60% of their cosmetic purchases in stores. Therefore, as the world moves to e-commerce as a result of the pandemic, there is a real chance for primarily brick-and-mortar cosmetics companies to pivot. But for Hut Group, a strong existing online presence will give it a huge edge.

Additionally, McKinsey noted that even in times of recession, cosmetic purchases hold up well relative to other discretionary products. The so-called “lipstick index” argues that because an individual lipstick may not be too expensive, a consumer will still be inclined to buy cosmetic products.

The second takeaway focuses on existing public retailers. Analysts are starting to turn bullish once again on Ulta (NASDAQ:ULTA), Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) and LVMH’s (OTCMKTS:LVMHF) Sephora. This is because, as CNBC’s Lucy Handley writes, these bigger retailers are picking up on trends and moving to curbside pick-up, virtual product try-ons and marketing that focuses on stay-at-home beauty. Investors will want to both watch for more news on a Hut Group IPO and also continue to evaluate beauty retailers based on their adoption of accelerating trends.

Blink Charging Stock Looks Hot on EV Charging Deal

[Thursday, July 30, 12:59 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

A quintessential argument against electric vehicles is that simply, you need to charge the batteries. There are gas stations around the world to fuel up traditional cars, but not all areas of the United States — or the world — have the necessary charging infrastructure to support EV adoption. But as we have reported time and time again, things are changing at record speeds in the EV world.

Here is a quick recap. The novel coronavirus, and plans to overcome its economic impacts, have brought renewed investor attention to the EV space. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has successfully created a cross-country charging network for its consumer vehicles. Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) promises to do the same for its freight vehicles. And former Vice President Joe Biden recently shared that expanding charging infrastructure for electric vehicles would be one of his top energy priorities as president.

Talk about a big catalyst.

Now enter Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK), a small, Florida-based company that supplies charging stations. Blink offers charging stations for homes and businesses in the U.S. as well as stations designed for European regulations. On top of that, it offers a cloud-based network that tracks, monitors and maintains all of its connected stations. BLNK stock is soaring more than 30% in intraday trading today on news of a new partnership in Greece.

Essentially, Blink announced this morning that it had struck a deal with the group in charge of maintaining Nissan dealerships in Greece. Blink will install charging infrastructure at Nissan dealerships, and also work to offer pricing packages for at-home stations. Investors like this sign of international expansion, especially as it serves as evidence EV support is only growing.

Right now, the big takeaway is that deals like this could be just around the corner, particularly depending on the outcome of November’s election. Keep a close eye on Blink Charging and its infrastructure peers.

Kandi Technologies Stock Pops on Plans for U.S. Launch

[Thursday, July 30, 12:15 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Wow, electric vehicle companies are really revving their engines these days.

Just a few days after we reported on an upcoming IPO from Li Auto, Chinese rival Kandi Technologies (NASDAQ:KNDI) is working to stay relevant. KNDI stock started soaring on Wednesday after the company announced it would soon launch two of its vehicles in the United States. Those gains are continuing on Thursday, with shares up almost 30% in intraday trading.

There are two levels to investor excitement. The larger-scale catalyst is that simply put, electric vehicles are hot right now. The novel coronavirus is pushing investors to consider EV infrastructure stimulus spending, and others are simply thinking about how futuristic tech can boost the economy. We have seen great success from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Nio (NYSE:NIO), and there is constant news about Fisker and Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA).

For U.S. consumers, Tesla has long been synonymous with the EV market. But undeniably, it caters to a certain income demographic. This air of luxury has been beneficial in linking electrification with style, but it has kept many would-be consumers out of the market. Nikola and Fisker also plan to offer consumer vehicles, but those companies are still in development stages.

Enter Kandi Technologies. The company is billing its upcoming move as the launch of the “most affordable” EVs in America. At a time when consumer spending is down and saving is up, that marketing scheme already makes sense. Add in a fairly open niche for low-cost electric vehicles, and you shouldn’t be surprised at recent share-price action in KNDI stock. The company says the two new vehicles will be priced at $12,999 and $22,499, after federal tax credits.

Importantly, this launch will also coincide with a large-scale marketing campaign — “Kandi. Auto EVolution for all.” Kandi Technologies plans to start this campaign in the Texas area, and then gradually expand it around the U.S. For investors, this is a good sign that it is working to build up visibility with consumers around the country.

And while KNDI stock may not be the most familiar EV player, it has received some love on Wall Street. Early in June, InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote that it was one of the best EV stocks to buy for the next decade. At the time, he saw the opportunity largely revolving around its battery-swapping technology and strong presence in the Chinese market. Add those two factors in with a growing U.S. business, and there is a lot to like.

Stocks Open Lower on Jobless Claims, GDP Contraction

[Thursday, July 30, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Is anyone else feeling a little carsick this morning? We told you to buckle up for a wild ride in the stock market this week, but Thursday is looking pretty bumpy.

To start, Axios’ Courtenay Brown reported that the U.S. economy shrank at an annualized rate of 32.9% in the second quarter. That makes it the worst quarter on record — going all the way back to 1947. Investors know that the economy is hurting. Stay-at-home orders and business lockdowns all but brought the economy to a complete halt. Some businesses went under for good, and others are struggling to meaningfully recover with novel coronavirus cases on the rise. Although the contraction figure may not be surprising, it hurts to see on paper.

On a similar note, the weekly look at initial jobless claims is jostling investors around. As Yahoo Finance’s Javier David reported, we have seen 19 consecutive weeks of these claims coming in at over 1 million. That is a lot of people. For the week ending July 25, 1.43 million Americans filed for these initial unemployment benefits. Economists were calling for 1.45 million, but the “beat” doesn’t feel very good. What matters most here is that despite attempts to reopen many businesses, this number is still at record highs and continues to climb.

Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough reason for the major indices to be taking a dive on Thursday, President Donald Trump looks to be stirring up trouble. In a pre-market tweet he suggested delaying November’s presidential election, citing concerns about mail-in voter fraud. Experts maintain that Congress has the sole power to do so, but Trump’s tweet is still going to cause immense concern.

What else will Thursday bring? Make sure your seat belt is on, and hold on tight.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.82%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 1.09%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.91%

Stocks Close Higher on Federal Reserve Decisions

[Wednesday, July 29, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, we can thank the Federal Reserve for its role in moving the major indices higher on Wednesday. As CNBC’s Jeff Cox wrote, the Federal Open Market Committee’s decisions weren’t exactly surprising to investors. But having that clarity — and a little more insight into the mind of Fed Board Chair Jerome Powell — seems to be a magic market cure.

Remember early in March when the Fed decided to slash interest rates. Boy did the stock market drop fast. But now that we are getting used to near-zero rates, confirmation that the low levels are here to stay is comforting. Many expect near-zero rates to be in effect through 2021 as the economy recovers from the novel coronavirus. Powell and the FOMC didn’t counter that today. Instead, it seems like the Fed knows there is a lot of recovery still be done.

Also importantly, the Federal Reserve recommitted itself to bond-buying programs and a handful of liquidity facilities. Unlike lawmakers, Powell isn’t ready to rip off the band-aid just yet. Investors like that mentality. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all closed Wednesday in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.25%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.62%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.35%

5 Dental Stocks to Buy for Post-Pandemic Smiles

[Wednesday July 29, 3:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

I absolutely despise going to the dentist — just thinking about it makes me want to gag. But InvestorPlace’s Todd Shriber made a pretty convincing argument today that has me thinking about dental stocks. Hopefully we have all been brushing and flossing our pearly whites at home, but what about our special dental cleaning, orthodontic appointments and specialist care? Unfortunately for many dentists and patients, the novel coronavirus put a temporary end to dental care.

That is changing as states push forward with reopening. Sure, a rise in cases is a real risk for these non-essential health practices. But the industry is still set to grow at an impressive rate over the next few years. And after a few months of slacking off on our dental hygiene, almost all of us will need to schedule a visit for some torture. Sorry, I meant routine cleaning.

In preparation for a long-term boom in dental stocks, Shriber has five sparkling recommendations:

  • SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ:SDC)
  • Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN)
  • 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD)
  • Straumann Group (OTCMKTS:SAUHY)
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Cowen: 3 Retail Stocks to Buy Amid Uncertainty

[Wednesday, July 29, 2:18 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The retail world is completely split in half. On one side you have Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its followers. These are companies that are disruptors — they have changed the retail game permanently. These are companies that have embraced product and payment innovations, e-commerce solutions and top-notch social media marketing. On the other side you have retailers that are just absolutely crushed. The novel coronavirus is here to deepen this split, and there is no going back.

Amazon is pretty much a no-brainer pick in the retail world because it dominates e-commerce. But beyond AMZN stock, it can be hard to tell the flowers from the weeds. Luckily, Cowen analyst Oliver Chen is here to help. He recently released his firm’s top three retail picks. And importantly, he sees these picks holding up even as coronavirus cases climb.

Two of the companies on his list are household names.The third? Not so much. Chen combines value, differentiation and solid market leadership. For now, his firm is staying away from department stores and is being cautious with softlines — retailers that focus on more personal goods like clothing.

On your next shopping trip, pick up these three retail stocks (subscription required):

  • Target (NYSE:TGT)
  • Walmart (NYSE:WMT)
  • Grocery Outlet (NASDAQ:GO)

7 Infrastructure Stocks to Buy for Trump’s Policy Push

[Wednesday, July 29, 12:04 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The Work Projects Administration (WPA) brought about the Tennessee Valley Authority, the building of Camp David and the on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge. Underneath these markings of infrastructure success is the fact that the agency also employed roughly 8.5 million Americans between 1935 and 1943. Unemployment had hit the nation hard, and the WPA was a legitimate way out for many families.

A recent move from President Donald Trump lacks the same feel-good effect of the WPA, but InvestorPlace’s Joel Baglole notes it should get a similar job done. Since early on in the novel coronavirus pandemic, Trump and a handful of lawmakers have been touting the idea of an infrastructure stimulus bill. An additional $2 trillion plan Trump marketed would be “BIG” and “BOLD” for the economy. He wanted to use the funding to revamp roads, bridges, tunnels and ports.

Many Democrats have shared similar ideas for infrastructure spending. Notable differences across the aisle include a focus on pipelines versus a focus on charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Through an executive order issued June 4, Trump started to get his way. His order is intended to accelerate infrastructure projects through the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Of course, as Baglole highlights, a key portion of his infrastructure move is controversial. He is “gutting” environmental protections in the National Environmental Policy Act. Previously, this legislation ensured any infrastructure project also considered its environmental impact. Currently, a full review for a project can take as long as 4.5 years. Trump’s move could lower that to 2 years. While this is clearly bad for the environment, Baglole concedes that it’s good for investors. A rush of spending on an accelerated timeline will be a boost for key infrastructure stocks.

If you can stomach the environmental impacts, check out these seven recommendations from Baglole:

  • KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY)
  • U.S. Steel (NYSE:X)
  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)
  • Apache (NASDAQ:APA)
  • Fluor (NYSE:FLR)
  • Granite Construction (NYSE:GVA)
  • Aecom (NYSE:ACM)

Why Your Smartphone Belongs in the Trash

[Wednesday, July 29, 10:40 a.m.]
Contributed by Matt McCall and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Let’s make a bet.

I bet in the next two months you’ll throw out your smartphone.

I’m willing to make this bet because — just a few weeks ago — I put my smartphone in a blender.

Why did I do this?

Well, recently a new technology premiered that will make all modern smartphones obsolete.

This new technology is called a “foldable” phone.

Essentially, it’s a smartphone, tablet and smartwatch all rolled into one.

You’ll be able to unfold your phone to make a tablet. You’ll be able to wrap your phone around your wrist for a workout.

Inc. magazine says that — with this new technology — “The smartphone-killing trend is finally here.”

And big tech companies know it. That’s why they are pouring billions into “foldable” tech.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) invested $3 billion.

Huawei invested $15 billion.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) invested $1 billion.

For these mega-giants, this tech is the opportunity of a lifetime.

And for smart folks up-to-date on the market, it could be the same.

If you invest in this trend today, you could be looking at life-changing gains.

I’ve spent the last decade of my career recommending incredible technology plays and helping ordinary people have the chance to see triple-digit gains, including:

  • 324% on Bitcoin Services
  • 233% on Riot Blockchain
  • 177% on BTL Groups

Today, I’ve uncovered a small tech stock powering the incredible “foldable” phone revolution.

Very few people know about this company’s existence.

Yet, it makes a product that is critical for the next generation of smartphones.

In fact, the tech it makes is critical for nearly every tech giant trying to capitalize on the “foldable” phone revolution.

That means that — no matter who wins the new foldable phone race — this small tech company is poised to boom.

To help folks learn about this opportunity, I’ve put together a free presentation.

I just caution you: Don’t wait on this opportunity.

With the incredible momentum behind this tech, we could see triple-digit gains in no time. Click here for details.

Stocks Open Higher Ahead of Fed, Big Tech Meetings

[Wednesday, July 29, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are you buckled in? Wednesday appears to have investors headed for a wild ride.

Before the market even opened, General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) posted disappointing quarterly earnings. Unsurprisingly, production hiccups caused by the novel coronavirus weighed on these two names. And Boeing is still stuck in a rut thanks to its 737 Max challenges. Investors likely expected much of this week’s earnings mess, but it is still weighing on the market.

What is perhaps more important for investors is what is on tap later today. Lawmakers will hear from Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos about their respective Big Tech companies. State and federal regulators have long been concerned about monopolies on internet advertising, mobile app sales and e-commerce. These concerns have only been amplified as the pandemic made products and services from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) more important. It would be hard to get through day-to-day life in quarantine without one-day package delivery or the virtual connections found on Facebook’s many platforms.

Also coming up today is an update from the Federal Reserve. Will we see explicit changes to our state of monetary policy? Will we get an update on interest rates? Since the pandemic started, investors have learned how easily news from the Fed can tank or boost the market. Keep a close eye on the major indices with that in mind.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.34%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.05%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.73%

Kodak Stock Pops on Covid-19 Drug Manufacturing Plan

[Tuesday, July 28, 4:42 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It is apparently never too late to pivot, as Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK) learned on Tuesday. The company, which was at one time considered a leader in photography, is now prepping to manufacture generic drugs.

Yes, you heard that right. As the Wall Street Journal’s Rachael Levy wrote today, Kodak received a loan of $765 million as part of the Defense Production Act. After a lifetime of camera work, Eastman Kodak will now manufacture generic drugs like hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug touted as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus. The company will use the funding to renovate two of its factories — located in Rochester, New York and St. Paul, Minnesota. This deal may seem odd, but it checks off two key boxes for the United States.

President Donald Trump is pushing forward with his Operation Warp Speed, but as companies enter late-stage trials, manufacturing hurdles are coming into the spotlight. Even after a vaccine gets regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it will be a challenge to produce enough doses to cover the U.S. population. Additionally, there are already concerns about ensuring enough doses for lower-income countries, so as to guarantee the global eradication of the coronavirus. Eastman Kodak’s move also helps address Trump’s push to bring more drug manufacturing back within U.S. borders. Currently, the nation relies on India and China for much of that manufacturing work.

According to BioPharma Dive’s Ned Pagliarulo, Eastman Kodak is not the first company to find itself in a similar position. The U.S. has previously awarded funding to glass maker Corning (NYSE:GLW) and photography peer Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies for coronavirus-related manufacturing.

KODK stock soared more than 200% on the news, closing at a price of $7.94. But perhaps the most crucial — and the most controversial — detail is the role of hydroxychloroquine. The FDA has since revoked its emergency-use authorization for the drug, but Trump continues to tout it. Analysts like Jim Cramer expressed their disapproval for the drug on Tuesday amid the Eastman Kodak excitement.

It remains to be seen exactly what role hydroxychloroquine will play in treating the novel coronavirus, but investors can be confident that Eastman Kodak is getting a second shot at life. It seems pretty picture perfect, doesn’t it?

Dow Sheds Over 200 Points in Tuesday Trading

[Tuesday, July 28, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It looks like there will be no shortage of news this week. Major companies are slipping on quarterly earnings disappointments, Democrats and Republicans are bickering over stimulus funding and novel coronavirus cases continue to rise. So what exactly is moving the market on Tuesday?

The Conference Board reported today that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped in July, after increasing in June. For investors, this is a worrisome sign that a resurgence in the coronavirus is destroying any progress made by early reopening measures. The index stands at 92.6, down from a reading of 98.3 in June.

Elsewhere in the investing world there’s more bad news. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, reported that there are early signs of coronavirus outbreaks in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Investors are nervously awaiting for the Big Tech testimonies to begin. Oh, and Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) reported a quarterly loss for the first time in a decade. Talk about bad news.

With all of this weighing down on the stock market, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are closing in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.64%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.77%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 1.27%

Pay Attention to Gold Because It Could Soon Hit $3,500

[Tuesday, July 28, 3:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

All that glitters may not be gold, but this rally in the precious metal is the real deal. On the back of novel coronavirus fears, rising U.S.-China tensions and inflation risks, gold futures just hit $2,000. If you have been following InvestorPlace analyst Eric Fry, that news shouldn’t be a surprise.

On Friday, analysts at UBS released quite a timely note. They called for gold to hit $2,000, driven higher by the commodity’s negative correlation to real interest rates and the dollar. Moves by the U.S. and China to close consulates in Houston and Chengdu were just icing on the cake for gold. However, the analysts were a little off in their timing. They called for the metal to hit the $2,000 mark by the end of September. It did just that yesterday.

But the rally isn’t over. Barry Dawes, the executive chairman at Martin Place Securities, says he is looking for gold to hit $3,500 in the next two years. Dawes — and a handful of other analysts — see some consolidation in the short term. In the long term, however, nothing is in the way of the glitter. Bloomberg’s Eddie van der Walt and Liz McCormick wrote yesterday that while many investors simply see gold as a hedge against inflation, there are many more reasons to treasure its potential.

On a fundamental level, gold is seen by many as a safe-haven investment. When things go wrong in the world, investors turn to it for protection. We saw a spike in gold when the U.S. military killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani. We saw another one at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. On top of broader fears, many investors believe recent monetary policy decisions will cause inflation to spike after the pandemic. Analysts have been raising their price targets throughout 2020, calling for the metal to head higher and higher. Eric Fry has been leading the way.

He wrote yesterday that clearly, gold is calling for a bit of attention. It is plausible that economic conditions could further deteriorate, that geopolitical tensions could rise or that the slump in the dollar could worsen. All levels of government in the U.S. are racking up debt to steer through the pandemic. And just think about all of the money printing the Federal Reserve has done!

It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but not with gold.

Fry thinks gold is still headed higher, and he sees a unique way to benefit. His way of playing the next big move isn’t bullion, coins, mining stocks or an exchange-traded fund. You may have already missed this week’s record price action. But you simply don’t want to miss out on the metal’s next climb. He sees it hitting $3,000 — or even $4,000. Make sure you know how to profit.

Don’t Drive Away From the Upcoming Li Auto IPO

[Tuesday, July 28, 2:22 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Boy is it a good time to be an electric vehicle company.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently became the most valuable automaker. Chinese rival Nio (NYSE:NIO) has almost tripled its share price in 2020. Recent IPO Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) is still prominent in the news, and soon-to-debut Fisker is also drawing considerable investor attention for its Ocean SUV, a gorgeous vehicle still in the works. Although these companies are vastly different in terms of vehicle design, size and target consumer demographic, they are all benefitting from similar catalysts. EVs are growing in popularity, and the novel coronavirus is turning market attention to sustainability and electric infrastructure.

For a while, the EV space was a battle between Tesla and Nio. A ton of other players are in the game, especially in China, but many are still struggling to stay afloat and develop a product. Now, China’s Li Auto is set to join the market disruptors. According to Renaissance Capital, Li Auto will trade on the Nasdaq Exchange under the ticker LI. It plans to sell 95 million shares at a price between $8-$10, and if it prices in the middle of the range, it would have a value of $7.9 billion.

What makes Li Auto special? Well, it focuses on SUVs at a price range between $21,000 and $70,000. It delivered 10,400 vehicles in the second quarter, putting it in line with rival Nio. For reference, Barron’s Al Root sees Li Auto as more of a “discount” play to Nio and Tesla. The company is not yet profitable, but it has SUV options that promise an extended range. Li Auto founder Li Xiang launched the car-buying portal Autohome (NYSE:ATHM), which has been public since 2013.

For investors, Li Auto may just offer a great way to benefit from the boom in EVs. Plus, China is the largest market for cars. Through exposure to U.S. investors, who should support LI stock, Li Auto can position itself as a true rival to Nio. With second rival Xpeng allegedly planning a U.S. debut, the trio of companies should remain in focus. If you are hot on EVs, keep a close eye on this company. While many of the space’s newest public players look hot, Li Auto has an advantage in that it already produces and sells cars. For now, Fisker and Nikola are all about concepts. While that is set to change, Li Auto gives you exposure to a new public company with a little bit of predictability.

7 Cybersecurity Stocks to Buy for the Remote-Work World

[Tuesday, July 28, 1:46 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Many Americans have readily embraced the work-from-home life. Employees have swapped suits for sweatpants, and in-person meetings around a whiteboard for comfy video calls. Despite many managerial concerns at the start of the pandemic, studies suggest productivity is actually going up. However, all of the perks of remote work are threatened by growing cybersecurity risks.

Early in March, the National Law Review listed several cybersecurity threats many companies are now facing. We have coronavirus-specific phishing attempts and off-network communications. One upside to in-person meetings is that business information remains in the room. All sorts of emails, text messages and video chats have filled that gap, giving bad actors more opportunity to sneakily  gain information. Making matters worse is a report that more than half of workers are “cutting corners” with work-from-home cybersecurity. Not all of this is malicious. ZDNet’s Danny Palmer suggests WFH difficulties like balancing childcare — combined with pressure to ramp productivity — incentivize taking on these risks.

So what do investors do? We have already seen the dangers present in cyberspace. The recent Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) hack, according to CNN’s Clare Duffy, emphasizes how important cybersecurity is in our mostly virtual world. Twitter is paying the price — especially in terms of reputation. Other corporations are fearful of ending up in the same spot.

According to InvestorPlace’s Chris Lau, the best way to approach our reality is to buy the stocks that support working from home. It looks like we will all be on our couches for the foreseeable future, so our bosses better make sure everything is secure. Consumers need these cybersecurity solutions more than ever, so there’s no better time to start buying. Start with these seven stocks:

  • CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ:CRWD)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • NortonLifeLock NASDAQ:NLOK)
  • Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT)
  • CyberArk Software (NASDAQ:CYBR)
  • Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)
  • Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG)

9 Marijuana Stocks to Buy as Pandemic Stress Soars

[Tuesday, July 28, 11:51 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

America is stressed out. Parents face many more months of virtual schooling. There are hardly any safe outlets to socialize, unemployment figures are at jaw-dropping levels and a “return to normal” seems years away. Should we all get high to cope?

According to Bloomberg’s Tiffany Kary, that is exactly what is happening. Consumers are buying “record” amounts of cannabis amid the pandemic. And it’s not just existing customers upping their purchases. Curaleaf (OTCMKTS:CURLF) CEO Boris Jordan told Kary that his company’s customer base keeps expanding. In fact, June was the cannabis firm’s best-ever month in terms of sales. In addition to recreational-use cannabis, Curaleaf also sells a line of wellness products. Demand for both is climbing.

So how exactly should investors analyze this news? Well, at the start of the pandemic, the future of cannabis was pretty unclear. The industry was already suffering thanks to oversupply issues, a shortage of demand for “legal” cannabis and regulatory hangups. Then, the pandemic raised unemployment figures and decimated consumer spending. But experts were on the fence about calling it quits on cannabis. Just as many headwinds were holding it back, many tailwinds were behind it. Stress is at record highs. People are spending more time at home, and they are looking for ways to kill time. For those with disposable income, cannabis products seem like an easy spending decision.

The Curaleaf CEO agrees. Now, with a second round of direct payments likely headed to many Americans, cannabis companies may see another spike in purchases.

Earlier in July, InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto similarly stumbled onto this argument. In our new normal, Americans are dealing with a lot of stress and looking for new outlets. He picked nine smaller marijuana stocks to buy based on their ability to “pack a punch.” Here are his top recommendations:

  • Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB)
  • 1933 Industries (OTCMKTS:TGIFF)
  • KushCo Holdings (OTCMKTS:KHSB)
  • Planet 13 (OTCMKTS:PLNHF)
  • Charlotte’s Web (OTCMKTS:CWBHF)
  • Village Farms International (NASDAQ:VFF)
  • Trulieve Cannabis Corp (OTCMKTS:TCNNF)
  • Amyris (NASDAQ:AMRS)
  • Harvest Health & Recreation (OTCMKTS:HRVSF)

6 Tech Stocks That Could Double

[Tuesday, July 28, 10:35 a.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

I’ve analyzed every tech stock on Wall Street, and just six stocks passed my exhaustive growth-screening methodology. Sure, there are other stocks that may go up in 2020 … but these are the names that I think are the most likely to double your money or better in the months ahead. Get their names today, before they break out!

Access your report for free.

Stocks Open Lower Tuesday as Economic Woes Drag On

[Tuesday, July 28, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There should be some excitement this morning over a batch of good news. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) joined Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) in kicking off late-stage trials for the duo’s novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. Both stocks are up in pre-market trading, but they certainly aren’t lifting the major indices. What gives?

Plus, Republicans have finally come back to the table with a stimulus proposal in hand. With approval from the White House, they are moving forward with a $1 trillion plan. It includes extensions to the Paycheck Protection Program, a second round of $1,200 direct payments, “billions” for coronavirus testing and approximately $105 billion to help schools reopen.

After serious debate about extending enhanced unemployment benefits, Republicans agreed to some sort of compromise. Once the $600-per-week benefit expires, their plan calls for initially implementing $200 weekly payments. From there, states will pay out 70% of an individual’s lost wages.

It isn’t the $600 that many investors and consumers support, but it is a plan. As Axios’ Alayna Treene writes, there will be a lot for Democrats to go over the rest of this week. Many on the other side of the aisle are discussing a plan closer to $4 trillion in total.

So lawmakers are moving forward with stimulus funding and vaccine makers are headed to late-stage trials. Why then are the major indices slumping Tuesday? A rush of second-quarter earnings just can’t bring any excitement, and this week is heavy with influential economic reports. Later today investors will hear about updates to consumer confidence levels. Despite many reopening measures, that figure is expected to drop.

As investors try to balance short-term excitement with long-term economic pain, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are opening in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.13%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.27%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.24%

Stocks Close Higher Monday on Stimulus, Vaccine Trials

[Monday, July 27, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Second-quarter earnings, stimulus funding and vaccine trials, oh my! Monday has truly been a whirlwind day in the stock market, and the week is only getting started.

One of the biggest headlines of the day comes from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), which kicked off its Phase 3 trial for a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. Adding to the excitement, the company reported receiving additional funding from the U.S. government. With more late-stage trials likely to start in the coming weeks, there is a lot for investors to anticipate.

Elsewhere in the investing world, mega-cap companies are turning up the temperature. We have second-quarter earnings reports due this week from the likes of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL). Also coming this week from four Big Tech CEOs is a Washington, D.C. testimony on anti-competitive practices and harmful behavior. Will lawmakers send some of these market leaders tumbling later in the week?

Oh, and if that isn’t enough, Monday saw more waves in the stimulus world. As we reported earlier this morning, a big victory for investors is a repeat of $1,200 direct payments from the government. But by Monday afternoon, investors learned that Republicans are not willing to extend $600 enhanced unemployment benefits. However, CNN’s Phil Mattingly writes that $200 enhanced payments are still on the negotiating table. As Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump work to hash out a plan, there are many tiny details still up in the air.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.74%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.44%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.67%

3 Undervalued Stocks to Buy for a Big Rally

[Monday, July 27, 3:40 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

InvestorPlace’s Nicolas Chahine lays out an interesting argument that feels like a scene straight from a Charles Dickens book — perhaps A Tale of Two Cities. One city on Wall Street is filled with red-hot companies and even a few names touching rock-bottom levels. Whether you see Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) or Carnival (NYSE:CCL), this city’s residents all have one thing in common. They have rallied far in 2020.

On the other side of Wall Street is a much sadder city. This city is filled with companies that have moved nowhere but down. Although some of the hardest-hit industries have already rebounded on hopes for a novel coronavirus vaccine and a reopened economy, some sectors have barely moved. Within this city Chahine sees a lot of hope — and a lot of “mediocrity.” According to Chahine, at this point in the pandemic, there is simply not much room for these companies to fall further. That’s why he is bullish on these three particular undervalued stocks.

If you are a bit of a literary buff, or are the type of person who likes to bet on an underdog, these stocks to buy seem perfect for you. Chahine is confident that with time, these stocks will come back in favor. The whole “city” represents major potential for investors, especially now that Chahine sees bulls being in charge for the long term.

Here are the top three undervalued stocks to buy now before a rally:

  • International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)
  • Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
  • Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEARCA:UUP)

Moderna Stock Pops on Launch of Phase 3 Trials

[Monday, July 27, 2:11 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

No Monday blues are holding Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) back in the stock market today. The maker of a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate is on fire. Shares are up more than 9% in intraday trading as the company launches the very first Phase 3 trial for such a vaccine candidate. Between the headlines, investors and consumers are imagining a return to normal, reopened schools and businesses, and just what vaccine success would mean for an individual company like Moderna.

As of today, 30,000 volunteer participants are kicking off Moderna’s large-scale trial. Run in partnership with the U.S. government, the COVE trial will test the effectiveness of mRNA-1273 against a placebo. After earlier trials, Moderna is moving forward with its “middle” dose of 100 micrograms. In these earlier stage studies, mRNA-1273 has proven it is safe and can at least trigger an immune response. Researchers will now be working to determine if the vaccine can prevent Covid-19 cases — and what effect it has on reducing hospitalizations.

According to BioPharma Dive’s Ben Fidler, another key piece of Monday’s news is the increase in government funding Moderna has received. Fidler writes that, through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the U.S. has pledged $500 million. That is nearly double earlier funding amounts that Moderna has received.

Moderna has long been a star in this race, and it hasn’t given up its lead yet. Four other vaccine candidates — including those from AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) and the duo of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) — could be heading to similar Phase 3 trials before the end of the summer. It is important to note that despite Moderna’s lead, and its early success, there are many caveats to such a coronavirus vaccine. Axios’ Caitlin Owens wrote this morning that first-generation vaccines are typically not all-powerful. In other words, they are more focused on mitigating damage, not eradicating the virus. Plus, manufacturing and deployment challenges still linger.

Clearly, it is important to have a touch of realism when evaluating the news. But Moderna’s announcement is big, and even a first-generation vaccine is likely to generate immense excitement. InvestorPlace’s Dana Blankenhorn also has an interesting take. To him, Moderna’s inclusion in this high-speed race is also a test of its drug discovery platform. For investors, that gives MRNA stock much greater long-term potential.

Whether you buy Moderna for mRNA-1273 or its long-term pipeline, know the company is in solid footing here. Just don’t bet everything on any one vaccine play.

Could This Tiny Tech Stock Save Big Auto?

[Monday, July 27, 10:50 a.m.]
Contributed by Matt McCall and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Across America, big automakers are rushing to get their hands on a new “super” battery.

That includes Ford (NYSE:F) … Mitsubishi … Porsche … Hyundai (OTCMKTS:HYMTF) … Toyota (NYSE:TM)…

Why is every big player in on this tech?

Well, this new “super” battery is so powerful that it could charge a car in minutes.

With this kind of technology, Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) cherished lithium-ion batteries would become obsolete. We could soon see electric cars in every garage in America.

The U.S. Department of Energy is calling this battery a “critical need” for the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

And Wired magazine is calling this kind of device the “Jesus Battery.”

And for investors, this new technology marks an incredible opportunity.

The company that currently produces the “super” battery is only 1/416th the size of General Motors (NYSE:GM).

And once its tech starts being used by big automakers, this company’s value could skyrocket!

That’s why I’m encouraging folks to pay attention to this company today.

I’ve made a career out of identifying some of the hottest stocks on the market, including extraordinary picks like:

  • (NASDAQ:STMP) for 2,772% gains.
  • Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) for 2,670% gains.
  • NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) for 1,104% gains.

I’m “betting big” on the small company behind the “super” battery because I believe it will be a key player in America’s electric car revolution.

To help folks understand this opportunity, I’ve put together a free presentation.

You can watch it here.

And trust us, once you learn more about this incredible battery, it won’t surprise you that America’s biggest automakers are ready to go all in.

Stocks Open Higher Monday on Big Stimulus Hopes

[Monday, July 27, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, it looks like another round of $1,200 checks are headed our way!

After several days of intense debates over stimulus funding, investors are excited. The major indices are mostly opening higher Monday on the back of a few big updates. To start, many experts are convinced a second round of $1,200 direct payments will be headed to Americans soon. Others predict this second round of payments will better compensate individuals for their dependents.

So what else has investors excited? It appears this new round of stimulus funding will include tax credits for small businesses, retention benefits and reemployment bonuses. However, Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick writes that the $600 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits is still quite controversial. Will those CARES Act payments be extended before they run out?

As the major indices open in the green, there is still a lot for investors to keep in mind. Big companies are reporting second-quarter earnings this week, economic releases are on the way and Big Tech CEOs are headed to Washington to defend their businesses. What else will be making waves in the stock market in the coming days?

For now, it is too early to tell. But the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are opening higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a turn lower right before the opening bell.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.13%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.09%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.56%

Stocks Close Lower Friday as the Bad News Continues

[Friday, July 24, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Have you read the children’s book The Stock Market and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? If you haven’t, price action in the major indices today can give you a sense of the plot.

OK, that may not be a real book. But the stock market gloom is real. U.S.-China trade tensions continue to escalate after some tit-for-tat actions with consulates. The U.S. Department of State is forcing China to close a consulate in Houston, and China wants the U.S. to close a consulate in Chengdu. Now, CNBC’s Amanda Macias writes it isn’t clear whether the U.S. will comply.

Elsewhere in the investing world, the bad news keeps rolling in. Earnings from big companies like Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) disappointed. Plus, Intel shared that its highly anticipated 7-nanometer chips will likely not be ready until 2022.

The novel coronavirus continues to take a toll on the U.S. and the rest of the world. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned Friday that a vaccine won’t be “widely” available until several months into 2021. As part of Operation Warp Speed, many investors have likely been eyeing January as a key month for widespread vaccination.

For now, investors are heading into the weekend with a terrible, very bad day — and a not-so-great week — behind them. Hopefully Monday will bring some sunshine, but it is too early to tell.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.62%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.69%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.94%

5 Online Education Stocks to Buy for a Virtual Semester

[Friday, July 24, 1:21 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Many parents’ worst nightmare is a dream come true for education companies. Money — from consumers and investors — is flowing into private companies like Udemy and Coursera. As Forbes’ Susan Adams writes, online classes now promise to teach everything from sourdough bread baking to the Python programming language. And thanks to the novel coronavirus, there is no shortage of online students.

In just a few weeks though, the market will shift from fun summer skills to full online curricula. President Donald Trump and his administration may be focused on reopening schools, but parents and educators are pushing forward with virtual offerings. A handful of counties in northern Virginia recently reversed on early policies, moving ahead with virtual-only fall semesters. Schools in Los Angeles and San Diego are doing the same. All over the country, students and educators will be swapping desks, chalkboards and worksheets for online learning.

As parents raise concerns about the missed benefits of in-person learning, families are forming education “pods” for the fall and turning to virtual offerings from public companies. Interest in modified homeschooling is skyrocketing, as is demand for tutors. According to InvestorPlace’s Gregg Early, here lies a major opportunity for investors.

And importantly, Early believes virtual education is not a short-term fad. Regulatory approval for a coronavirus vaccine, coupled with a clearer reopening plan, will surely have many families returning to in-person offerings. But as we have seen with all things virtual, there is massive potential. Families will continue to rely on education products and services to supplement traditional classroom learning, or simply as an alternative. With that in mind, get smart and buy these five online education stocks:

  • Chegg (NYSE:CHGG)
  • Arco Platform (NASDAQ:ARCE)
  • K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN)
  • Universal Technical Institute (NYSE:UTI)
  • New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NYSE:EDU)

Keep a Close Eye on the Upcoming Vital Farms IPO

[Friday, July 24, 12:22 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are you hungry for some scrambled eggs? What about a fried egg?

Vital Farms is counting on the fact that, maybe not right now, but sometime soon, you will be. And the soon-to-IPO company is likely correct. Americans are spending more time than before cooking at home, and demand for grocery-store staples like eggs remains high. The novel coronavirus has sent the “egg economy scrambling” and caused egg prices to rise.

On the back of this, Vital Farms just set terms for its IPO at 7.8 million shares between $15-$17.

Beyond rising demand for grocery items, Vital Farms benefits from a few other important catalysts. Namely, Vital Farms is the largest produce of pasture-raised eggs. Much of the company’s Form S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission focuses on the ethics behind its products. According to Vital Farms, each pasture-raised hen enjoys plenty of roaming room in fresh pastures, can enjoy fresh air and sunshine, and has the freedom to forage for grasses, succulents and wildflowers.

That sounds like a nice life, right? More importantly, it’s the life many consumers want chickens to have. Reports of animal abuse at factory farming setups have driven a push to alternative meat and dairy. They have also driven a push toward ethically sourced meat and dairy products. Food Dive’s Christopher Doering writes that this trend toward sustainability gives Vital Farms a long growth runway.

Are you skeptical? Think about it. We have already reported on how the pandemic is making more consumers environmentally conscious. Plant-based meat and dairy companies are thriving, and so are companies promising their products are made free of animal cruelty. Vital Farms’ IPO comes at a key time in the stock market. We want our chickens to lay eggs and have a little bit of fun, too. The company promises just that.

6 Strong Stocks to Buy Despite Market Anxiety

[Friday, July 24, 11:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Fear and anxiety are powerful motivators. We saw the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit incredible highs in the early weeks of the novel coronavirus crisis. The stock market just kept dropping. Investopedia’s Caleb Silver wrote that at the same time, the Investopedia Anxiety Index similarly hit record highs. But investors keep adding to their positions in stocks, and entering new ones.

No, the news isn’t new. We’ve all heard of the crowd of young investors on Robinhood and the tendencies to bid up even bankrupt stocks. The mentality behind “buying on the dip” has perhaps never been more clear than in the last several months. As even solid stocks tumbled to lows, it was clear to many investors that buying at low prices would lead to incredible payoffs. And boy, we have seen some remarkable payoffs already.

But Silver’s analysis of Investopedia readers has found an interesting group of six stocks. These six stocks were the most popular among readers between Feb. 19 and March 20. They held their top spots between April 10 and April 28. And nothing could shake them between June 9 and June 29.

Behind that initial analysis is the fact that those three periods were radically different from one another. Market sentiment was different. The coronavirus situation was different. The stocks driving the news — like vaccine makers, PPE providers and video conferencing tools — were different. But Investopedia’s readers stuck with — and added to their positions — in the same six stocks.

To me, this staying power is a sign of their market dominance. Instead of relying on short-term trends or leaning too heavily on the anxiety in the market, finding tried-and-true winners offers you shelter during the storm. If you agree with my logic, consider these six names stocks to buy:

  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • AT&T (NYSE:T)
  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)

3 5G Stocks You Cannot Ignore

[Friday, July 24, 10:00 a.m.]
Contributed by Matt McCall and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Across America, big companies are collapsing.

Hertz (NYSE:HTZ)…


Pier 1 Imports (OTCMKTS:PIRRQ)…

All toppled by the novel coronavirus.

But — even amid this bloodbath — one industry is surging.


Today, major 5G companies are still seeing incredible gains.

Here are just a few examples.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has seen its stock price double since March.

And Cisco Systems’ (NASDAQ:CSCO) stock jumped from $33 to over $46!

That’s rapid growth.

And the crazy thing is, those companies aren’t even the best opportunities in 5G.

I would argue that they are some of the worst.

Today, smart investors have the chance to make 50% … 100% … even 200% on their initial investment, based on past historical tech examples.

They just have to choose the right stocks — stocks that will allow them to profit from 5G for years.

Here’s the incredible part…

Many of the biggest opportunities in 5G — the superstars of tomorrow — are still small-cap stocks that very few people know about!

Like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was in 1991 … or Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) in 2003.

I just launched a free presentation for folks interested in learning about these 5G blockbusters.

You can check that out for a limited time here.

Stocks Open Lower Friday on Mix of Bad News

[Friday, July 24, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Not sure why stocks are sinking Friday morning? Start with a look at the website of the New York Times or any other major publication. The headlines are overwhelmingly negative.

After the U.S. Department of State forced China to close a consulate in Houston, China responded. Investors are likely not surprised to learn the U.S. must close its consulate in Chengdu, but it represents the dangers at the heart of U.S.-China tensions. Who will come out on top? And what will individual investors lose as two powerful nations battle it out?

And back within U.S. borders, things look rough too. Another headline declares life in California is a period of “emotional whiplash” as the state becomes a hotspot again for the novel coronavirus. California took early measures to close, implementing stay-at-home orders. But in recent days, the state has been forced to revisit lockdown measures and shutter recently reopened businesses. The pandemic situation is worsening, and cases continue to rise.

As second-quarter earnings pick up — and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) report next week — investors have a lot to process.

For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.67%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.5%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 1.53%

Stocks Close Lower on Jobless Claims, Tech Slump

[Thursday, July 23, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There were two key drivers of the stock market today — the morning’s initial jobless claims report and a continuing slump in tech stocks like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Unsurprisingly, a worse-than-expected jobless claims report hurt the market. Beyond missing expectations, it shows investors the economy isn’t recovering particularly fast. It also counters the argument that rushing to reopen businesses will save the economy. Businesses of all sorts are reopening — or have already reopened — in many states. Despite that, 1.4 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits in the past week. We will have to wait for next Thursday for an update.

The other big driver has been a slump in tech stocks. And there are many reasons for this. To start, there has been a ton of pressure on the market leaders. They have been pulling an enormous amount of weight while other sectors have lagged. It’s only natural they get a breather. Plus, second-quarter earnings season is really ramping up, and tech stocks are in the spotlight. Even the slightest disappointment will throw bulls for a loop.

But another factor likely behind Thursday’s gloom is a series of upcoming testimonies from tech CEOs. According to Reuters’ Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz, the CEOs will have to defend their companies’ growing power next week to a Congress that isn’t exactly friendly with Big Tech. At a time when consumers are relying on these companies for just about everything, investors aren’t appreciative of Washington’s involvement. Will anything that happens next week have a major negative impact?

As investors start to process all the news, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all closing in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 1.23%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 1.31%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 2.29%

Snap Stock Is a Buy on Its New ‘Minis’ Feature

[Thursday, July 23, 3:39 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The picture is pretty clear to InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango.

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) reported second-quarter earnings and investors are seriously missing the point. In the midst of a pandemic, the company’s users and revenue both grew 17% year-over-year. But many on Wall Street are fretting over projections for slower growth and the fact user growth missed estimates. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings, Lango writes that investors should be focused on the long term.

That long term looks pretty good thanks to new features like “Minis.” Just like it sounds, Minis is a serious of miniature apps users can access within Snapchat. From Lango:

“These product innovations underscore that Snap remains on track to become a nearly ubiquitous private communication platform for young consumers. Sure, monetizing private communication through ads is tough. But that’s why management is rolling out things like Minis, through which Snap can monetize private communication by becoming its own mini App Store and charging companies to have their apps integrated into Snap private chats.”

Like Lango says, these “Minis” are a great way for Snap to monetize private communication. The first comes in partnership with Headspace, a meditation company. According to The Verge’s Kim Lyons, the next three rollouts will focus on group decision-making, study aids and predictions. As the app reaches 90% of consumers ages 13 to 24 in the United States, the rollouts do a great job of targeting younger individuals. Mental health is in focus amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and virtual communication is increasingly needed.

Acknowledging the interests of Snap’s key demographic, “Minis” is likely to be popular. Headspace itself has seen enormous success amid the pandemic as consumers — and the entire state of New York — turn to meditation and sleep aids.

This popularity bodes well for profits. Marketing Brew’s Phoebe Bain writes that the miniature apps are “gold mines for brand marketers.” She sees this feature seriously incentivizing marketers to come to Snapchat’s platform. TechCrunch’s Manish Singh writes that this “mini app” feature is already popular in China and India. Snap has already credited Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) — the powerhouse behind WeChat — as a source of inspiration.

There is a lot for investors to digest in the social media world right now, and a lot of reason for careful meditation. But amid all the chaos, Snap’s “Minis” seem to be a pretty clear win.

3 Hotel Stocks to Buy for Rebounding Travel

[Thursday, July 23, 2:53 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It hasn’t been a pretty period for hotel and travel stocks, but InvestorPlace’s Divya Premkumar thinks things are starting to look up for the sector.

Why? Well, slowly but surely, travel demand is starting to rebound. At the end of June, a report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization indicated that 22% of international destinations had eased restrictions. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a marked improvement from past levels according to Forbes’ contributor Gabriel Leigh. Plus, Bloomberg’s Jinshan Hong and Daniela Wei reported that China was beginning to ease some restrictions on Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub.

There is still a long way to go, but international travel will continue to pick back up. Plus, citing analysts, Premkumar makes the case that investors who buy hotel stocks now will benefit from a massive rally. Just think about what vaccine approval would mean for the sector!

If you’re dreaming of mini hotel shampoo bottles and summer vacations, here are three hotel stocks to buy:

  • MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM)
  • Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT)
  • Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR)

6 Stocks to Buy for a Reopening Retail Wave

[Thursday, July 23, 2:00 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Simply put, our habits are changing amid the novel coronavirus. We work, learn and socialize at home. Some of us have developed new hobbies — we listen to podcasts, make bread, participate in video-conferencing yoga classes and watch marble racing. And according to AP News’ Anne D’Innocenzio, at least anecdotally, the way we eat and exercise is also changing.

Behind that shift are many realities. Gyms were closed for several weeks, adults were thrust into tricky work-life situations and comfort food sales spiked as households prepped for quarantine. Plus, early studies show more Americans are dealing with poor mental health than before. All that combined makes for the perfect recipe for changing bodies.

For investors, we have explored the rise in plant-based stocks as a result of pandemic health trends. However, there is another trend brewing beneath the surface. Businesses are reopening, and workers are headed back to the office. If your body has changed drastically, or even by just a few pounds, you’re likely in need of a new wardrobe. Particularly looking at the need for office-appropriate garb, Axios’ Erica Pandey sees this trend as a potential “blessing” for cash-strapped retailers.

Where should you start? Well, if you need to replace an entire wardrobe, cost is especially important. Americans have become savings-focused these last few months, and high-end retailers don’t exactly scream “frugal.” So look for general retailers — a place consumers can buy office wear, lounge wear and shorts to beat the summer heat. And more importantly, look for general retailers at a discounted price point. Three great stocks to buy with these factors in mind are TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) and Burlington Stores (NYSE:BURL).

InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango has a few more stocks in mind for this trend. He identifies Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX) and Express (NYSE:EXPR) as being other key beneficiaries of this reopening wave. Whether you are more of a subscription service shopper or a lover of brick-and-mortar malls, Lango’s picks cater to consumers headed back to the office.

There are a few key takeaways here. At the peak of stay-at-home orders, we saw a few retailers thrive. But most Americans didn’t have good reason for a shopping splurge. A return to work combined with a need for a new wardrobe is a catalyst for spending. For retailers at the right price point, this could be a big deal.

Grab your wallets, buy some comfy work pants and check out these retail stocks.

Free Report: The 7 Best Income Stocks To Invest In Today

[Thursday, July 23, 12:57 p.m.]
Contributed by Neil George

In a market filled with volatility … you need a way to learn how to grow your portfolio while eliminating risk as much as possible.

Simply put, there’s no better way than investing in income stocks.

Because income stocks are some of the most reliable on Wall Street.

Whether the market booms or busts, these work horse stocks can put cash in your pocket no matter what.

Inside your complimentary research report you’ll receive…

  • Expert financial analysis covering the seven best income stocks to invest in today…
  • A complete history of providing stable and high income…
  • A breakdown of their current value…
  • Exactly how to profit, including ticker symbols…
  • Why you can count on these cash-generating superstars for the next decade or more…

And so much more! Click here to download your free report.

5 Telehealth Stocks to Buy Now

[Thursday, July 23, 10:36 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Telehealth stocks are certainly not a new investing opportunity. Ever since the novel coronavirus struck the United States in early March, the leaders in the space have been on fire. But InvestorPlace’s Chris Markoch wrote today that they are still relevant, and they will only accelerate moving forward.

Let’s start with the basics on why telehealth offerings are popular — and why telehealth stocks have been thriving. To start, telehealth makes healthcare safer and more accessible. In Michigan, reporters found that telehealth visits were “surging” as doctors closed their offices. Non-essential surgeries and in-person appointments came to represent risky virus exposure. With telehealth, you can get information on a variety of basic care topics all from the comfort of your home.

And even before the pandemic, people were turning to telehealth to save time and money.

For Markoch, though, one of the biggest benefits of telehealth offerings is that they restore intimacy to the doctor-patient relationship. As the pandemic forces consumers to rethink their lives, it’s nice to have access to needed care from the comfort of your home. Those minutes connecting with a healthcare professional will matter even more, and likely feel more personal. Think about it like a virtual house call!

Bottom line: Telehealth stocks aren’t going away. If you haven’t already bought in, start with these five recommendations from Markoch.

  • Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC)
  • Livongo Health (NASDAQ:LVGO)
  • One Medical (NASDAQ:ONEM)
  • Humana (NYSE:HUM)
  • CVS Health (NYSE:CVS)

Stocks Slump Thursday on Unemployment, Stimulus News

[Thursday, July 23, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are you starting to hate Thursdays too?

Every week, investors kick off Thursday with a gloomy look at the economic situation. Sure, businesses are reopening and some aspects of “normal” life seem to have returned. But each week more and more Americans file for initial unemployment benefits. This week we learned that another 1.42 million had filed for such benefits, up from 1.3 million last week. What’s happening? And how will the rise in novel coronavirus cases continue to impact this figure?

Elsewhere in the investing world, lawmakers are offering some promise. Remember, we started this week on hopes for renewed stimulus funding in the U.S. But the last several days have seen lawmakers come to a stalemate. As usual, it’s hard to get President Donald Trump, Democrats and Republicans to all agree. But late Wednesday evening, it seems a compromise was reached.

According to CNBC, lawmakers reached some consensus on stimulus funding for testing, schools and direct payments. Still up for debate is a short-term extension to enhanced unemployment insurance benefits and a payroll tax cut. What will today’s debates bring? It’s too early to tell.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.12%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.18%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.24%

Stocks Shake Off U.S.-China Tensions to Close Higher

[Wednesday, July 22, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

What happened to the stock market? Earlier this morning investors learned that the U.S. Department of State was forcing a Chinese consulate in Houston to close. That, coupled with long-time tensions between the United States and China, raised serious panic.

Essentially, investors know that many American tech companies rely on relationships with China. These tech companies make investors a lot of money. Putting two and two together, anything that threatens those tech companies threatens the livelihood of many market participants.

But as the market closed, that fear seems far enough way. Perhaps the calm is thanks to rumors ByteDance is considering a U.S. spinoff of its TikTok. In many ways, TikTok has become a key symbol of this newest wave of trade tensions. If U.S. consumers can keep TikTok and feel good about it, that seems like a win-win situation.

The other big driver in the stock market on Wednesday was vaccine news from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). The duo announced they had received $1.95 billion from the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of their candidate for the novel coronavirus. The U.S. also has the option to acquire another 500 million doses. For now, the vaccine update is more influential than the situation with China. But remember, things can change in an instant.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.58%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.62%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.24%

Quest Diagnostics Looks Hot on High Testing Demand

[Wednesday, July 22, 3:33 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Remember when test kit stocks were some of the hottest on the market? It feels like forever ago.

Investors should take that as a symptom of our fast-moving pandemic situation, instead of a reflection on the stocks. In fact, testing is more important now than ever before. We need testing to get back to the office, to get NFL games back on our TVs and our children back in schools … eventually.

As novel coronavirus cases rise, a renewed wave of pressure is hitting Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) and its peers. Axios’ Caitlin Owens writes that on average, it takes a lab one week to process a coronavirus test and deliver results. Plus, these labs likely only have capacity to prioritize those who are symptomatic. James Davis, the executive vice president at Quest Diagnostics, is already warning that regular flu season could destroy the nation’s testing capacity.

For investors, this means two things. One, demand for testing is still rising. That’s why Merrill Lynch analyst Derik de Bruin recently raised his price target on DGX stock to $142. A few months ago, many on Wall Street thought the pandemic would be irrelevant by now. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Demand for testing will continue to rise, and Quest will benefit thanks to this demand.

The second key takeaway is that companies like Quest Diagnostics need to expand their capacity. Owens wrote that long processing times pose a public health concern. Will people self-quarantine for a week while they wait for results?

Big news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration makes the case for Quest — and the state of testing — look a whole lot brighter. On Saturday, the FDA granted emergency-use authorization to Quest for its Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test. Essentially, this test allows labs to take swabs from four individuals and test them at the same time. Axios’ Jacob Knutson writes that this will allow labs to confirm infection with less resources and should also help address testing backlogs. There are important considerations, including the need for follow-up tests with individuals if the pooled sample comes back “positive” for the coronavirus. However, it’s still a big step in increasing capacity in the U.S.

With the FDA on its side and a plan to rise to the challenge, keep Quest Diagnostics stock in mind. Wall Street seems to think upside potential is limited, but testing demand will only continue to grow.

9 Stocks to Buy for a Second Wave of the Coronavirus

[Wednesday, July 22, 1:54 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Even President Donald Trump said it. The situation with the novel coronavirus is likely to get worse before it gets better.

As Trump publicly dons a face mask, it is time for investors to once again consider so-called coronavirus stocks. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising around the United States. Other countries are facing a similar resurgence.

Plus, as the U.S. navigates balancing reopening with public health risks, there is a lot for investors to consider. How long will testing take? How will the regular flu season impact the nation’s ability to respond to the pandemic? And is there any way out of this mess?

According to InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto, the coronavirus is top of mind for most Americans. In fact, one recent public opinion survey found that Americans are more worried about the spread of Covid-19 than the current state of the economy. Based on that, Enomoto thinks many of these consumers are going to start bracing themselves for the worst-case scenario. They will turn to services and products that worked during the first phase of stay-at-home orders. They will also turn to more speculative plays like vaccine makers — all in attempts to bring about a return to “normal.”

For investors, this means these nine companies are top stocks to buy:

  • Kroger (NYSE:KR)
  • Costco (NASDAQ:COST)
  • Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC)
  • Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM)
  • Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)
  • Wheaton Precious Metals (NYSE:WPM)
  • Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB)
  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO)
  • Robert Half International (NASDAQ:RHI)

Pfizer and BioNTech Stock Climb on U.S. Funding News

[Wednesday, July 22, 11:35 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Vaccine duo Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) are on a roll. Just days after announcing results from their early human trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine, the pair is in the news again. On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech signed a $1.95 billion agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That lump sum will provide Americans with 100 million doses — if the vaccine should prove effective.

There’s a catch, and it’s one investors should like. Thanks to the high-dollar deal, the U.S. will make the doses available to Americans free of charge. Down the line, the deal also gives the U.S. the right to acquire another 500 million doses.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jared Hopkins and Chris Wack have a few more important details for investors. To start, the deal values each dose at about $19.50. Hopkins and Wack also note that this is the largest such supply deal signed thus far. Take it in context with Operation Warp Speed and other plans in the U.S. to ramp up mass vaccination, once a vaccine has been cleared by regulators.

This week, investors have gotten several updates on human vaccine trials. The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) similarly found that their candidate was safe and triggered an immune response. Yesterday, CanSino Biologics (OTCMKTS:CASBF) reported that its candidate was safe, although the trial results question the role of participants’ prior immunity.

From an investment standpoint, Pfizer and BioNTech are far along in the race. The duo is progressing in human trials, and the U.S. government is putting its money where its mouth is. While a lot stands in between us and a ready vaccine, those leading the way are a great place for investors to start.

Here’s How a Breakthrough Smartphone ‘Stole the Show’

[Wednesday, July 22, 10:00 a.m.]
Contributed by Matt McCall and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Earlier this year, my research team and I went to the largest tech conference in the world — the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

It was an amazing experience.

Walking around the showrooms was like being transported into the future…

We saw flying cars, cutting-edge virtual reality, even a robot that could play ping-pong as well as a human.

(I’m not kidding. I played against it and it got a few points on me.)

But one piece of technology was far and away the most impressive…

There was a new innovation on display that downright “stole the show.”

And the curious thing was … it wasn’t driver-less cars, 5G or AI.

It was a next-generation smartphone…

This phone was so impressive, I predict in no time virtually every American is going to be using one…

And it’s going to be life-changing.

It’s going to transform how we shop, how we travel, how we get an education and how we communicate.

Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on an early prototype of one of these breakthrough phones…

And I was so blown away by what it was capable of, I put together a full presentation all about it which you can view right here.

During the presentation, I even give a “live demo” of how this new phone works…

Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this.

Stocks Open Lower Wednesday on U.S.-China Tensions

[Wednesday, July 22, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The war against ByteDance’s TikTok — err, the U.S.-China Trade War — is heating up.

Investors are seeing the results of that Wednesday morning, after several months where U.S.-China relations weren’t top of mind. Sure, the issues were still there, but they took a back seat to the novel coronavirus and domestic social justice movements.

Not too long ago, Attorney General William Bar made his positioning very clear. He warned that American companies were serving as “pawns” to the Chinese Communist Party. He also singled out individual companies, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Other top advisors of President Donald Trump have given similarly heated speeches. 5G giant Huawei is under fire in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. TikTok faces threats of bans in the U.S. — both from individual corporations and from the entire federal government. What will happen to our short-form video content?

On Wednesday, things took another turn for the worse. A U.S. Department of State representative confirmed that America was waving goodbye to a Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas. In other words, the consulate is being forced to close. Investors know what this means. China could retaliate, and it could have a serious impact on the many tech companies that rely on it for success.

As investors ponder the future of U.S.-China relations, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are opening in the red. The Nasdaq Composite managed to squeak out a green open.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.03%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.11%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.08%

Stocks Cut Gains, Close Slightly Higher on Tuesday

[Tuesday, July 21, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Unfortunately, Tuesday morning’s big rally didn’t translate to big gains at the end of the day. In fact, all of the major indices pulled back — although the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average did manage to end Tuesday in the green.

What happened? Well, after an impressive performance, tech stocks took a breather … again. Yesterday investors could thank Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for leading the way after favorable price-target hikes. This morning, news of a European Union stimulus deal and talks of similar funding in the United States gave bulls the lead. But, early stimulus talks on Tuesday have yet to manifest in concrete plans. In short, investors want more money, and they want it now.

Because of this, the Nasdaq Composite actually reversed course and ended the day in the red.

After the closing bell, investors will process earnings from Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and a handful of other companies. Tomorrow, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be in the spotlight. What will these big companies bring to the table? And what will this week’s look at unemployment tell us about the economy? It seems that investors are looking for more meaningful signs of recovery than price-target hikes and stimulus rumors.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.17%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.6%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.81%

Opko Health Stock Pops on NFL Testing Plan

[Tuesday, July 21, 3:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are investors really that desperate for live sporting events to return? It appears so, as Opko Health  (NASDAQ:OPK) is rallying almost 20% in intraday trading.

So what’s behind this big move? Well, Opko Health has a subsidiary called BioReference Laboratories. And apparently, this subsidiary can handle diagnostics for the novel coronavirus. The company had already made waves when it announced contracts with the NBA and MLS to test players — as major sports leagues flirt with shortened seasons, player “bubbles” and all sorts of other means to restart live events, testing is key.

But BioReference Labs really got investors’ attention when the subsidiary announced it would be partnering with the NFL to test players, coaches and staff for 32 teams in 30 cities. For the first two weeks of training, these tests will happen every day, and then gradually be needed less frequently.

The Motley Fool’s Todd Campbell thinks the NFL and NBA deals are likely immaterial compared to Opko Health’s total revenue. Plus, OPK stock has already soared more than 300% in 2020. This doesn’t mean its partnerships with major sports leagues aren’t important. However, investors should think critically about why they are supporting a stock.

For Opko Health, perhaps the intrigue is in the broader importance of mass testing. American consumers love watching NBA, MLS and NFL games, but they certainly are not essential to daily life. Opko’s BioReference Laboratories can test about 450,000 people per day, and will prioritize high-profile partners like the sports leagues. If the company can up its capacity, and more and more large businesses turn to daily tests as reopening progresses, perhaps we will see more material deals.

The bottom line is this: Testing — like the development of a vaccine — seems key to helping the world return to normal. Opko Health is providing that testing, essentially facilitating the return of something many consumers hold dear. Further upside potential is unclear, but investors should take notice of Opko and its peers. These days, you never know what is right around the corner.

New Vaccine Data from CanSino Biologics Show Promise

[Tuesday, July 21, 2:15 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Boy, this is quite a week to be a vaccine maker.

China’s CanSino Biologics (OTCMKTS:CASBF) joined the club of companies reporting human trial results for novel coronavirus vaccine candidates this week. Importantly, the CanSino trial in Wuhan — the original epicenter of the virus — is the second-largest such trial. There were more than 500 healthy participants, while a trial between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) saw more than 1,000 participants. The large scale helps give a clearer picture of the candidate.

There are a few more important takeaways from the trial data, which were released in The Lancet. The vaccine candidate triggered an immune response in nearly all of the participants. And even more importantly, the candidate triggered a T-cell response in addition to antibody production in some participants. BioPharma Dive’s Ned Pagliarulo wrote today that this is encouraging news.

However, CanSino’s trial wasn’t perfect. The vaccine candidate uses a cold virus to “shuttle” genetic information designed to target the unique spike protein of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, all trial participants already had some antibody presence against that cold virus. Pagliarulo breaks down the complicated science a bit more, suggesting the structure of this vaccine and prior immunity to the cold virus it relies on could make the candidate less effective.

One more critique of the vaccine candidate is that it was not as effective in triggering an immune response in older patients. As the coronavirus has long threatened older populations, this is the opposite of what researchers are looking for.

Whether or not the CanSino Biologics candidate makes it all the way, investors should be paying close attention to the news. Like the candidate from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, CanSino’s candidate has demonstrated what is possible. These candidates were produced relatively quickly, and human trials are occurring at record speeds. Yet, the candidates are moving through early stage trials, proving to be safe and bringing about an immune response.

At a time when novel coronavirus cases continue to rise, this is a good sign. Perhaps projects like Operation Warp Speed will make good on their promise — and we all know how much is resting on a prevalent vaccine.

3 Social Media Stocks to Buy for In-App Purchases

[Tuesday, July 21, 1:42 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Picture this. You are curled up on the couch or in bed, browsing through your social media apps. Your computer and your wallet are far away. What do you do when you stumble upon a product you just simply have to buy.

In the “old” days, you would have to get out of your comfy position and go grab your cards and laptop. Or, you’d at least have to leave the app and navigate through the company’s mobile website. Chances are, the inconvenience of the process alone would convince you that your “need” is more of a “want.” Companies are trying to change that, and they’re partnering up with beloved social media apps to do so. Now, with just a few thumb clicks, your new purchase will be headed your way. Making big news in the space was Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) when it announced its new in-app Shops feature.

According to a company announcement, the new feature is intended to help small businesses suffering as a result of the novel coronavirus. With stores closed, these businesses can choose to embrace Facebook and connect with at-home customers. Plus, people have long been using Facebook’s Marketplace feature to buy and sell a variety of goods. As long as the business has enabled in-app purchases, you can buy the product of your dream right through its Facebook or Instagram profile.

According to InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango, the Facebook Shops feature puts $1,000 in sight for FB stock. Clearly, in-app purchases are a great share-price catalyst.

Importantly for investors, Facebook isn’t the only stock benefitting from so-called “social commerce.” Retail Brew’s Halie LeSavage highlighted that Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) have rolled out similar features. Snapchat features shoppable business profiles, and LeSavage thinks a marketplace could be on the way. Pinterest users can also browse products “pins” and make purchases right in the app.

So how does rolling out a social commerce feature turn into revenue? According to Forbes’ senior contributor Pamela Danziger, businesses that choose to use Facebook’s payments feature will pay a 5% processing fee. Pinterest makes money off of promoted product pins as well as click-to-buy posts.

For right now, treat Facebook, Snap and Pinterest all as stocks to buy for their social commerce potential. LeSavage concludes that the trend is hot, but no one platform has pulled ahead. Each also features different user demographics, so they are reaching different markets.

At a time when retailers are being forced to innovate or die, embracing social media platforms as a small business could be a lifeline. For investors, these social commerce features could be a path to gains.

MercadoLibre Stock Is a Buy as E-Commerce Booms

[Tuesday, July 21, 11:57 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

You’ve surely heard that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) are benefitting from a massive surge in e-commerce. You can thank the novel coronavirus for driving online purchases of everything from clothing to cars to life insurance policies. But if you haven’t been following the boom of e-commerce in Latin America, you could be seriously missing out.

Apptopia’s Adam Blacker just rounded up some insights on Latin American shopping apps. Ruling out big companies like Amazon that aren’t based in the region, MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) comes in at the top spot. Actually, even if Blacker were to include Amazon, MercadoLibre’s regional strength still earns it the top spot for mobile app sessions.

If you haven’t heard of MercadoLibre, it is an Argentina-based company that operates an online marketplace and auction site. Importantly, it also has operations in  Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Spain, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela. And with a market capitalization over $50 billion, it’s not a tiny company.

Blacker’s review of mobile app data also highlights an important investing takeaway. Just as we’ve seen consumers embrace online shopping for new types of purchases, we are seeing whole regions embrace online shopping at higher levels than before. Downloads of shopping apps in Latin America are up 43% year-over-year. According to Visa, 13 million cardholders in the region made online purchases for the first time ever in the March quarter. And sessions on these apps are also growing at an impressive clip.

As MercadoLibre and its peers see similar adoption of e-commerce, it’s important for investors to take note. MELI stock has gained almost 80% in 2020 on the back of this online shopping growth. Sure, as InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango points out, it will be hard for MercadoLibre to keep up the pace in the short term. However, e-commerce is only going up from here. With that in mind, MELI stock is a great buy if you have the long term in mind.

Pandemic-Driven SPACs Are Still Looking Hot

[Tuesday, July 21, 11:30 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

No, you’re not imagining things. There really has been a rush of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) activity in recent weeks. Otherwise known as a blank-check company, these SPACs are an alternate to the traditional initial public offering process. And according to the Wall Street Journal’s  Alexander Osipovich, the novel coronavirus is making SPACs much more popular.

I know it’s hard, but think back to pre-pandemic times. You might remember that Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) came public in a similarly unusual way. In October 2019, the SPCE ticker hit the New York Stock Exchange. But before that, blank-check company Social Capital Hedosophia was trading under the ticker IPOA. The two merged, and through a somewhat nontraditional path, SPCE was born.

At the time, experts suggested Virgin Galactic’s Sir Richard Branson took the SPAC path because of how companies like Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) performed in their IPOs. Perhaps it would have been too hard to value Virgin Galactic, or perhaps the SPAC route guaranteed it better post-debut performance.

But in recent weeks, SPACs have seemingly become the normAxios’ Dan Primack wrote that “SPACs Are the New IPOs.” Electric vehicle darling Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) came public through a SPAC, and peer Fisker is also set to debut the same way. Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings will soon debut on the NYSE under ticker PSTH.U. Behind that headline is news the SPAC will be the largest ever — coming in at $4 billion. Ackman has said that his blank-check company is targeting “mature unicorns.” Property Solutions Acquisition will also debut this week on the Nasdaq Exchange under ticker PSACU. The smaller SPAC is set to raise $200 million.

This form of alternate IPO isn’t a new market concept — in fact, it’s been around for years. But after a lull in IPOs thanks to the pandemic, investors are hungry for any new offerings. Primack thinks the current situation is a “Petri dish” for SPACs, especially as SPAC offerings tend to hit the market sooner.

Take the new trend as a sign of pent-up demand. Bulls are in charge of the market in many ways, and they want new public companies. How they get to the market doesn’t matter.

Top 10 Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2020

[Tuesday, July 21, 10:16 a.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Wall Street money managers, financial advisors and mutual funds all want you to believe one thing: That the regular guy can’t beat the market … and that you need to pay outrageous fees if you want to do so.

Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

Which is why, for the past 40 years, I have been showing ordinary Americans my winning secrets for crushing the markets.

Now, I have released my most anticipated report of the year.

Click here to receive your free report detailing the top 10 stocks to buy for the rest of 2020.

Stocks Open Higher Tuesday on Stimulus Hopes

[Tuesday, July 21, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Yesterday we had Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), today we have stimulus deals. As a result, investors on both sides of the pond are bidding up the major indices to start Tuesday in the green.

According to Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick, the European Union agreed to a 750 billion euro recovery fund that will use joint borrowing to help member nations. Approximately half of the total amount will be issued as grants to hard-hit nations — particularly those with more tourism-dependent economies. The rest of the stimulus funding will be issued as loans with low interest rates.

This should keep Europe-based stocks climbing on Tuesday, as investors have long been waiting for a final decision from the European Union. With a reduced summer travel season, many nations are facing particular devastation.

Over in Washington, the mood is similarly optimistic. At the end of the month, several provisions from the CARES Act are set to expire. Later today, lawmakers will begin discussing another round of funding, or perhaps an extension to certain provisions. There has been much debate over what stimulus measures to approve, such as a second round of individual stimulus checks, an infrastructure bill or extensions to unemployment bonuses. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are set to meet later today to begin this conversation.

Will bullish investors be rewarded with more stimulus funds? It’s hard to say, especially given the partisan split on the issue. But for now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening higher.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.51%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.7%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 2.51%

Stocks Close Higher Monday Thanks to Amazon

[Monday, July 20, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) truly has the power to disrupt everything, including a bout of market gloom. That’s exactly what happened today, as a new price target from Goldman Sachs sent AMZN stock — and the rest of the Nasdaq Composite — soaring. Amazon shares closed higher by almost 8%.

Goldman Sachs and Jefferies see “accelerating e-commerce” taking AMZN to $3,800. That implies almost 30% upside from its current price, and would represent a ton of gains. Remember, the giant has already added more than $500 billion to its market capitalization in 2020. One positive of the novel coronavirus has been that more people than ever are shopping online. As cases continue to rise and more consumers get comfortable with the habit, this trend looks likely to hold.

One reason why this price target hike is so important is that last week, tech stocks were lagging. After impressive rallies in 2020, many names needed a breather. But tech stocks have been a driving force for the Nasdaq and other major indices. Without them pulling their weight, the stock market showed signs of pandemic fear. Today, Amazon has returned the Nasdaq to its glory.

Elsewhere in the investing world, Monday saw a handful of vaccine reports and rising cases around the world. On tap for this week is a long list of second-quarter earnings reports and a weekly check of initial jobless claims. Will Amazon be able to keep up its market-moving performance?

For now, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.84%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.03%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 2.51%

7 Oil Stocks to Buy Ahead of Earnings

[Monday, July 20, 3:33 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Oil companies as stocks to buy? In 2020? Who would have thought.

This has been a rough time for the oil and natural gas industries. Overall sentiment — especially against pipelines — is resoundingly negative. Recent court actions have shown that much. Then factor in the novel coronavirus. Amid demand drops and supply gluts, Russia waged a price war over crude oil with Saudi Arabia. The result? Futures contracts for oil that saw negative prices.

Many things about the oil situation aren’t likely to change. Overall sentiment will likely remain negative, and depending on the outcome of the November election, we could see more anti-pipeline rulings. Plus, a push for alternative energy sources and “green” actions will counter the fossil fuel.

But this isn’t deterring InvestorPlace’s Tom Taulli as the second-quarter earnings season ramps up. Today he rounded up the top seven oil stocks to buy to benefit from recovery in the space and high yields. He wrote that while volatility — fueled by rising novel coronavirus cases — will remain, there’s still potential. That’s because high yields offset the risks.

For right now, you can find handsome profits in these seven oil stocks:

  • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
  • Chevron (NYSE:CVX)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.B)
  • BP (NYSE:BP)
  • ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)
  • Enbridge (NYSE:ENB)
  • Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO)

Pfizer and BioNTech Pop on Vaccine Results

[Monday, July 20, 3:08 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Did someone say “vaccine” three times fast? Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) are sure acting like it. The duo joined AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) on Monday in reporting clinical trial results from their novel coronavirus vaccine candidate BNT162b1.

So what exactly were the results? Well, Pfizer and BioNTech shared initial data from an ongoing Phase I/II trial in Germany. In the early stage trial, the duo found that their vaccine candidate stimulated an immune response from virus-fighting T cells. According to BioPharma Dive’s Jonathan Gardner, these T cells can target the coronavirus’ signature “spike” protein. Of 60 trial participants, this T-cell response was present in 36 individuals.

Importantly, it is to early to tell if BNT162b1 will work to prevent the coronavirus disease. That’s because it is unclear what level of immune response is necessary to offer protection. However, these early results are promising as they show the vaccine candidate is safe and is able to trigger some immune response. Pfizer and BioNTech will now use this initial data to determine dose levels. Then, they will move the vaccine candidate into late-stage, larger trials of the vaccine.

Investors should keep a close eye on Pfizer and BioNTech. The duo is far along in the race, joining AstraZeneca and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) in releasing results from human trials. Plus, earlier on Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech agreed to supply the United Kingdom with 30 million doses. By the end of 2020, the pair plans to have produced 100 million doses by the end of the year and 1 billion doses by the end of next year.

Don’t miss out on the next big vaccine announcement.

‘High-Yield Hunger’ Will Save These 3 Cruise Stocks

[Monday, July 20, 1:51 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Cruise stocks have found an unlikely lifeline as investors flirt with high-yield debt.

The likes of Carnival (NYSE:CCL), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) have a lot to thank the Federal Reserve for. With interest rates at near-zero levels for the foreseeable future, many investors are desperate for yield. And there’s no better place for bullish investors to find it than the cruise operators.

At one point it seemed as if the novel coronavirus would drown cruise stocks for good. The whole world became fixated on stories of trapped passengers, rampant outbreaks and staff mistreatment. Can you even imagine being stuck on a cruise ship during a pandemic? But one thing about consumers is that demand always returns — even when the logic isn’t there. We previously reported that bookings over a three-day period soared 600% when Carnival announced plans to resume sailing.

That all is changing. Sure, things still look pretty bleak for the cruise operators. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended no-sail orders for cruise ships through the end of September. And as Barron’s Lawrence Strauss wrote, we could very well be waiting until 2021 for cruising to return. But for investors, the high-yield debt is there.

According to Strauss, all three of the big operators are at “junk” status when it comes to their debt. Investors keep buying it up, giving Carnival, Royal and Norwegian enough liquidity to survive the storm. Some, like Moody’s analyst Pete Trombetta think this “high-yield hunger” is enough to keep the cruise operators afloat through the middle of 2021 — even without operations.

So now that we can have a little confidence in their survival chances, what should investors do? InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango sees CCL, RCL and NCLH as stocks to buy. He wrote at the end of June that cruise stocks are recovery-sensitive. What does this mean? Well, as more signs point to economic recovery, we will see a rally in the hardest-hit names. For investors that get in now at rock-bottom prices, the payout looks rich.

With that in mind, add the big cruise operators to your “buy” list. Heck, after they recover, you could even pay for your cruise with the gains.

What Are the Dark Pools?

[Monday, July 20, 1:25 p.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

When it comes to the financial markets, there’s an entire hidden world the public never gets to see…

A secret undercurrent that moves individual stocks, even entire markets.

And it’s influencing our daily lives, whether you realize it or not.

It’s a place known as the Dark Pools.

If you know what’s happening in this hidden corner of the market, you can anticipate massive stock moves with shocking regularity.

And through her Dark Pools research, that’s exactly what my new colleague Stefanie Kammerman — a former Wall Street trader — has done for the past 26 years.

It’s how she’s called the last 14 market corrections (including the recent coronavirus market panic) before they happened…

It’s how she has a 92% success rate picking winning trade recommendations.

And it’s how she found trade recommendations that could have handed you 400% … 700% … even 1,900% in a matter of days with a special type of play.

Even in down markets.

Simply put, there’s never been a better time for this type of research than right now.

Which is why we at InvestorPlace recently teamed up with Stefanie to bring you her full findings…

She recently sat down with Matt McCall for the first ever Dark Pool Summit.

During this special presentation, Stefanie explained the full details behind the Dark Pools … how they work … how they can spot big market corrections … why they’re so accurate … and how they could help you find some of the most lucrative trades on the market.

The impact this could have on your wealth if you choose to act on it is incredible … enabling you to see big gains in no time.

I suggest you watch this free presentation now by going here.

I hope you can join us. This an event you’re not going to want to miss.

Watch it here now.

AstraZeneca Stock Falls Despite Positive Trial Results

[Monday, July 20, 12:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Investors finally got results from AstraZeneca’s (NYSE:AZN) vaccine trial, but AZN stock is sinking. No, the results didn’t look bad. In fact, many experts have remarked on how they are “positive” or “in line” with expectations. But after waiting for AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to release results for their novel coronavirus candidate, investors had high hopes.

Last week, AZN stock soared when British journalist Robert Peston reported trial results were on the way. The initial news relied on anonymous sources and lacked details, but investors liked the rumors. Even when the report — set for publication in The Lancet — didn’t come the next day, things still looked good for AstraZeneca bulls.

Now on Monday, that report is finally here and it looks good. In a company press release, AstraZeneca announced that vaccine candidate AZD1222 showed “robust immune responses” in all Phase I/II trial participantsBloomberg’s James Paton, Stephanie Baker and Suzi Ring wrote that the candidate showed “dual immune action.” The vaccine increased levels of both neutralizing antibodies and immune T-cells. Scientists see the production of neutralizing antibodies as an early sign a candidate could be effective against the novel coronavirus.

Yes, you’re reading that right. The announcement from AstraZeneca is good news, and researchers are already beginning to conduct the next phases of clinical trials. But investors had high expectations — perhaps for headlines of a miracle cure — that seem impossible to meet.

Share-price declines on Monday aren’t a sign that AstraZeneca is a stock to sell. In fact, AZN is still a leader in the race to fight the coronavirus. It is working with President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed to have 300 million doses of AZD1222 available as early as October 2020. The vaccine space will simply remain volatile as cases rise and pressures for an effective treatment mount. Remember though, the winner of this race will make shareholders a pretty penny. Don’t count AZN out just yet.

5 Bank Stocks to Buy as the Economy Improves

[Monday, July 20, 12:20 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

In case you missed it, the big banks kicked off earnings season last week.

Boy, were those reports in focus. Banks are in a tricky spot. The last time the United States saw these levels of unemployment, stock market woe and economic devastation was the Great Recession. And undeniably, big banks played a role in that crisis. But as InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango has continued to argue, things are different now.

To start, a lot of regulatory changes have come into effect since the Great Recession. Banks have cleaned themselves up, and they now operate with protective mechanisms in place. Plus, a pandemic, not a real estate bubble, triggered our current situation. That hasn’t stopped bank stocks from suffering in 2020, but it also means big banks are stocks to buy.

Let’s take stock of the situation really quick. Why are bank stocks hurting? Well, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero levels. Then, banks were hit with halts on share repurchases and caps on dividends. But all of these problems are a result of the pandemic, not any actions of the banks. That’s why many investors like Lango are still bullish on the sector.

Now let’s take a look at last week’s results. Even though not all of the big banks had pretty earnings reports, Lango is focusing on the positives. The economy will recover, and so will banks. He thinks that by 2021, economic activity will actually hit pre-pandemic estimates. With that in mind, bank stocks are primed for a big rally.

Here are five stocks to buy to start:

  • JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)
  • Citigroup (NYSE:C)
  • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)
  • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)

Buy Domino’s Stock for Cheesy Pandemic Profits

[Monday, July 20, 11:45 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It shouldn’t be a surprise that pizza giant Domino’s (NYSE:DPZ) is doing well. Everything about the restaurant chain now seems as if it was designed with a pandemic in mind.

What do I mean? Well, other restaurants didn’t have any of the infrastructure necessary to get through the novel coronavirus. Many didn’t have online ordering forms. They didn’t have networks of dedicated delivery drivers. They didn’t have well-tested mobile apps, online payments systems and easy ways to make ordering, delivering and eating as contact-free as possible.

Domino’s did.

Now, according to Robinhood Snacks, Domino’s is in a great place. It doesn’t have to “give a crust” about stay-at-home orders or business lockdowns. Do you even know anyone who has gone to a Domino’s for dine-in eating? That’s just not what the restaurant chain is about. As a result, U.S. sales are up 16%. Consumers are craving pizza because they are stuck at home and stressed. Domino’s makes ordering pizza dangerously easy. Contactless delivery makes eating the pizza a fairly risk-free choice.

There are a few other catalysts working for Domino’s. Several months into the pandemic, many other restaurants have hopped on the online sales bandwagon. But many rely on delivery partnerships with DoorDashGrubhub (NYSE:GRUB) or Uber (NYSE:UBER). These food-delivery providers aren’t exactly known for working with restaurants’ interests at heart. That’s why cities across the U.S. are now cracking down, setting fee limits on these providers. Domino’s has its own delivery drivers, helping it dodge this problem completely and keep 100% of its online orders.

Plus, Domino’s is working to make its infrastructure even better. The Spoon’s Jennifer Marston wrote that, inspired by grocery stores, Domino’s will soon be rolling out “Carside Delivery.” This ordering option has found a lot of success with grocery chains and big-box retailers. Now, it should help Domino’s reach those outside of standard delivery ranges or who just want another option.

What more could you ask for? As Domino’s rolls out “Carside Delivery” and expands its restaurant footprint, know that DPZ stock looks tasty here. Analysts see another 10% upside from its current price.

Stocks Struggle to Open Monday’s Trading

[Monday, July 20, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are you buckled in for this week?

Sure, the major indices are starting Monday in rough territory, but that’s not the real story. Ahead of investors is a long list of second-quarter earnings reports, Congressional testimonies from vaccine developers and highly anticipated discussions of another round of stimulus funding.

That was a mouthful. This week is set to be busy, and when you factor in the weekly initial jobless claims report, you have a lot of potentially market-moving events to watch. Will Americans get more stimulus funds? Will Thursday bring more gloom and another large unemployment number? Each week it’s been too hard to tell. Regardless, investors better stay buckled in.

Oh, let’s look quickly back at the weekend. Unfortunately, things were rough. Cases of the novel coronavirus continue to climb around the United States. The death toll in the country has crossed 140,000. Will we see more market malaise later this week if this number keeps rising?

For now, here’s what we do know. Investors have a lot on their minds, so the major indices are being weighed down. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all struggling at the start of the day.

  • The S&P 500 opened flat
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.15%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.26%

10 Plant-Based Stocks to Buy for Healthy Living

[Friday, July 17, 4:55 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Stay inside. Wear a mask. Stop eating meat?

According to some healthcare professionals, if you do those three things, you can protect yourself from the novel coronavirus. There is some science to back it up. Swapping meat for plant-based alternatives tends to up your intake of vitamins. These vitamins, in turn, boost your immune system. With this link between plant-based diets and healthy immune systems in mind, Plant-Based Health Professionals UK set off on “No Meat May” — a campaign to go one month without meat.

Behind the catchy slogan is two truths. One, many consumers are increasingly turning to healthy eating during the pandemic. Some are focused on boosting their immune systems, others on preventing the so-called #Quarantine15. Two, industry-scale meat production has proven to be problematic. Outbreaks of the coronavirus at U.S. plants threatened a supply-chain crisis. Reports of mistreated workers gained international attention. And in China, the African swine fever continues to disrupt pork supply. As consumers become more aware of public health risks, there will be more incentives to choose healthier, smaller-scale options.

For investors, this means it is time to take plant-based stocks seriously.

Just this week, we saw the uproar Oatly caused in the market. A new round of fundraising for the oat milk startup drew attention from all of the largest financial publications. It turns out that beyond toilet paper and hand sanitizer, oat milk is quite a hot commodity.

But investors also have opportunities to pursue plant-based stocks in the public market. Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow sees healthy eating trends and growing consumer awareness combining to create a long-term push for plant-based alternatives. This will give power to up-and-coming companies, as well as legacy food names that will pivot to the plant-based realm. Moskow recommends Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG), B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS), Nomad Foods (NYSE:NOMD), Danone (OTCMKTS:DANOY) and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) to benefit from this trend. Although they have less upside potential, he also sees a bull case for McCormick (NYSE:MKC), Nestle (OTCMKTS:NSRGY) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) for their embrace of plant-based meals and alternative meat products.

Barron’s Teresa Rivas wrote yesterday that there are opportunities even beyond Moskow’s predictions. Kellogg (NYSE:K) introduced Incogmeato in September 2019. The ready-to-cook plant burger joined Kellogg’s plant-based offshoot, MorningStar Farms. Unfortunately, Incogmeato hasn’t become a true rival to Beyond Meat’s products. But if that changes, K stock could benefit. Another stock to watch is Maple Leaf Foods (OTCMKTS:MLFNF), a Canadian maker of plant-based meat. Rivas writes that Maple Leaf is a good way for investors to “have their pork and eat it too.”

All in all, the coronavirus is accelerating adoption of plant-based meat. Although you may prefer traditional dairy and a good old steak, this investing opportunity is one to take seriously.

Stocks Limp Into the Weekend

[Friday, July 17, 4:02 p.m.]
Contributed by Jessica Loder

It seemed like the stock market didn’t want to commit one way or the other today, it just wanted to get the week over with.

It’s hard to blame anyone feeling that particular malaise. It seems like for every piece of good news, there’s bad news and vice versa.

For instance, today the housing market gave us some good news. Housing starts came in at 1.19 million, seasonally adjusted, in June. New home permits also saw a bump — up 2.1% from May to June. that was lower than expected … but only slightly. And it doesn’t hurt to see new-home demand staying high despite the continuing rough unemployment numbers.

But on the flip side, consumer sentiment levels dropped in the first half of this month. The report noted that “the promising gain recorded in June was reversed, leaving the Sentiment Index in early July insignificantly above the April low.”

The weekend may allow the markets to take a breather and prep for another leg higher. A lot will depend on the next round of Covid-19 headlines. To close out the week, however, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are holding onto small gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.29%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.23%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.28%

Buy Ulta Stock for a More Earth-Friendly Future

[Friday, July 17, 3:13 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Gone — at least temporarily — are the days of reusable coffee cups and grocery bags.

Not long ago, anything branded as “reusable” represented a consumer’s savvy choice to protect the environment. But once the novel coronavirus struck the world, these items came to represent virus risk. Unfortunately for environmentalists, this brought back a wave of single-use plastics. And for many experts, the future of sustainability movements once again came into question.

But there’s likely no need to worry. According to Axios’ Amy Harder, short-term spikes in plastic use are not currently set to turn into long-term boosts. Broadly, that means sustainability is still a goal worth pursuing for companies. Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) clearly understands this.

Retail Dive’s Cara Salpini wrote yesterday that the beauty retailer was rolling out Conscious Beauty, a new sustainability-focused initiative. Ulta will certify brands under categories like clean ingredients, cruelty free, sustainable packaging and positive impact. Additionally, it will partner with Loop to pilot a circular shopping experience. Essentially, you buy products and use them. When you’re done, Loop handles picking them up and making sure they get reused.

This is a big deal for many reasons. To start, it gives Ulta a competitive edge in the clean beauty space. Critics have long pointed to the damages from cosmetic glitter and other beauty packaging. With pressure on beauty retailers to change their practices, it’s good for Ulta to come out with a strong plan now.

Plus, many experts think sustainability-focused products will accelerate in popularity as a result of the pandemic. According to Sourcing Journal’s Glenn Taylor, 48% of shoppers said the coronavirus made them more conscious of the environment. And more importantly, 55% said they would make future spending decisions with sustainability in mind (subscription required). Forbes’ senior contributor Pamela Danziger wrote that the pandemic is making consumers more aware of their individual impact — and how fragile life can be. That’s why they’re likely to shop with the environment in mind. Shifts to truly sustainable measures, like circular shopping experiences, will be an expectation.

Like many other retailers, the pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Ulta. But the company is thinking critically about the future. This is a good sign for long-term shareholders, and for the environment. As consumers continue to demand sustainable practices, companies like Ulta that embrace and define the trend stand to benefit.

Podcast Advertising Deals Are ‘Tuning Up’ Spotify Stock

[Friday, July 17, 2:27 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Digital advertisers are getting with the program, and Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) appears set to win.

Omnicom Media Group, a division of Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC), just announced it would spend $20 million on in-podcast advertising over the second half of 2020. For investors, there are several things to note from the deal.

To start, Omnicom’s move comes just after Spotify landed a series of exclusive, high-profile shows. Joe Rogan led the way, agreeing to give Spotify exclusive audio and video rights to his The Joe Rogan Experience. Jaw-dropping headlines highlighted that the show is worth $100 million. After that, Spotify signed on Kim Kardashian West to discuss criminal justice. Then, it went to the superhero world through a partnership with Warner Bros.

Not only has this series of exclusive podcast deals been a testament to Spotify’s success during the pandemic, it speaks to the growing popularity of podcasts. Younger consumers are now listening to more podcasts than ever before. Working from home has boosted educational and dialog-focused shows. And just this week, we saw the competition increase in the space. Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) made a big move to acquire Stitcher — and to show Spotify it still has skin in the podcast game.

With this in mind, it’s clear why Omnicom would be so bullish on podcast advertising. But the way in which Omnicom is spending that money is also important. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Nat Ives, advertisers typically sponsor individual shows, and the realm of in-podcast advertising is still relatively small. Omnicom’s move is very different — and shows just how lucrative the future of podcasting can be. Ives also highlights how marketers plan to spend $860 million this year on podcast advertising, up fro $680 million in 2019. Marketers spent over $20 billion on video ads in 2019.

Spotify stock is hot right now, but its future is bright. Omnicom may have just inspired a pattern of larger ad spending on podcasts. Ives cautions that marketers must figure out how to navigate the differences of the medium. But the recent spate of deals in the space shows that podcasts are big — and they’re just getting bigger. If you buy SPOT, you’ll benefit from the popularity of music streaming, a rise in podcasting and soon, a shift in how advertising works.

Doesn’t that hit the right note?

Buy Zoom Video Stock for New Hardware Moves

[Friday, July 17, 1:44 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) has already transformed consumer life. Remote employees all around the world have embraced video conference calls, Zoom yoga sessions and family chats. But now, the company is making even bigger moves to reinvent the work-from-home experience.

Not content with its red-hot software, Zoom is expanding to the hardware world with what promises to be a long list of work-from-home products. The first in the Zoom for Home series is the DTEN ME, in partnership with DTEN. Oh, and the device comes with a hefty $599 price tag. The duo bills the DTEN ME as an all-in-one personal collaboration device. With a sleek design, it offers a touch display, multiple webcam angles, calendar integration and a whiteboard feature. Who needs a traditional home office?

According to some experts, that’s exactly the point. Zoom saw its own potential in how quickly its video conferencing software became mission-critical. Now, it wants to do the same in the work-from-home hardware world. CNBC’s Michelle Gao highlights that the DTEN ME does face a lot of competition. However, will the Zoom name be enough to drive sales? Or will cheaper offerings from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) win?

First, it’s important for investors to acknowledge that Zoom doesn’t need this hardware line. As InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote this week, Zoom is one of the few companies essentially defeating the pandemic. But further moves into the work-from-home world could be very beneficial as many companies prep to work from home forever — or at least indefinitely.

That’s why Emerging Tech Brew writer Ryan Duffy is bullish on the DTEN ME. Why? Zoom stands to benefit from shifting corporate trends. Instead of paying for office leases, many big companies will soon be paying to outfit employees with WFH gear. It’s a lot cheaper to pay $599 for top home office tech than to fund a city lease and everything that comes with it. The Verge’s Monica Chin sees a similar purpose. Sure, employees already can access Zoom from any computer, tablet or smartphone. But from an employer’s perspective, the DTEN ME and following products could make the remote onboarding process smoother. Just set up your new hire with the DTEN ME system and they’ll be good to go.

At the end of the day, investors should know that Zoom isn’t going anywhere. After tripling in 2020, many like Lango think shares need a bit of a break. But once they cool off, products like DTEN ME and ongoing WFH disruption will make sure Zoom is a worthy investment for years to come.

4 Retail Stocks to Buy as AR Boosts Online Product Sales

[Friday, July 17, 12:57 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We know one thing for sure: The novel coronavirus is changing how consumers view e-commerce. Everything from cars to life insurance to dog food is now fair game for online shopping. And even before the pandemic, it was clear that e-commerce was accelerating. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) changed the game for good, and other retailers are struggling to catch up.

But beyond acknowledging that e-commerce adoption is accelerating, how will the pandemic change the retail game? When cases dwindle and stores reopen with less restrictions, will certain brick-and-mortar retailers do better than their online counterparts? And if not, will consumers be satisfied with the online shopping experience? One thing we do know is that online shoppers, especially from younger demographics, want a few things out of the experience. They want it to feel personal — they want trusted, immersive shopping experiences. Surveys show they’re even willing to trade personal data to get what they’re looking for from a website.

One way online retailers have long been trying to earn trust and deliver immersive experiences is through augmented reality features. But as Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling wrote this week, there has been very little evidence to show that AR sales tools are effective. That may be changing. According to Sterling, one retailer is now offering proof that AR features are driving higher conversion rates and therefore driving revenue higher. eBags, an online retailer for luggage, backpacks and handbags, reports a 112% increase in mobile conversions and an 81% increase in PC conversions. It seems that shoppers like perusing 3D images and view-in-room features. Sure, it’s not identical to picking up an image in stores and examining it, but it’s better than looking at static web images.

So what does this mean for the rest of the retail world? Well, Sterling sees it as a good sign that AR sales can hold their own against physical store experiences. Plus, down the road, digital advertisers could benefit from more immersive ad experiences. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) would be likely beneficiaries of such a move.

For now, as a pandemic continues to alter our shopping landscape, this new evidence can be used to support early adopters of AR sales features. Unsurprisingly, that makes Amazon stock a buy, as the e-commerce leader was also quick to roll out its “AR view” feature. Then add to that list Wayfair (NYSE:W) for its AR-powered shopping appPinterest (NYSE:PINS) for innovative “Try on” features to test cosmetic products and Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) for an AR-enabled mobile app. One extra takeaway is that beyond boosting online sales, evidence from Lowe’s suggests that AR and virtual reality features get more customers in stores.

Whether you want to try on a new shade of lipstick for socially distanced interactions or remodel your bathroom, these AR features seem set to make a meaningful difference for the world of online shopping, and also for investors’ portfolios.

Electric Cars Are Taking Over

[Friday, July 17, 12:10 p.m.]
Contributed by Matt McCall and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

You simply have to see this…

A new type of battery is pushing everything we thought we knew about energy storage to the limits.

According to automotive insiders, consumers will soon be able to go 1,000 miles on a single charge.

Think about that for a moment…

That’s nearly TRIPLE the distance of the best-performing electric cars on the market right now — and more than 8 TIMES farther than the average electric car…

That means you could drive from New York City all the way down to Daytona Beach, Florida, without stopping!

A 1,000-mile range clobbers even the most fuel-efficient gas vehicles on the road today.

In short, this tech is about to change EVERYTHING.

When you see this live-action demo, you’ll understand why.

Here’s the best part:

At the heart of this new technology is one company — one-thousandth the size of General Motors (NYSE:GM).

If you want to get in on the electric car revolution, this is easily the best way to do it.

Click here to see the full story.

Stocks Close in the Red on Thursday

[Thursday, July 16, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well it looks like bulls never got the ray of hope that they needed today. We started the day with a reminder that America’s economy is in pain. Investors learned that 1.3 million more Americans had filed for initial unemployment benefits — despite all of the reopening measures in place.

Then, the rest of the day brought more doom and gloom. Novel coronavirus cases continue to rise. Russian hackers are trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research. Test kit delays are materializing despite moves to get the economy up and running. And second-quarter earnings from another of the big banks, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), failed to inspire. To make matters even worse, investors didn’t even get the rumored vaccine update from AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and the University of Oxford.

What will tomorrow bring? Will we see another Friday rally? It wouldn’t be all that surprising if we did, given the action in the major indices over the last few weeks. For now, though, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.35%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.51%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.78%

Buy Analog Devices Stock on Slated Maxim Acquisition

[Thursday, July 16, 3:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Self-driving cars. 5G. Next-generation healthcare. These are the megatrends driving the market, and they will only accelerate in the wake of the pandemic. But what’s the best way to play them?

Perhaps investors need to dive down deep — to the surface level of these innovations. There you will find chips. No, not potato chips. Analog and digital chips. All of these technological advancements require advanced chips from top semiconductor companies. So with this coming wave of innovation in mind, Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI) just made a big move to acquire Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ:MXIM). For many investors, ADI stock may be the best way to get into the heart of all of the soon-to-be-dominant megatrends.

Let’s start with some basics on the deal. Analog Devices plans to cough up $21 billion in an all-stock deal to acquire Maxim Integrated Products. The boards of both companies have agreed, but now the power rests in the hands of international regulators. As Emerging Tech Brew writer Ryan Duffy highlights, the combined entity would have an enterprise value of $68 billion.

Essentially, the deal would combine different areas of expertise within the chip world. TechCrunch’s Ron Miller writers that Analog specializes in the industrial and healthcare realms. Maxim focuses on automotive and data center projects. Together, they would have a lot more power in the semiconductor world. Duffy suggested the deal would give Analog better footing to rival Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN). Miller writes that the fact that there is so little overlap in the companies’ areas of expertise makes the deal stand out. Unfortunately, ZDNet’s Charlie Osborne agrees, but notes such a deal will likely give regulators pause.

If approved, it looks like the deal would close a year from now, in the summer of 2021. For Forbes’ contributor Peter Cohan, the takeaway for investors is clear. Buy ADI stock. He wrote recently that if investors get in now, they will stand to benefit from four facts. Maxim competes in an attractive industry. The combined entity will be stronger in an innovation-focused world. The price of the deal isn’t too high. And because deals like this require a healthy relationship, Cohan takes satisfaction in knowing Analog should be well able to integrate Maxim.

For what it’s worth, InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier is bullish on both companies. He wrote early in June that both ADI and MXIM stock were both top names to buy in the semiconductor space.

Walmart Stock Is a Buy on New Subscription Service

[Thursday, July 16, 3:00 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is no longer content living in the shadow of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

It has launched a third-party selling platform. It partnered with ThredUP to enter the luxury resale market. And Walmart has long been making moves into healthcare, most recently acquiring CareZone’s medication and chronic illness management businesses. Most of us go along with the status quo and recognize Amazon’s dominance, but Walmart wants to change that.

Perhaps the most direct way to enter the competition is to rival Amazon Prime, the company’s subscription service that operates around two-day delivery. After 15 years, Walmart is doing just that with its rollout of Walmart Plus. Sure, Walmart already had a delivery service. But Walmart Plus promises to be an enhancement of that existing offering, delivering groceries and general goods for $98 a year.

Despite being a little late to this particular arena, investors cheered on the news. Better late than never, right? As the Wall Street Journal’s Jinjoo Lee wrote, this is a relatively good time for such a launch. Amazon customers increasingly are reporting delayed shipping, as the e-commerce giant struggles to keep up with pandemic demand. Plus, Walmart has already been making savvy moves to boost its relevance in the retail world. As rising novel coronavirus cases threaten to keep Americans inside for a long time, one-day shipping from Walmart sounds like a good consumer purchase.

InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier agrees. He wrote although there were plenty of reasons to own WMT stock before, Walmart Plus makes it urgent for investors to take Walmart seriously. But will Walmart’s new offering truly be a competitor to Amazon Prime? At this point, Amazon dominates the market. Navellier recommends instead focusing on the revenue streams this will create for Walmart.

Perhaps Lee puts it best. Walmart may not be coming to de-throne Amazon, but it has the power to “dent the Amazon crown” thanks to Walmart Plus.

6 Utility Stocks to Buy for Dividends and Stability

[Thursday, July 16, 1:38 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

You’ve surely run into this dilemma before. Many investors are chasing growth in hard-hit companies. After the novel coronavirus created an historic selloff in the stock market, an equally historic rally emerged. Critics of the price caution point to a long-lasting recession, few signs of recovery and the unworthiness of certain stocks. But if you don’t dive in head first, will you completely miss out?

According to InvestorPlace’s Chris Markoch, there’s another way to think about the situation. You shouldn’t stay completely out of the stock market, that’s for sure. But there also isn’t any harm in putting your money in defensive names. That is why Markoch is recommending utility stocks now. They don’t have a ton of pricing power over their services, thanks to regulations. However, in a market downturn, this fact makes them even more attractive. Plus, many offer juicy dividends.

Laura Gonzalez, an associate finance professor at California State University, Long Beach, agrees. Speaking with InvestorPlace via email, she said:

“Utility stocks become particularly attractive during recessions because they benefit from the steady demand of essential products and services. Even though they are heavily regulated, and some operate in highly competitive markets, many offer dividends.”

It looks like the experts agree. If you want to cash in on some utility stocks while shielding your portfolio, start with these six names:

  • NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)
  • Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)
  • Dominion Energy (NYSE:D)
  • American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP)
  • American Water Works Company (NYSE:AWK)
  • Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP)

Chipotle Stock Looks Set for Tasty Share-Price Gains

[Thursday, July 16, 12:55 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

One unfortunate habit I have developed while staying at home is ordering lunch way too frequently from Chipotle (NYSE:CMG). It’s close by, I can put a mask on and walk in for pick-up or I can get it delivered. My wallet doesn’t love it, but my stomach sure does.

Fortunately — for both my own self-esteem and for the company — I’m not alone. As we have reported in this blog, Chipotle has been a real winner, seeing its digital sales jump 81% for the first quarter. In March alone, digital sales jumped 100%. Same-store sales even grew 3% despite the far-reaching impacts of the novel coronavirus. This digital success lead Robinhood Snacks to call it an “ecommerce burrito company” and created a big rally in CMG stock.

That success continues, and Chipotle is gearing up for even more growth. That’s why KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Eric Gonzalez just reiterated his “overweight” rating on CMG and bumped his price target to $1,250. Why is he so confident? Well, Gonzalez thinks Chipotle is all about comfort food. Plus, easy-to-use online ordering systems and constant menu innovations will help the restaurant chain grow its earnings per share in 2020 and beyond.

Those predictions are already coming true. At a time when many other restaurant chains are slashing menus, Chipotle is gearing up to expand. CNN’s Jordan Valinsky recently reported that Chipotle is testing cauliflower rice in 55 locations, taking the healthy alternative and pairing it with the restaurant’s signature cilantro-lime flavoring. From previous success with healthy menu swaps, and the excitement already swirling over the cauliflower rice, the new menu experiments seem to be a good idea.

And the menu isn’t the only thing Chipotle is expanding. The company just announced it plans to hire 10,000 new employees as part of a move to expand drive-thru offerings. Online and in-app orders continue to grow for the restaurant, and drive-thru lanes have proven to be pandemic-proof options. That’s why Chipotle will include a drive-thru, or “Chipotlane,” at 60% of its new locations. Menu growth, workforce growth and restaurant innovation combine to make Chipotle a triple threat.

It looks like following the KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst’s advice now is a good plan. Next time you order a burrito, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re fueling a restaurant powerhouse.

Don’t Miss BigCommerce’s Upcoming Big IPO

[Thursday, July 16, 12:27 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

In case you hadn’t heard, e-commerce is all the rage right now. Companies — and entire industries — that had relied on brick-and-mortar sales before the pandemic are now relying on the internet to drive business. With that big catalyst in mind, BigCommerce just filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to hit the markets through an initial public offering.

Right now it looks like the BigCommerce IPO is truly set to be big. The company is an underdog competitor to Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), which has seen its stock gain more than 130% in 2020. Just like its larger rival, it offers e-commerce services to merchants, helping more and more businesses embrace the accelerating trend. BigCommerce sells subscription plans for its digital services that can cost as little as $30 or as much as $300 a month. With those plans, merchants can manage a branded online store, sell products through Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and its Instagram platform, process payments and offer real-time shipping pricing and tracking information.

Retail Brew’s Halie LeSavage focused yesterday on how BigCommerce is working to compete with Shopify. It focuses on tools to convert checkouts and also has prices lower than Shopify’s. Despite having 60,000 merchants in 120 countries, BigCommerce is just 5% the size of Shopify. TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm notes that the company grew revenue 20% in 2019 and 30% in the first quarter of 2020. Wilhelm expects amended filings to include more current information on financial performance.

One thing is really clear. BigCommerce picked a great time to go public. Shopify’s business is booming and the smaller rival seems to have a good understanding of how to be competitive. Plus, it is similarly a partner with Facebook for its new Shop feature. This should help give BigCommerce exposure, especially leading up to its public debut.

Investors should definitely take note. Renaissance Capital says the IPO should raise $100 million, and that Big Commerce will trade on the Nasdaq Exchange under the ticker BIGC. The BigCommerce IPO is truly a big deal.

5 Housing Stocks to Buy as Market Sentiment Rebounds

[Thursday, July 16, 10:55 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

CNBC’s Diana Olick said it best. If you want a V-shaped recovery, there’s no better place than the market for new single-family homes.

But who is buying a new home right now? Apparently, demand from homebuyers is high. In fact, after crashing in March, homebuilder sentiment jumped 14 points in July to hit 72. According to readings from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), we are now seeing a return to pre-pandemic sentiment. And note: Any reading over 50 is considered positive.

How is this possible? Americans are still filing for initial unemployment benefits in record numbers, and novel coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Well, in many ways, side effects of the pandemic are actually driving this spike in demand. In order to salvage the economy, the Federal Reserve took interest rates to near-zero levels. This has, in turn, taken mortgage rates to new lows. Now that homebuyers have more purchasing power, demand is up. Plus, with “lean” inventories of existing single-family homes and a backlog of demand from before lockdowns, single-family homebuilders are finding themselves racing to catch up.

There’s also one more interesting catalyst behind the recovery. As we have previously reported in this blog, a shift to work-from-home models and risks of infection in higher-density areas has driven many Americans to leave the cities and explore suburbs — or even more rural areas of the U.S. The Washington Post termed this the “Great American Migration.” And this shift looks to be permanent. This geographic shifting of the population is also contributing to the demand for new single-family homes. After experiencing months of stay-at-home orders, Americans want larger homes.

Now that we have seen a recovery, InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango sees even more upside. Lockdowns, low mortgage rates and work-from-home trends are all working in favor of housing stocks. And permanent telework adoption will likely increase with more and more big tech companies leading the way. That’s why Lango sees suburban housing markets on the cusp of a multi-year growth boom.

To benefit along with the homebuilders, start with Lango’s five housing stock recommendations:

  • KB Homes (NYSE:KBH)
  • Lennar (NYSE:LEN)
  • D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI)
  • Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL)

A New ‘Millionaire’s Pattern’ Is Emerging on My Screens

[Thursday, July 16, 10:05 a.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Last time my research firm spotted an anomaly this BIG in the financial markets…

They jumped all over it and the peak gain could have turned an initial deposit investment of $5,000 into $1.2 MILLION.

Incredible right?

You’d be over $1 million RICHER today, right now, if you followed the recommendation and held on over time.

Unfortunately, most folks missed out.

That’s why I’m talking to you today.

Based on my research, today we are at the starting point of the “Next Millionaire Maker.”

Once again, we could be looking at a MASSIVE $1 million opportunity…

Right now, internet traffic is EXPLODING!

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) issued a press release saying its bandwidth demands shot up by 75% — in one week alone.

And ONE under-the-radar 5G powerhouse is leading the charge during this exciting time.

Remember, I have form when it comes to picking tomorrow’s superstars…

Past extraordinary examples from our research firm’s track record have exploded by as much as 1,516% … 3,972% … 20,130% … or 24,221% over time.

Enough talk. Let’s get right to it.

Use this special link I’ve set up for readers like you to explore my No. 1 5G investment opportunity for 2020.

Stocks Open Lower Thursday on Jobless Claims Report

[Thursday, July 16, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Ugh. What a bad morning on Wall Street.

After yesterday’s rally courtesy of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), the major indices are sinking. Investors are processing yet another grim jobless claims report, and a handful of other catalysts are also at play.

Let’s start with jobless claims. We learned this morning that another 1.3 million Americans had filed for initial unemployment benefits last week. Economists were expecting the number to be closer to 1.25 million, so the miss is cause enough for disappointment. But beyond that, 51 million workers have filed for these initial benefits since the novel coronavirus hit in early March. That’s a staggering number that isn’t showing many signs of letting up. Will things start changing more meaningfully in the next few weeks? And what will the July jobs report show?

These weekly Thursday reports have been a big pain for the bulls. Despite signs of recovery, like rebounding retail sales, initial jobless claims are a clear indicator the economy is still hurting. It looks like we need more positive vaccine trial results to get the market moving higher again.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.68%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.63%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.97%

Keep a Close Eye on Oat Milk Startup Oatly

[Wednesday, July 15, 4:52 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Do you want some oat milk in that iced latte you’re ordering for contact-free delivery?

It turns out a ton of celebrity investors do. Driving the dairy-free milk news is an announcement that Blackstone Growth, an investment firm with over $530 billion in assets under management, led a round of funding for Swedish Oatly worth $200 million. Other prominent investors backing the oat milk startup include Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman and Howard Schultz.

So what’s the big deal with Oatly? Well, experts predicted that 2020 would be the year of oat milk. The vegan alternative has been gaining in popularity, making its way into Starbucks’ (NASDAQ:SBUX) beverages and Chobani yogurts. Forbes senior contributor Micheline Maynard wrote in December that allergy benefits, rich flavors and a broader push to plant-based diets would support oat milk adoption. And Oatly has long been considered a leader in the space.

Flash forward a few months. When the novel coronavirus struck, many investors caught wind that Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) stock was soaring. Why? Consumers worried about shortages in traditional meat and opted for plant-based products for a variety of reasons. Under the radar, the same thing was happening in the dairy world.

At the very beginning of March, MarketWatch’s Elisabeth Buchwald reported that demand for oat milk was actually outpacing that for hand sanitizer. And remember, there was hardly any hand sanitizer to be found. Kitchn contributor Naomi Tomky similarly reported that data for oat milk sales showed spikes that topped more disaster-friendly products like dried beans. Oat milk is considered a shelf-stable alternative, and before opened, Oatly cartons do not need to be refrigerated.

Looking at both long-term projections and short-term demand spikes, it’s clear consumers are heading for oat milk and other plant-based diet substitutes. Over the last four years, Business Insider’s Kaitlyn Wang reports that oat milk sales jumped 90%. The oat category remains small, according to Wang, at least compared to other dairy alternatives like almond and soy.

For Blackstone Growth, then, an investment in Oatly makes a lot of sense. There are clear perks to oat milk over almond or soy alternatives, and Oatly and its peers appear to be on a long growth runway. Blackstone also notes in a press release that global demand for sustainable products, as well as support from millennials and Generation Z, make the Oatly deal wise.

Whether you’re an oat milk fanatic or a lover of traditional coffee creamer, you can’t deny the investment opportunity here. According to Axios’ Dan Primack, the Blackstone move could be a sign that oat milk is about to debut in the public markets. When it does, drink up.

7 Tech Stocks to Embrace Multiple Megatrends

[Wednesday, July 15, 4:16 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We write a lot about megatrends in this blog, both because they are key drivers of the stock market and because several are benefitting from the novel coronavirus. According to analysts at Jefferies, three of these market-moving trends are bigger than others — artificial intelligence, cloud solutions and fintech.

That makes sense, especially amid the pandemic. The world is now relying on fintech solutions to make contactless payments, deposit stimulus checks and process small business loans. With cases of the coronavirus still rising, it looks like top fintech offerings are only going to gain in popularity. Plus, artificial intelligence and cloud companies are helping make next-generation healthcare and work-from-home trends possible. Once again, that doesn’t seem likely to reverse anytime soon.

So if we recognize that fintech, AI and cloud services are the biggest megatrends, what does that mean for investors? Analysts at Jefferies think it’s a sign to find companies that benefit from all three. Boy! Talk about over-achievers. But it turns out there are seven stocks to buy that provide investors exposure to all three of these trends, and a future of share-price growth.

Here’s where you should start (subscription required):

  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY)
  • Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
  • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)

Moderna’s Results Lead Stocks to Close Higher Wednesday

[Wednesday, July 15, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Moderna’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) positive Phase 1 trial results really boosted the stock market on Wednesday. Vaccine names like Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) and VBI Vaccines (NASAQ:VBIV) rose in sympathy, and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) stock popped in intraday trading on its own vaccine rumors. Investors clearly want a vaccine candidate to prove effective against the novel coronavirus.

Plus, Moderna’s results had even broader-reaching impacts. Thinking about a return to normal helps even the hardest-hit industries like cruises and airlines. Struggling names in those spaces similarly gained Wednesday. As many experts forecast slow recoveries for these industries, bulls see a promising vaccine as a sign these recoveries will be quicker than expected.

And another benefit of the vaccine success was that tech stocks got a bit of a breather. Earlier this week we have seen the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lag as market leaders took a break from massive rallies. Moderna kept the bulls distracted and let tech stocks falter without too much impact on the major indices.

Remember, second-quarter earnings season is just kicking off. Tomorrow keep an eye on Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and look to see if those AstraZeneca rumors materialize into fact. For now, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are joining the Nasdaq in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.91%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.86%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.59%

Fisker Stock Looks Hot on Pandemic-Fueled EV Hype

[Wednesday, July 15, 3:20 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Move over Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), there’s a new car on the block.

At the start of the novel coronavirus, things looked rough for electric vehicles. An oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as lower demand for crude oil, sent crude prices plummeting. Because of this, many analysts called for a delay in adoption of EVs. If there’s no economic incentive to drive a green machine, heck, who wants to buy one?

Then, things changed in a blink of an eye. Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) came public on promises of electric pick-up trucks and freight vehicles and has met unbelievable success. Tesla flirted with $1,800. Even China’s Nio (NYSE:NIO) has been unstoppable in recent weeks. This all comes as the future for EVs starts to get a little brighter. Some experts thing leading economies will invest heavily in up-and-coming tech to recover from the recession. Others are tuned into discussions of infrastructure spending, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s plan to accelerate EV adoption. Plus, new reports that suggest EVs are cost efficient also help bolster the green energy case.

On the back of this wild EV success comes Fisker. The company will soon make its public debut via Spartan Energy Acquisition Corporation (NYSE:SPAQ), a special purpose acquisition company. Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) is behind the blank-check company, and the deal values Fisker at $2.9 billion. As Axios’ Ben German and Amy Harder wrote, the deal will bring Fisker $1 billion in new funding.

So what exactly is Fisker? The company is already being billed as a rival to Tesla. It hasn’t built a vehicle yet, but it plans to develop an electric SUV, Ocean, using recycled materials. Spartan CEO Geoffrey Strong said he thinks Fisker will grow to be a true rival to Tesla at the “forefront … of the EV market.” 

If Fisker’s SPAC-driven debut is anything like Nikola’s, bulls are in for quite a treat. And regardless of the company’s immediate public performance, know that Fisker is part of a trend that is set to grow for many years to come.

4 Machinery Stocks to Buy Before an Economic Recovery

[Wednesday, July 15, 2:42 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s time to break ground on a handful of new investments.

According to InvestorPlace’s Joel Baglole, machinery stocks are set to soar thanks to the novel coronavirus. Initially, the sector suffered because many construction projects came to a halt and the broader economy stumbled. But the market for construction equipment is still destined to hit $113 billion this year.

So what exactly is going to drive machinery stocks higher? Well, many politicians in the United States are hoping an infrastructure stimulus package will help restart the economy. Think about the Works Progress Administration following the Great Depression. Building bridges and roads gave America some dominance in infrastructure and it also employed a lot of people. Plus, whether or not more progressive plans that focus on alternative energy needs come to fruition, the U.S. will still have to address infrastructure funding as the current legislation expires in September.

Combine the big push in the U.S. with huge demand for construction equipment from China and India and you have a winning narrative. The governments of China and India are both funding multibillion-dollar projects, thus benefiting the top players in the machinery space.

If you still need another reason to dive into the space, Baglole has your back. He wrote today that thanks to the novel coronavirus, these stocks are actually trading at better values than before. In other words, you can get in at good values and ride a construction wave higher. Start with these four stocks:

  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)
  • Komatsu (OTCMKTS:KMTUY)
  • Deere & Company (NYSE:DE)
  • Manitowoc Company (NYSE:MTW)

AstraZeneca Stock Pops on Vaccine Trial Rumors

[Wednesday, July 15, 1:36 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) isn’t about to let Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) have the spotlight all to itself.

Investors have spent today celebrating results from Moderna’s Phase 1 trials for its novel coronavirus vaccine, mRNA-1273. According to the report, the vaccine triggered an immune response in all of the participants, and produced virus-killing antibodies. Additionally, there are no real safety concerns. This bodes well for the company, which was already the first to begin human trials.

But AstraZeneca is also causing a stir. As Barron’s Josh Nathan-Kazis reported, the intraday pop in AZN stock all started with an announcement from a well-respected British journalist, Robert Peston. Citing an anonymous source, the journalist shared that AstraZeneca would likely release positive initial news about its own trials. The company is working with the University of Oxford on the candidate.

If Peston’s anonymous source is correct, AstraZeneca will be releasing the data through the medical publication The Lancet. Investors like the rumors, as they have spent Wednesday sending AZN stock up almost 7%. But can the rumors be trusted?

Nathan-Kazis highlights a few reasons for caution. Peston’s report included very few details, and AstraZeneca has not confirmed whether or not his report is true. But AstraZeneca has been chugging along with its vaccine candidate and it would not be impossible for investors to receive trial results soon. Plus, such positive results would reaffirm its competitive position against Moderna and the vaccine collaboration between Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX).

As with all of the vaccine makers, an effective candidate is a true catalyst for star power.

Buy Snap Stock for Snapchat’s New Plans to Rival TikTok

[Wednesday, July 15, 12:12 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Have you been paying attention to the social media landscape? Back in February 2019, CNBC’s Salvador Rodriguez caught on to a big move by Snap (NYSE:SNAP), the parent of Snapchat. In a company filing, Snap listed ByteDance’s TikTok as a competitor for the first time.

Since the launch of Snapchat in 2011 and TikTok in 2017, both apps have been in focus. They’re popular with teens, and both have an impressive global reach. Although Snapchat initially appeared to have a larger user base, things started to radically change. In October 2019, Snap’s earnings growth was discussed in the context of growing competition from TikTok. Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, TikTok seemed to have an unfettered runway to growth. It quickly became the most-downloaded app.

Simply put, its short-form videos, catchy dance challenges, high-profile influencers and a long list of controversies kept it in the spotlight. But now, that list of controversies is giving Snap its edge back.

Privacy concerns, U.S.-China trade tensions and growing threats from China’s government and military have made TikTok a new target. As we previously reported in this blog, the app has already pulled out of Hong Kong. And after a military skirmish, India gave TikTok the boot. It appears that President Donald Trump is considering doing the same thing.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is rushing to gain market share with its new Reels offering, but Snap isn’t far behind. According to TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez, the company is testing a new feature to allow users to explore public content. Previously, Snapchat’s videos were largely shared between existing friend networks. TikTok relies on public, trending content. Perez wrote that another part of this experiment seems to be new swipe features, similar to TikTok. Snapchat currently requires users to tap through multiple-part videos.

According to Axios’ Sara Fischer, the bottom line is that TikTok is under pressure. Employers across the United States are putting pressure on employees to delete the app. Whole countries are banning it. Teens and tweens are still going to crave video content, so there will be a vacuum. Many members of this digitally savvy demographic are already on Snapchat, and if it can also supplement the TikTok experience, Snap is likely to gain in popularity.

Keep a close eye on the content experiments. According to InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango, Snap stock was already set to be hot for the rest of 2020. Anything added — especially anything that competes with TikTok — is a nice bonus for investors.

5G Is Your Best Chance to Create Life-Changing Wealth

[Wednesday, July 15, 11:10 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

The historic 5G buildout is about to create $56 TRILLION in new wealth.

Years from now, we’ll look back at the creation of 5G the way we look back at the creation of the internet … or the buildout of America’s railroads.

Simply saying 5G is an “upgrade” from 4G is like saying cars were an upgrade from horses.

5G will be the best chance many people will ever get to make small investments and turn them into life-changing wealth…

Which brings me to a mind-blowing situation…

Every talking head — every supposed expert — talking about 5G is missing the biggest, most lucrative part of the story.

Only one stock market guru is recommending the right way to invest in this technology.

5G is probably the best chance you’ll ever get to make a fortune in the stock market. Here’s why so many people are screwing it up.

Stocks Open Higher Wednesday on Moderna Results

[Wednesday, July 15, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are we seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? It sure seems like it, especially as investors bid up stocks Wednesday morning. The opening optimism comes on novel coronavirus vaccine results from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). As we have previously reported in this blog, many see a vaccine as the necessary puzzle piece to get the world back to normal. Moderna is looking to solve that puzzle.

On Tuesday, the company reported that in a Phase 1 trial of its vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, all 45 participants found the vaccine to be safe. Also importantly, the vaccine triggered an immune response in all volunteers. Although some trial participants reported side effects from the higher doses in the trial, no one suffered anything deemed “serious adverse events.” Therefore, Moderna’s candidate checked the boxes for a successful Phase 1 trial.

Oh, and those participants that received two doses of the vaccine candidate had virus-killing antibodies exceeding those found in recovered Covid-19 patients. Talk about cause for celebration.

Bulls are certainly celebrating Wednesday morning, especially as they have long backed Moderna. MRNA stock was up almost 17% in pre-market trading. Remember, the vaccine maker has long been a standout in the race to develop a vaccine. It was also the first to begin human trials.

As a week of potentially somber second-quarter earnings and rising novel coronavirus cases continues to unfold, Moderna’s news is just what the bulls need. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 1.34%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 1.47%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.94%

5 Gun Stocks to Buy Before Election Day

[Tuesday, July 14, 4:54 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It has been a rough year, and that means many gun-loving Americans are feeling the heat. What do I mean? Well, as InvestorPlace’s Thomas Niel writes, 2020 has provided the perfect setup for a surge in gun sales. With a presidential election just around the corner, expect sales to keep climbing.

The novel coronavirus really triggered a lot of fears. It sparked massive unemployment, raised questions about personal freedoms and has disrupted every corner of everyday life. Combine ongoing protests over police brutality, calls for police and prison abolition and an upcoming presidential election, and the ammunition is there for a rally in gun stocks. Plus, many investors fear that if former Vice President Joe Biden takes the White House come November, firearm regulations could materialize. That alone has many “stocking up” on both gun stocks and physical firearms.

With this in mind, Niel thinks it’s the perfect time to buy these five gun stocks. Just a note, though. Gun sales slumped after President Donald Trump was elected in 2016. If he nails his reelection, don’t be surprised if a similar pattern emerges.

  • Big 5 Sporting Goods (NASDAQ:BGFV)
  • Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR)
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse (NASDAQ:SPWH)
  • Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWBI)
  • Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO)

Stocks Close Higher Tuesday After Earnings Slump

[Tuesday, July 14, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

This morning had investors down in the dumps. An earnings beat from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) couldn’t shake dividend cuts, wide losses and misses from the likes of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL). Although investors likely anticipated a rough second-quarter earnings season, especially as experts predicted Q2 would be worse than Q1, a miss is still a miss. In other words, no matter how much investors braced themselves for disappointment, it still hurts.

That pain looks fleeting though, as the major indices turned around to head higher before the closing bell.The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite were all in the green to end Tuesday. It’s a little unclear what led to the shift in sentiment, but the bulls are running with it.

Remember, today’s earnings ups and downs come alongside a rise in novel coronavirus cases. Investors are right to be worried as states halt reopening plans and consider renewed lockdowns. Perhaps more positive earnings later this week will outweigh fears, at least for a moment.

Tomorrow, keep your eye on earnings from Alcoa (NYSE:AA). Then, right around the corner, we’ll hear from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.34%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 2.14%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.94%

Rigel Pharmaceuticals Stock Pops 90% on New Trial

[Tuesday, July 14, 3:24 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Another day, another red-hot biopharmaceutical company. On Tuesday, Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RIGL) is shooting higher on plans for a new drug trial. Could Rigel’s fostamatinib drug help treat certain symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

That question is at the heart of today’s big move in RIGL stock. Investors have bid shares up 90% in intraday trading on excitement. But what exactly is happening? Rigel Pharmaceuticals, a biopharma company based in San Francisco, markets fostamatinib for the treatment of adult chronic immune thrombocytopenia. Also known as chronic ITP, the autoimmune condition results in a low blood platelet count, bruising and excessive bleeding.

After receiving approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Rigel’s fostamatinib targets the source of platelet destruction and helps raise platelet count. Because of this, it also helps reduce the risk of excessive bleeding. But how does this connect to the novel coronavirus?

Well, the source of platelet destruction in patients with chronic ITP is the spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK). Research from SARS patients and other similar viruses has found that SYK-dependent events were what often leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The lung damage found in patients with Covid-19 is very similar to ARDS. Therefore, since fostamatinib targets and inhibits SYK, it could perhaps prevent Covid-19 pneumonia, the respiratory complications from the novel coronavirus.

Whew. That was a lot of acronyms. But behind all the science jargon is the reality that researchers are working to treat all of the many and dangerous symptoms of the coronavirus. Because of this, researchers at the Imperial College of London are now going to test fostamatinib in a trial to specifically examine its efficacy in treating and preventing Covid-19 pneumonia.

If it works, it will really help sick patients, and should ultimately benefit Rigel Pharmaceuticals. Keep a close eye on trial information and RIGL stock.

4 Airline Stocks to Buy With Long-Term Takeoffs in Mind

[Tuesday, July 14, 1:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If you’re having trouble staying awake at night, consider becoming a chief executive at an airline carrier. It sounds like that’s a pretty tough job these days.

All sarcasm aside, airline stocks are struggling — the sector faces more challenges than almost all others in the stock market. Business travel has been replaced by video conferencing and all sorts of work-from-home technology. And even when offices start to reopen, many companies have discovered that those cross-country or international trips weren’t necessary to do business. That has many analysts expecting a permanent decrease in business air travel.

And as InvestorPlace’s Patrick Sanders points out, there’s not a ton of appeal for everyday consumers, either. Referring to airplanes as “metal tubes,” he highlights the lack of social distancing and the shoulder-to-shoulder conditions. Other health experts have raised concerns over the recirculated air in an airplane’s cabin.

But people simply want to take their fancy vacations, or visit loved ones in other states or countries. Pent-up demand is helping boost air traffic, although it still remains depressed. For investors who held airline stocks before the pandemic, things don’t look so good. However, Sanders sees a real opportunity for new investors to enter the space. If you buy airline stocks now, you’ll benefit as travel demand eventually rebounds.

If you’re interested, consider taking flight with these four airline stocks:

  • United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL)
  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)
  • Lufthansa (OTCMKTS:DLAKY)
  • Ryanair (NASDAQ:RYAAY)

3X More Wealth Than the Internet

[Tuesday, July 14, 11:15 a.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

It’s hard to imagine a technology that could usher in more wealth than the internet…

But one has just arrived.

According to insiders, the internet created $10 trillion in new wealth in 20 years. But a new innovation has just started to come into the mainstream that’s projected to create $30 trillion in new wealth over the next two decades.

When something is forecast to create 3 times more wealth than the internet, it’s worth paying attention to.

Which is why I spent hours researching this new breakthrough…

My “deep dive” led me to incredible insights … especially for investors hoping to capitalize on the next megatrend.

I put my research into an easy-to-follow presentation … which, for a limited time, you can view here.

Sirius XM Stock Is a Buy on Stitcher Podcast Deal

[Tuesday, July 14, 11:02 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are podcast brands feeling lonely in lockdown? It sure seems that way as many rush to become “exclusive” with larger media names. Yesterday, Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) made big waves in the podcast world after announcing it would acquire Stitcher for $325 million.

This is big news for several reasons. Broadly, podcast consumption has been hot amid the novel coronavirus. Although many experts initially worried that podcast and music streaming would suffer with work-from-home trends rising, the opposite has proven true. Consumers are swapping morning commute podcasts for lighthearted entertainment and dialog-focused shows. According to Digiday’s Lucinda Southern, some of the biggest winners have been educational, exclusive and video podcasts. Essentially, anything that can help consumers navigate the coronavirus world is in.

Acknowledging these trends, and the fact that younger consumers are listening to more podcasts than before, companies have been rushing to get ahead. Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) made waves when it announced an exclusive deal for Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience. Shockingly, the deal valued the podcast at $100 million and will combine audio and video on the Spotify platform. Spotify later nabbed exclusive deals with Kim Kardashian West and Warner Bros.

Plus, before the pandemic, Spotify made a move to acquire The Ringer. Although sports-focused podcasts are among the biggest losers, a post-coronavirus reality should make this deal much more valuable for the streaming giant.

A few weeks ago, then, it looked like Spotify was set to be a runaway star in the podcast world. But yesterday, Sirius XM showed that it could be a serious challenger. It is spending $325 million on Stitcher, which is also the parent of podcast ad tech company Midroll Media. According to Morning Brew, this move is a clear victory for Sirius XM. Stitcher is a dominant name in the podcast world, and now Sirius XM will have a lot more power in its arsenal as it faces off with Spotify.

So what exactly does Sirius XM get? Beyond the ad tech capabilities, Stitcher brings top names like My Favorite MurderThe DailyPod Save America and This American Life. Joe Rogan’s show is currently the top podcast on Stitcher, but come September, it will stream exclusively on Spotify as noted above.

Are you not convinced of the upside potential in SIRI stock? Take a look at a recent take from InvestorPlace’s Chris Markoch. Even before the Stitcher deal, he was convinced that music streaming could make SIRI a serious winner. After shares collapsed in early 2020, Markoch is convinced the path higher for Sirius XM is clear into the future.

S&P 500 Dips Lower to Open Tuesday’s Trading

[Tuesday, July 14, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Didn’t we tell you to grab some popcorn? Second-quarter earnings season kicked off in full force this morning, and investors aren’t liking what they see.

Let’s start with the positives. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is largely considered the highest-quality play in the big bank world. Delivering on that reputation, JPM beat earnings and revenue estimates for the quarter.

But elsewhere in the stock market things weren’t so pretty. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) also reported earnings before the opening bell, and both are struggling. Investors knew that WFC would have to slash its dividend after the Federal Reserve’s stress test. But they didn’t think the bank would take its dividend all the way down to 10 cents per share. And up in the sky, investors were caught without seat belts on when Delta reported a “massive” loss for the quarter.

You can thank the novel coronavirus for all that. This week will bring many more earnings reports, and likely a lot more volatility. Keep a close eye on the major indices and sector-leading companies. For now, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.49%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.10%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.71%

10 Micro-Cap Stocks to Buy Now for Value and Growth

[Monday, July 13, 4:22 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Everyone needs a little bit of hope right now, and fortunately for investors, micro-cap stocks can provide just that. Remember, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) once was a teeny-tiny company. A $10,000 investment back in in December 1980 would now be worth $9.3 million. Too bad I wasn’t alive back in 1980!

In all seriousness, InvestorPlace’s Will Ashworth wants investors to embrace the potential found in micro-cap stocks. He sees them as the perfect testament to a long-term horizon. Buy a few micro-cap stocks that you believe in, hold them for the long term and remain patient. Amazing things can seriously happen — even if you don’t end up picking the next Apple.

If you’re looking for something new to believe in, here are Ashworth’s top 10 recommendations:

  • Duluth Holdings (NASDAQ:DLTH)
  • 180 Degree Capital (NASDAQ:TURN)
  • Silvercrest Asset Management (NASDAQ:SAMG)
  • Elevate Credit (NYSE:ELVT)
  • Park-Ohio Holdings (NASDAQ:PKOH)
  • Points International (NASDAQ:PCOM)
  • Five Star Senior Living (NASDAQ:FVE)
  • Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH)
  • Ethan Allen Interiors (NYSE:ETH)
  • BBX Capital (NYSE:BBX)

Tech Stocks Drive the Market Lower to Close Monday

[Monday, July 13, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Unfortunately, this morning’s vaccine victory wasn’t powerful enough to keep the indices in the green all day. In fact, only the Dow Jones Industrial Average is positive at the end of Monday’s trading.

Let’s quickly recap the day. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) started the day on a high note, reporting that the duo had received “fast track” designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This means that two of their four vaccine candidates for the novel coronavirus should see faster development and review processes. The pair were joined in coronavirus success by a handful of smaller biotech names like electroCore (NASDAQ:ECOR). While exciting, these stocks couldn’t carry the whole market.

As CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Yun Li write, tech stocks failed the market. Bulls have been counting on tech leaders like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). But what happens when those leaders lose steam? Apparently, the major indices sink into the red.

Adding to the malaise in the market is news the novel coronavirus situation continues to worsen. California is moving to close indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters. Cases continue to rise around the U.S. Public health officials are still discussing face mask mandates and a return to lockdowns. What will the rest of this week bring, especially with second-quarter earnings season kicking off? Grab your popcorn and prepare for the wild ride.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.93%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.04%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 2.13%

Tencent Stock Is a Buy on New Gaming Moves

[Monday, July 13, 3:27 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Did you miss our previous announcement that Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) was looking to expand its dominance in all forms of media? The Chinese conglomerate is heating things up even more with moves in the gaming world. TCEHY stock is a force to be reckoned with — and you don’t want to be on the wrong side as it heads for unprecedented success.

So what else is happening in Tencent’s world? In early July, the company launched a new gaming studio, LightSpeed LA, in the United States. The studio is already attracting talent from top game development firms, and the announcement comes just days after Tencent unveiled 40 new products. According to Reuters’ Pei Li, the move is part of a broader strategy to gain global relevance. By creating intellectual property at studios around the world, Tencent will have a much bigger name in the video game industry.

Just a week later, it became clear Tencent was making an exclusive move for Hong Kong’s Leyou. CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal and Ryan Browne wrote that the firm holds several game development properties, and is likely best known for its Warframe game. It is also in talks to develop a game based on The Lord of the Rings franchise in partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). This move not only continues Tencent’s expansion, but it helps it fight video game competitors in Hong Kong like NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES). GameSpot’s James O’Connor agrees that an acquisition of Leyou would give Tencent easier access to international expansion.

These moves matter for a few reasons. To start, video games have become increasingly popular amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and that trend is likely to stick around. Consumers are embracing all sorts of games as they stay indoors. If Tencent can gain a larger share of that market, it will benefit from the acceleration of video games and related trends like esports.

Plus, as The Economist recently highlighted, gaming revenues were also through the roof in China during lockdowns. Using “stealth,” Tencent is becoming a gaming superpower, creating yet another mini war between the United States and China. If Tencent can grow its international reputation in video gaming, it could seriously disrupt traditional gaming powers. Tencent already has stakes in Fornite’s Epic Games and a long, long list of other developers.

Next time you play your favorite video game, do some digging. Chances are that Tencent is in some way connected to it — or soon will be. Investors bullish on gaming don’t want to miss out.

3 Great Stocks for Beginners to Buy Right Now

[Monday, July 13, 2:37 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If you’ve been reading any financial news, you’ve likely seen that there’s a rush of new investors hitting the stock market. Trading platform Robinhood is seeing huge success, especially as it embraces the “buy the dip” mentality that’s so popular during market downturns. But if you’re a beginner investor lacking the confidence — or interest in risky names —  to chase Carnival (NYSE:CCL) or Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), where should you start?

That’s the exact question InvestorPlace’s Nicolas Chahine worked to answer today.

According to Chahine, the first step to financial success is avoiding obvious mistakes. In other words, do your own research. Does a company have a long history of drama and scandals? How is the management team? Are they known for making wise decisions that benefit shareholders? If you can find solid companies with satisfying answers to these questions, you’ll be in luck.

Instead of picking the “wrong” stocks, start with Chahine’s top three recommendations:

  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)
  • McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)
  • Nike (NYSE:NKE)

Buy Equillium Stock as India Approves Itolizumab Drug

[Monday, July 13, 2:14 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We’ve seen time and time again how approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can send a stock flying. That’s been especially true as all sorts of companies race to develop treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus. But today, a small biotech from California is soaring thanks to news from the Drug Controller General of India.

Over the weekend, India’s Biocon announced it had received approval to market its itolizumab drug for emergency use in Covid-19 patients experiencing cytokine release syndrome. According to the company, itolizumab is the “first novel biologic therapy to be approved anywhere in the world for treating patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 complications.” However, the origins of the drug are not new. Itolizumab is a variation on Biocon’s Alzumab, a treatment for chronic plaque psoriasis.

Behind the headlines is the fact that itolizumab, like dexamethasone, is one of the few drugs to show survival benefits in well-controlled studies. According to BioPharma Dive’s Ben Fidler, this sets Biocon apart from even larger pharmaceutical companies that have failed to do the same.

This, without a doubt, is exciting news. But Biocon trades on the BSE and the National Stock Exchange of India. So how can U.S. investors benefit?

It turns out that Equillium (NASDAQ:EQ), a small biotech company based in La Jolla, California, holds some rights to itolizumab. Fidler wrote this morning that as a result of Biocon’s success, Equillium plans to launch a global study. It has licensing rights in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. And beyond chronic plaque psoriasis, Equillium has also been working to license itolizumab for asthma and lupus.

As a result of Equillium’s involvement — and its potential for U.S.-based coronavirus success — EQ stock is up 390% in intraday trading. Cytokine release syndrome is caused by a large release of cytokines (immune substances) into the blood. CRS can cause all sorts of symptoms including fevers, difficulty breathing and low heartbeat. Importantly, researchers believe CRS was the most common cause of morbidity in patients with SARS and MERS, viruses in many ways similar to the novel coronavirus.

In other words, Equillium could be just a few approvals away from marketing a drug that can reduce morbidity in Covid-19 patients, at a time when cases are climbing. Keep a close eye on Equillium stock. Big things could be headed its way.

Stifel: Coronavirus Benefits Carnival Stock in the Long Term

[Monday, July 13, 12:20 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Yep. You read that headline right. According to Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski, the novel coronavirus is bringing a handful of long-term benefits to Carnival (NYSE:CCL). That seems hard to believe given how drastically the pandemic has hit the cruise industry, but Wieczynski makes some good points.

His argument, as cited by Barron’s Lawrence Strauss, largely revolves around cost-cutting measures. Without any money, Carnival has had to get pretty innovative to survive the last few months. The cruise operator is selling older ships, cutting costs across the board and slowing down its purchase of new vessels. To some, these moves all may seem like desperate measures. But the Stifel analyst thinks Carnival will emerge in a post-pandemic world with a much stronger business.

Granted, he’s quick to say he would prefer a pre-pandemic reality. But since that’s not an option, he is pleased with Carnival’s potential to emerge from the storm in better shape than before. He maintains a “buy” rating on the stock — making him quite a contrarian. Plus, his price target of $24 implies more than 50% upside.

So should investors place any stock in Stifel’s claim? Well, as Strauss points out, one big thing that Carnival must overcome is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order. Although the directive expires on July 24, it is likely to get expanded as coronavirus cases continue to rise. However, Carnival’s German brand of ships will resume operations in early August.

InvestorPlace’s David Moadel wrote earlier in July that buy-and-hold investors should start gradually adding to their positions in Carnival. He knows the near-term outlook is bleak. But like Wieczynski, Moadel thinks cost-cutting moves and a return to cruising will benefit Carnival in the long term. When ships set sail again, you don’t want to have missed the boat.

electroCore Stock Pops 180% on Coronavirus News

[Monday, July 13, 11:57 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

electroCore (NASDAQ:ECOR) is making a huge leap in focus, and investors seem to like it. ECOR stock is up almost 180% in intraday trading on Monday.

The company’s gammaCore Sapphire device uses non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) for the preventative treatment of migraines and cluster headaches. Essentially, the vagus nerve carries a wide range of signals from the digestive system and other organs to the brain, and from the brain to the digestive system and other organs. electroCore calls it an “important highway of communication” and notes that it plays a key role in regulating pain. Thus, the gammaCore Sapphire device uses electrical stimulation to prevent and mitigate pain from headaches.

That all sounds great, but it is also all old news. So what’s sending ECOR stock to the moon? On Monday, the company announced that this same technology could play a role in treating the novel coronavirus. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted electroCore an emergency-use authorization for its gammaCore Sapphire device.

Now, electroCore says its nVNS treatment can help patients with asthma-related dyspnea and reduced airflow. If other treatments aren’t working — or aren’t enough — electroCore thinks the gammaCore Sapphire can do the trick. Plus, the EUA covers use of the device at home or in healthcare settings.

There are some pros and cons to this news. The gammaCore Sapphire device is already in the commercial world, and it has FDA approval for different indications. But ECOR stock just hit $2.30. With any penny stock, there are risks for investors to consider. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore this news, especially as breathing difficulties have been a key symbol of Covid-19 suffering.

Instead, make sure to read up on the risks and keep ECOR on your radar.

Can This 5G ‘Turbo Button’ Show You Incredible Gains?

[Monday, July 13, 10:58 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

My colleague, money manager Louis Navellier, has a knack for spotting the Next Big Thing.

He gave a buy recommendation on Amazon (before its extraordinary 3,972% rise)

He gave a thumbs up on Apple stock (before it zoomed up an extraordinary 20,130%)…

And his research firm issued a buy alert on Netflix (before it exploded by an extraordinary 24,221%)

Well, he just issued an urgent new buy alert on a strange-looking device.

It looks like a regular cell phone battery.

But it’s actually an early prototype of something he calls a “5G Turbo Button.”

It’s about to have a massive impact on the smartphone market.

Now Louis just recorded a mind-blowing video about it.

In possibly the biggest tech breakthrough of his 25-year career…

Louis says, “Whoever controls 5G will own the internet through 2025.”

And Turbo Buttons like this one are your ticket in the door.

I need to warn you, though, this type of opportunity only happens once.

At the 12:55 mark of his special presentation, Louis reveals how you can access his No. 1 5G recommendation for 2020 and beyond. Click here … right now.

Stocks Open Higher Monday on Vaccine Victory

[Monday, July 13, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Let’s start today — and the week — off with some good news. The major indices are opening in the green thanks to a victory from vaccine duo Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). According to the pair, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted two of their four vaccine candidates “fast track” designation. As Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick writes, this designation should help speed up development and review processes.

At a time when novel coronavirus cases continue to rise, anything that can offer the world some protection is more than welcome. Investors saw a similar trading day on Friday thanks to good news from Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) about its remdesivir.

OK, I guess it’s time for the bad news. The reason why Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine victory is so key is that cases continue to rise at a scary pace. Florida reported 15,000 new cases in a single day over the weekend, hitting an unfortunate record. Elsewhere in the U.S. and the world, deaths and hospitalizations also continue to rise. Investors need anything right now that can give them a little hope that reopening is the still the right move.

Will Pfizer and BioNTech keep the major indices in the green all day? Perhaps. Investors should keep a close eye on new coronavirus updates and brace themselves for the start of the second-quarter earnings season. This week could be quite bittersweet.

For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening higher.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.78%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.84%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.66%

Stocks Close Higher Friday to Kick Off the Weekend

[Friday, July 10, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Wow, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) truly was a guiding star in the stock market on Friday. After turning the major indices around in the morning, it helped stocks close higher as investors head into the weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average even added 300 points after a gloomy start to the day.

Remember, this morning Gilead announced its remdesivir, an antiviral drug for the novel coronavirus, reduced the risk of death for severely ill patients by 62%. Investors once were rooting for GILD stock, but things have changed in recent weeks. It appeared that many were disappointed in previous results. Others fretted over pricing models for the antiviral. Perhaps today will change that.

GILD stock closed Friday higher by more than 2%.

Going into the weekend, the pandemic is still top of mind. Will President Donald Trump issue a second round of stimulus checks? Will legislators extend “bonus” unemployment payments throughout the summer? And what will another two days of summer fun do to case numbers in the United States?

Those are all big questions with heavy impact. Keep a close eye on the case data, and cross your fingers for a better initial jobless claims report next week. Until then, be safe, wear a mask, and know that the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite joined the Dow in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.04%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 1.43%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.66%

Keep a Close Eye on Coinbase Ahead of Possible IPO

[Friday, July 10, 2:30 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

A “landmark victory” could be just around the corner for cryptocurrency bulls.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has a valuation of over $8 billion, and it has a devoted crowd of followers. After providing a place for investors to buy and sell crypto, it looks like the company wants a chance of its own on public exchanges. According to Reuters’ Anirban Sen, Joshua Franklin and Anna Irrera, the company is interested in an initial public offering. It has yet to file anything with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but if it does, the SEC’s response will set a powerful precedent.

As Morning Brew’s Ryan Duffy wrote this morning, it’s not every day that cryptocurrency bulls, bankers and regulators are in the same room. But Coinbase has worked to maintain compliance from the beginning, and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) recently extended banking services to the company.

There are clear benefits for crypto bulls here. Cryptocurrencies have attracted even more of a loyal following amid the novel coronavirus. Like with gold, many see bitcoin as a safe-haven investment. It can be seen as a hedge against inflation or a form of protection from an apocalyptic event. Although the pandemic isn’t at apocalypse levels yet, it appears investors aren’t willing to take any chances.

This year — or at least the last few weeks — has proven to be victorious for IPOs. Tech-focused companies like Lemonade (NYSE:LMND) and Vroom (NASDAQ:VRM) have met huge success. Axios’ Felix Salmon wrote this morning that the IPO market is a sign of frothiness. He sees it as creating huge opportunities for companies to raise new equity or fund takeover bids. In other words, a Coinbase IPO should be quite beneficial for the company.

One last thing. Man experts are linking the intense popularity of certain cryptos with stock trading platform Robinhood. Robinhood has gained a reputation in recent weeks for fostering a “buy the dip” mentality that shot stocks like Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) and Carnival (NYSE:CCL) to the moon. Now, young traders on TikTok (and a handful of adult names) are using the platform to bid up Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE). That makes many, like Morning Brew’s Duffy, think Coinbase stock would be quite popular on the trading platform.

Whether you invest in cryptocurrencies for the pandemic, an apocalypse or a meme, keep a close eye on the potential Coinbase IPO.

Uber Stock Looks Like a Buy on Grocery Plan

[Friday, July 10, 1:55 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Uber (NYSE:UBER) is apparently trying to drive away from its post-IPO woes.

Earlier this week, the ride-hailing company announced a new grocery delivery service. In a company press release from July 7, Uber outlined select cities in Latin America and Canada where this service would be immediately available, thanks to a partnership with Cornershop. Later in July, the service will expand to Miami and Dallas. Eats Pass and Uber Pass members will get special delivery perks.

Grocery delivery entered many American’s lives at the start of the pandemic. The novel coronavirus forced many families to prep more food at home, but grocery stores also threatened virus risks. Delivery services, theoretically, limit how many consumers are in a store. They also allow for at-risk consumers to get essential goods without dangerous exposure. Uber is aware of this trend, and it conveniently has a fleet of drivers on hand.

Although Uber is now undeniably offering a popular service, it’s important to look at the move in a broader context. Along with rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), profits have been hard to come by. Concerns over its treatment of drivers, the lack of safety regulations and contractor pay have clouded the companies. And amid the pandemic, the ride-hailing market tanked. New transportation data show that ride-hailing has yet to recover in any meaningful way.

Uber has found one strength in its Uber Eats business, and even that isn’t a sure thing. It failed to acquire Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB), losing out to Just Eat Takeaway (OTCMKTS:TKAYY). Thankfully, Uber found a better match in Postmates. For now, many experts are pleased it is responding to consolidation in the food delivery business and pivoting toward profitability. InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote this week that he sees Uber as a buy.

Adding grocery deliver to its services, albeit only in two U.S. cities, should broaden Uber’s food appeal. While it likely won’t make or break anything for the company, an expanded food delivery platform makes me agree with Lango. UBER stock is a buy here.

5 ESG Stocks to Buy Now for a Brighter Future

[Friday, July 10, 1:17 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has a long history — and ESG stocks continue to pave the way for a brighter future. According to Bank of America analysts, these stocks are attracting record amounts of cash. Despite criticisms, popular names among socially conscious investors are outperforming the broader market now.

So what exactly is an ESG stock? Beyond the broad focuses implied in its name, there’s no one simple answer. Some in the space focus on clean energy, marking down companies in the fossil fuel space. Others rule out companies from countries known for human rights violations. And now, with social justice movements gaining mainstream approval and the novel coronavirus disrupting life, many ESG investors are finding ways to invest with those catalysts in mind.

Not sure how that translates to stocks? Bank of America says top ESG investors are looking for companies with diverse leadership, high levels of employee satisfaction, good leave policies and so-called behavioral finance. In the words of Rishad Tobaccowala, a senior advisor at Publicis Groupe:

“The new ESG is not environment, sustainability, and governance. The new ESG is employees, society, and government.”

Clearly, investment motives are changing. And as Bank of America highlights, investing for the future isn’t a losing bet. If you want to feel good about making some money, here are five stocks to buy (subscription required):

  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)
  • Accenture (NYSE:ACN)
  • Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE)

The Death of the Smartphone

[Friday, July 10, 11:24 a.m.]
Contributed by Matt McCall and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

I just revealed the next-generation smartphone.

And it’s not an iPhone, Galaxy or anything you’ve likely seen on the market…

It’s a radical new device that’s making today’s most popular phones look like technological dinosaurs.

What it can do is incredible…

It’s something you’ve got to see to believe.

In fact, this new device is so revolutionary, I predict it’s going to replace all 3.2 billion smartphones on the planet.

I know that’s a bold claim … but once you watch the video, you’ll understand why.

I’m no stranger to uncovering bleeding-edge technology well before it takes off and becomes mainstream.

Companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Lenovo (OTCMKTS:LNVGY), Huawei, Vivo and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) … have also caught wind of this kind of technology…

And are now spending billions to bring this technology to market.

It’s one of the greatest races in technological history.

This video is going viral.

Take a look at my presentation for all the details.

Stocks Open Slightly Higher on Gilead News

[Friday, July 10, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Just like a superhero, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) swept in to save the day. Or, in this case, the stock market. Early in the morning, futures were in the red. Novel coronavirus cases are continuing to rise around the world. Hong Kong is set to close its schools … again. Countries like Mexico are becoming hotspots in terms of new cases.

It was set to be a bad day until Gilead stepped in. In an early morning press release, the company announced its remdesivir antiviral drug for the novel coronavirus reduced the risk of death for severely sick Covid-19 patients by 62%. That figure is in comparison to standard care.

As cases rise, any new data like Gilead’s is a market-moving blessing. Investors now have a bit more confidence that they — and their lived ones — would survive getting sick. Bulls are still pushing forward with reopening buys, so successful drugs and vaccines are necessary.

Will the news send the major indices to new gains into the weekend? For now, it’s too early to tell. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.08%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.09%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.01%

Facebook Stock Is a Buy as TikTok Sparks Controversy

[Thursday, July 9, 4:15 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The baby boomers found out about TikTok, and now it’s in trouble.

OK, that’s not exactly what happened. Consumers turned en masse to TikTok, the short-form video platform run by China’s ByteDance, at the start of the pandemic. The app met record success, as users all around the world downloaded it to fill time in quarantine. Much of the content is dedicated to dance challenges, cute pets and short-form comedy.

TikTok really did boom in popularity. Companies like The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) rushed to figure out advertising on the platform, and PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) launched a video campaign. Unfortunately for ByteDance, its massive user base may be about to shift over to Facebook’s  (NASDAQ:FB) newest offering.

So what exactly happened to 2020’s darling? Well, geopolitical tensions are rising all around the world. Many security experts fear that ByteDance, and therefore TikTok, is linked to the Chinese government and military. In Hong Kong, a new law requires tech companies to cooperate and share data with the government. Instead of navigating that delicate situation, TikTok has pulled out.

China’s military moves also cost TikTok access to India, and President Donald Trump is considering nixing the app in the United States. What would be an unfortunate day for many content creators could be a victory for Facebook, thanks to its new Reels platform.

Reels is essentially a direct competitor to TikTok. Unlike Facebook’s other short-form video experiments, Reels will be a part of the Instagram experience. The company is currently testing it in India, and it’s already live in France, Brazil and Germany. According to Tech Crunch’s Sarah Perez, Reels is smartly responding to pilot feedback and expanding access to music and other content licensing. Although it faces competition from other apps in India, it could fill that market quickly in the absence of TikTok.

That path to success is enough for InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango. Recognizing that both the coronavirus and geopolitical tensions are here to stay, he sees Reels powering FB stock to $275. If Reels can generate even a fraction of the excitement and loyalty that TikTok found, it could be seriously big.

Nasdaq Sets a Record High as Stocks Fumble

[Thursday, July 9, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Just as many investors are split between reopening hopes and novel coronavirus fears, the stock market is split between tech stocks and all other stocks. Nothing illustrates that better than Thursday’s odd price action in the major indices.

The Nasdaq Composite actually hit record highs on Thursday. That’s thanks to similar moves by tech giants Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). These companies have continued to profit handsomely despite the pandemic. In fact, some of them have profited because of the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the market, things aren’t so pretty. Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) stumbled Thursday on mixed earnings resultsWells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) similarly had stocks falling reports leaked it would cut “thousands” of positions later this year.

So should investors be looking to Amazon or to Wells Fargo for a read on the stock market? There’s no good answer to that. It’s clear that Amazon is a winner, but is it a sign of economic recovery, or a standout among the wreckage?

For now, investors can cheer that the Nasdaq Composite closed in the green today. Unfortunately, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average weren’t so lucky.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.56%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 1.38%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.53%

5 Music Stocks to Buy for Your Pandemic Playlist

[Thursday, July 9, 3:06 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Sitting at home alone — especially amid the novel coronavirus pandemic — can be quite unpleasant. That’s why I love to blast a playlist consisting exclusively of songs by Enya and The Cranberries all day. I’m sure my neighbors love it just as much.

But in all seriousness, music streaming is a huge business. Pop in your headphones, turn on a speaker or connect your phone to your car’s audio system. Then, play your favorite tunes. Before the pandemic, music streaming was relevant especially in gyms and on commutes. That’s why some investors feared that streaming, and the underlying music stocks, would suffer once the coronavirus hit.

That didn’t happen. Instead, whole households turned to music streaming to fill silent moments and to accompany crowded kitchens. Consumers started streaming “cooking” playlists and tunes designed for home workouts. Plus, as music streaming platforms race to nab exclusive podcast deals, many consumers found comfort in new podcasts.

Despite the massive popularity of music streaming, InvestorPlace’s Chris Markoch wrote today that many investors ignore music stocks. Instead, they buy up red-hot names in TV or video streaming, ignoring a ton of upside potential. Just think about it. The industry went from tiny devices to billions of dollars in revenue. Where will it go next?

Next time you find yourself wailing along to your favorite song, consider adding these five music stocks to your portfolio:

  • Spotify (NYSE:SPOT)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY)
  • Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI)

Altimmune Stock Soars on New Vaccine Funding Efforts

[Thursday, July 9, 2:32 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Thankfully, investors are getting some good news about a novel coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. They really need it, especially as new cases continue to climb around the U.S. and the rest of the world. Today’s shining star is Altimmune (NASDAQ:ALT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.

So what’s Altimmune’s claim to fame? Over the last few months, it’s been working on a single-dose, intranasal vaccine for Covid-19. Unlike other vaccines, Altimmune wants its candidate to be less invasive. It will only require one dose, and it’s intranasal as opposed to the standard subcutaneous method.

Today, Altimmune announced through a company press release that it was partnering with DynPort Vaccine Company. DynPort will help Altimmune coordinate funding — hopefully bringing it some cash from the U.S. government. It will also provide program management, drug development activity integration and regulatory support for Altimmune’s AdCOVID vaccine candidate. Investors love the news, sending ALT stock higher by 30% in intraday trading.

Why is this news so exciting? If you haven’t been paying attention, pretty much any victory, regardless of the size, has the power to send a stock skyrocketing. Plus, many investors have been waiting for Altimmune to find a meaningful partner. InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier wrote early in March that the “truly innovative developer” could be a coronavirus winner if it secured a partner.

For what it’s worth, Navellier sees Altimmune’s potential going beyond the coronavirus. Some of the clinical-stage names in the vaccine race don’t have much else going for them. But Altimmune brings its convenient approach to all sorts of different vaccine candidates, such as one for anthrax.

Whether you’re a fan of Altimmune or just looking for a ray of bullish hope amid the storm, you’re in luck. Keep a close eye on this biopharma company’s work with DynPort and the progress of its AdCOVID. The duo could go far.

Buy PayPal and Square Stock for a Payments Revolution

[Thursday, July 9, 12:07 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Can you send me $5 for your half of the pizza on Venmo?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or asked that question. If you go out to dinner with your friends, plan a weekend trip or even split monthly rent with roommates, you’ve likely found yourself in a similar position. Up until recently, the Cash App and Venmo platforms from Square (NYSE:SQ) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) were just that. Social payment platforms.

Sure, that made Cash App and Venmo popular enough. Now you could split costs without having to grab cash from the bank or an ATM. And as younger consumers move more and more toward a cash-free lifestyle, these mobile apps became a perfect fit. However, their parent companies wanted bigger growth, and wanted the apps to play a larger role in the payments revolution.

The novel coronavirus has definitely helped. According to MarketWatch’s Emily Bary, one big way the pandemic made Cash App and Venmo relevant was through calls for donations. Consumers could send a few extra bucks to restaurant staff or other important causes. Plus, many brick-and-mortar businesses pivoted to online ordering and payment systems, bringing the apps new customers.

Another big catalyst came from stimulus funding. Individuals could opt to receive their stimulus checks through Cash App or Venmo, as a sort of direct deposit. Plus, in a move to compete with big banks, Square and PayPal entered the Paycheck Protection Program space. All of a sudden these apps were now tied to day-to-day survival.

As Morning Brew’s Neil Freyman wrote recently, Square and PayPal aren’t stopping there. PayPal’s Venmo just rolled out new features to court small businesses. Essentially, the smallest of small businesses, like independent crafters or hairdressers, can now use Business Profiles to market themselves. Tech Crunch’s Sarah Perez says it’s a great for sellers to add business information and raise awareness for their work through Venmo’s social feed.

Cash App has long allowed users to buy and sell bitcoin on the app, and now users can also trade equities. A new acquisition of Spain’s Verse will also help with international expansion. It’s clear that both companies are focusing on new features as the pandemic makes their underlying businesses more relevant.

The payments revolution is here. Don’t miss out.

Follow America’s Richest Family to Grow Your Wealth

[Thursday, July 9, 11:12 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

Do you want to know the No. 1 way to grow your wealth right now? Follow the lead of America’s richest family.

Most people know the richest man in America is Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos.

He gets tons of press and mainstream media attention.

But few people realize that America’s richest family actually has A LOT more money than Bezos … and they are making some radical moves with their business and their money.

I’m talking about the Walton family, who control the Walmart (NYSE:WMT) empire, and are estimated to have a net worth of more than $200 billion.

The Waltons are now doing something fascinating with their money, and their business, which every American must pay attention to.

In short, the Waltons are investing billions into new technologies that could radically transform not only Walmart, but everything about the way you eat, shop, work and live.

For example, Walmart is operating a pilot program called “Alphabot” in New Hampshire. It’s essentially a series of autonomous carts inside a 20,000-square-foot warehouse, which radically overhauls the world of online grocery shopping.

The company is also spending a fortune on in-store robotics … spent billions on one of the world’s best e-commerce businesses (called Flipkart), and now has an app that could replace some bank accounts.

The company even created a new business, called “Store No. 8,” which is essentially a technology incubator.

Investing legend Eric Fry believes what’s happening inside Walmart is a microcosm of what’s happening in America. He says:

A series of new technologies are making some people filthy rich, while leaving millions more behind. If you understand how to invest in and profit from these breakthroughs, it can make you rich — otherwise you’re going to get left behind.”

And the numbers are proving Fry correct…

CNBC reports that while tens of millions have lost their jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. billionaires actually saw their fortunes INCREASE by more than $400 billion.

Fry says you absolutely must understand this shift that’s now occurring in the U.S. markets and financial system.

And this is why he recently traveled to America’s richest ZIP code to reveal the name and stock symbol of his No. 1 favorite tech investment in the world, right now.

You can check out Fry’s analysis totally free of charge on his website right here. There’s no subscription, email or credit card required.

Keep in mind: Eric Fry has what is widely considered by many to be the best stock-picking track record in the world.

To date he has identified 40 stocks that have gained 1,000% or more. We don’t know of anyone else on or off Wall Street who can match that record.

Don’t get left behind. Get the name and stock symbol of Eric Fry’s current No. 1 technology recommendation, free of charge, in his latest analysis, by clicking here.

Stocks Struggle Thursday After Weekly Jobless Report

[Thursday, July 9, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Bulls really can’t get a break. Investors learned that another 1.3 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits for the week of July 4. Sure, economists were calling for that figure to be slightly higher — at 1.375 million individuals. But 1.3 million doesn’t really look like economic recovery.

If you want to frame this morning’s report positively, consider that the weekly total has been decelerating for 14 consecutive weeks. However, if you have a bit more pessimism in you, you’ll realize that 50 million Americans have now filed for those initial jobless benefits since the novel coronavirus began wreaking havoc.

Despite the bad news, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite composited all opened in the green. What will the rest of the day bring?

  • The S&P opened higher by 0.23%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.02%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.67%

5 Stocks Set to Soar After the Coronavirus Selloff

[Wednesday, July 8, 4:05 p.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

Buy these 5 tech stocks immediately.

Eric Fry, one of America’s top investment strategists, provides his latest report titled, “5 Tech Stocks Set for 1,000% Gains After the Recent Coronavirus Sell-off.”

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One of Alphabet’s ‘Other Bets’ Is Starting to Pay Off

[Wednesday, July 8, 3:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If there’s one universal lesson we’ve learned from the novel coronavirus, it’s that the internet, and reliable access to it, is critical. All sorts of jobs went remote for the first time. Plus, entire nations shifted their K-12 and collegiate learning from in-classroom to at-home models. From the beginning of lockdowns, advocates have been questioning what will happen to students without good internet access. Now, it appears educational outcomes are on the line.

Acknowledging that internet access is key, several solutions are already ramping up. Lawmakers in the U.S. are pushing to better cover rural areas, and some school systems are now providing mobile hotspots and personal computers. Others are even driving buses with WiFi around to in-need neighborhoods. But what about the towns, states and even whole countries where internet access still isn’t consistent? How will those locales respond to a long-lasting pandemic?

That problem is one Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) is looking to address with its Loon business. Loon provides commercial internet service via high-altitude balloons — essentially an innovative alternative to cell tower infrastructure. After years of talk, Loon finally began operating its service at full scale, starting with Kenya. Although 39 million of Kenya’s 48 million residents already were connected to the internet, many officials worried about connectivity for all amid the pandemic.

Loon previously has provided its services as part of disaster relief efforts, deploying its balloons in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed cell towers. But this is the business’ first full-scale mission, and it will have a lot of influence over Loon’s ability to expand to developing nations around the world.

Behind the headlines is also the reality that many of Alphabet’s so-called “other bets” are considered failures. Sure, the company has plenty of revenue and prestige from its main businesses. But it also continues to push for innovation in everything from self-driving cars to smart cities. If Loon succeeds, some estimate it could make “tens of billions in revenue” by charging $5 per month for its service. That would be a big difference from some of its peers.

While Loon technically “graduated” and became an independent business under Alphabet, its home in “Other Bets” isn’t far away. Will it soon generate tens of billions in revenue? And will other high-profile businesses like Wing and Waymo be right behind? Don’t look away.

VIRS and WFH Give ETF Bulls Some Big Coronavirus Plays

[Wednesday, July 8, 2:49 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Not too long ago, InvestorPlace’s Todd Shriber shared his review of the first-ever novel coronavirus exchange-traded fund. We later wrote in this blog that ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF (NYSEARCA:GERM) was a great ETF to buy thanks to its focus on infectious diseases. Some of the fund’s top holdings include companies working to develop vaccines. Others are in the diagnostic space.

The thesis with the GERM ETF is simple. Clearly companies working to fight the novel coronavirus — and all future infectious diseases — are in a profitable space. But with so many vaccine candidates out there, it can be tricky and risky to pick individual stocks. Diversifying your coronavirus investing with an ETF gives you broad exposure and minimizes the volatility. For many, that’s a win-win situation.

Clearly, what GERM represents is popular. It’s now sharing the spotlight with two more coronavirus ETFs. The first is the Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF (BATS:VIRS). It debuted June 24 with 45 holdings, all focusing on companies that protect the U.S. from biological threats. With that in mind, it includes tech giants like Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as well as retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT). Test-kit maker Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) also has a top spot. Clearly, it takes a broad approach.

Noting its expense ratio of 0.7%, or $70 on an initial $10,000 investment, Shriber writes that investors get what they pay for. He says it’s the most diverse of the new ETFs, and the expense ratio speaks to the fund’s careful tailoring to the coronavirus. You certainly should add VIRS to your watch list.

And joining GERM and VIRS on the block is the Direxion Work From Home ETF (NYSEARCA:WFH). It debuted just a day after VIRS, on June 25, and holds 40 stocks. As its name implies, the WFH ETF is all about working from home. Its holdings include Twilio (NYSE:TWO), Crowdstrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) and Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM).

As Shriber writes, WFH has a certain level of credibility and viability that other thematic ETFs don’t. In other words, working from home won’t disappear just because the pandemic fades. That means even long-term investors can benefit from this coronavirus play.

3 E-Scooter Stocks to Buy for the ‘Micromobility’ Movement

[Wednesday, July 8, 1:02 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Electric scooters promised to make “micromobility” happen. Companies like Lime and Bird launched with plans to prioritize minimizing the environmental impacts of transportation and improve transportation options within cities and college towns. But in many ways, e-scooters represent failure. Brands launched in cities without proper permitting, consumer scooters broke down or caught on fire, and critics point to a lack of pedestrian safety.

Just a quickly as these scooters came into the spotlight, they seemed headed for demise. As the novel coronavirus hit the United States, companies that offered “shared” models for electric scooters and bikes began laying off staff and pulling out of big cities. Uber (NYSE:UBER) made the decision to sell its Jump business to Lime, scrapping leftover scooters and bikes in the process. But as Bloomberg CityLab highlights, consumers need electric scooters now more than ever.

This paradoxical reality could be the saving grace for e-scooter companies. As Melinda Hanson and Alison Murphy write, with the right steps, these companies could come back successfully. As businesses and offices reopen, consumers will need transportation options that feel safer than buses and subways. Scooters and bikes could be the perfect solution.

Plus, popular attention is coming to the electric scooter world. As The Verge’s Sean O’Kean reported, a high-speed electric scooter racing series will launch in 2021. While there aren’t many more details yet on the eSkootr competition, it promises to showcase the affordability and accessibility of the scooters. Beyond providing entertainment, Axios’ Ben German writes that the new sport also is a commentary on car dependency, pollution and micromobility.

For investors, Lime and Bird remain private. But there are other opportunities thanks to under-the-radar names and partnerships from traditional automakers. As many industry experts work to make the electric scooter relevant again in the aftermath of the pandemic, you don’t want to miss out.

To start, there’s Niu Technologies (NASDAQ:NIU). InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto recently wrote that if you like skinny jeans, you’ll love Niu stock. In other words, the up-and-coming company is the perfect play on millennial trends. Younger consumers care more about the environment and their individual impact, so they’re more likely to embrace micromobility and electric scooters. Niu offers a sleek design, and its $3,800 price tag makes it more appealing than cars for post-pandemic transportation.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) are also players in the electric scooter space. GM has a slightly different approach, offering e-bikes under the ARIV brand. The bikes are currently only available in Germany and the Netherlands, but U.S. consumers may one day see the trendy Meld and Merge bikes. Both come in under $3,800. In 2019, Volkswagen debuted two concept scooters, the Streetmate and the Cityskater. Although they are not yet ready for purchase, VWAGY shares also benefit from the e-tron, an electric scooter sold under Volkswagen’s Audi.

It’s time to ready for yourself for this part of the electric future.

Amazon Stock Looks Tasty on New Grocery Plans

[Wednesday, July 8, 11:43 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It certainly feels as if we are just days away from another round of panic-buying groceries and fighting over toilet paper rolls. At least, that’s what the rise in new novel coronavirus cases suggests. Whether or not consumers are willing to prep for more weeks of lockdown, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is set to benefit from a series of plans to up its presence in the grocery store world.

According to Retail Dive’s Jeff Wells, Amazon has confirmed a series of big moves that are especially relevant thanks to the pandemic. The e-commerce superstar already has its Whole Foods grocery chain and its Amazon Fresh delivery service. Plus, it has been piloting a cashier-less Amazon Go Grocery model in Seattle. The high-tech store addresses virus concerns while also providing easy access to a full range of fresh grocery items. All those initiatives combine to give Amazon growing power in the grocery vertical.

But, because it’s Amazon, that isn’t enough. As Wells wrote yesterday, the superstar is planning a few more big moves. Amazon will open two new Go Grocery locations in Washington, D.C. and in Redmond, Washington. Plus, understanding that Whole Foods targets a specific demographic of shoppers, the company is also planning on launching a separate supermarket brand in a handful of locations. In analyzing this strategy, one expert describes Amazon as looking to “suck the oxygen out of the room.” Clearly, Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos like to dominate.

Amazon isn’t free from criticism, but its business seems to carry on unscathed. It is once again under antitrust scrutiny, which could raise concerns as it looks to dominate in yet another industry. Plus, many consumers have expressed outrage over its treatment of warehouse employees, particularly amid the pandemic. But, as Axios’ Erica Pandey wrote, it’s not yet enough to change the situation.

For investors, this means Amazon’s moves into the grocery world are a bullish catalyst. Keep a close eye on legal and social proceedings, but also have confidence that Bezos will continue to win.

4 Stocks to Buy for ‘Resilient’ Fundamentals

[Wednesday, July 8, 10:52 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

According to Credit Suisse analysts, many investors could soon see their dreams come true. What do I mean? Well, the firm thinks the next big stock market rally could be coming from a group of stocks it calls “Stable Yields” (subscription required). These are stocks that have resilient fundamentals and solid dividends. Essentially, investors could benefit from the added income and share-price growth at once.

This is big news, especially as companies have been slashing or suspending dividends left and right. Credit Suisse says that in times like these, when interest rates are especially low, investors often prefer the names on its “Stable Yields” list. However, these names have been underperforming thus far, suggesting a big rally is ahead.

Although it sounds too good to be true, Credit Suisse swears it has double-checked its list and refined it to a group of names that truly deserves “Stable Yield” status. Here are four such stocks to buy now:

  • Verizon (NYSE:VZ)
  • Merck (NYSE:MRK)
  • FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE)
  • Public Storage (NYSE:PSA)

The Best Stocks to Play America’s Recovery

[Wednesday, July 8, 10:13 a.m.]
Contributed by Louis Navellier and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

Last month’s job numbers were way better than expected…

And that’s a big sign we’re on the road to a significant recovery.

Stock prices may have taken a nosedive during the coronavirus market panic, but — financially speaking — there’s a silver lining to the market going through a bit of turmoil…

And that is, prices are artificially depressed. … Many stocks are trading for bargains.

Investors who position themselves well now have a high likelihood of seeing big gains as the country continues to open up.

But the big question is, “Which are the best stocks to play the coming recovery?”

Fortunately, you don’t have to guess.

I’ve programmed my stock-research system to sift and sort through all 5,000 stocks on the market and find which ones are poised to soar in just a few months.

In fact, I just identified several and they’re now part of my “buy list.”

To find out how to access the best stock recommendations and research for learning how to play the coming recovery … click here.

Stocks Open Slightly Higher Wednesday

[Wednesday, July 8, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the uncertainty in the stock market than Disney (NYSE:DIS). The company has been seriously hit by the novel coronavirus. Its theme parks and resorts are closed. Movie releases have been delayed. And there are no live sports to give its ESPN a boost. Now, despite rising coronavirus cases in Florida, it remains on track to reopen Disney World in Orlando.

Don’t think no one will go. According to the New York Times’ Brooks Barnes, there’s a fair bit of incredulity. There’s also a fair bit of excitement. Demand for parking reservations for the first few days of reopening crashed the online system.

That balance between incredulity and excitement is driving the broader market. Disney reopening gives us yet another sign recovery could be coming. But those on the incredulity side point to rising coronavirus cases, the United States’ lack of unified response to the pandemic and unemployment figures that even in July aren’t too pretty.

Whether you’re ready to take the family on a Disney vacation next month or not, keep the reopening in mind. As the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all open slightly higher on Wednesday, it seems that bulls are taking the lead — at least for now.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.33%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.23%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.63%

5 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Buy Now for Huge Yields

[Tuesday, July 7, 4:27 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

InvestorPlace’s Mark Hake isn’t going to jump on the bandwagon of just any stock. And looking around, it’s easy to see why. Sure, several investors have made a pretty penny rallying behind airlines, cruise operators and even bankrupt companies. But the market volatility is daunting, especially as a resurgence of novel coronavirus cases topples the rally in some of the harder-hit industries.

Fortunately, Hake has a handy solution for the market-induced whiplash. Instead of bracing yourself each day, focus on companies that are less vulnerable to volatility. And while you’re at it, look for companies that will reward you with steady dividends and high yields. You might not find companies returning 100%-plus gains in a month, but you can still find true growth potential.

If you’re looking to follow Hake’s advice, start with these five stocks:

  • Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII)
  • Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF)
  • Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH)
  • Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE:SAIC)
  • Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW)

Stocks Close Down Tuesday Amid Pandemic Chaos

[Tuesday, July 7, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Novel coronavirus cases continue to rise. Several major cities in the U.S. are pausing reopening plans, and some are considering renewed stay-at-home orders. Rallies in hard-hit industries like travel have stalled out. Oh, and President Donald Trump is looking to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization. No wonder stocks are in the red today.

Unfortunately, the bulls just can’t fight the pandemic chaos. Cases continue to rise, and each sign of economic recovery is met with rebuttals. Good news from the vaccine world, like today’s announcement that Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) would receive $1.6 billion as part of Operation Warp Speed, is met with bad. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is warning that a vaccine may not provide “permanent” protection or immunity. World leaders including Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro — who is also a noted ally of Trump — are testing positive for Covid-19.

With a handful of companies slated to report later-stage vaccine results this summer, there are plenty of positive catalysts on the horizon. Until then, though, the bulls have quite the fight ahead of them. For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are closing down as the pandemic returns to center stage.

  • The S& 500 closed down by 1.08%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by 1.51%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed down by 0.86%

Buy Microsoft Stock If Video Game Deals Pull Through

[Tuesday, July 7, 3:40 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s been an interesting year for video game stocks. Investors came into 2020 with one big catalyst in mind — the launch of next-generation consoles from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) just in time for the holiday shopping season. But the novel coronavirus provided an unexpected — and massive — boost to all sorts of names in the gaming space. On the back of that victory, rumor has it Microsoft is looking to make some new moves in the video game world.

So what’s the deal with video game stocks? Well, American consumers had more time than ever at home. Many were looking for new hobbies to keep busy, or turning to old hobbies to cope. Plus, as live sporting events shut down, many with a gambling-focused mindset turned to the world of esports, boosting interest in that offshoot. All together, gaming was attracting a ton of money, time and interest.

Amidst this, some names in tech have been looking to take advantage of the gaming boom. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) chose the pandemic to launch its debut video game names. Other companies have been upping virtual and augmented reality capabilities. In fact, Microsoft just announced it would be shutting down its Mixer streaming platform (a competitor to Amazon’s Twitch) in favor of a partnership with Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) gaming unit. Hidden beneath the headline is the potential for VR support on Microsoft’s Xbox console. According to Venture Beat’s David Jagneux, this would be possible through Facebook’s Oculus technology.

That potential certainly has many in the gaming world excited. However, another set of rumors today is also sparking attention. Apparently, AT&T (NYSE:T) is looking to sell its Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment unit for $4 billion. And guess who’s on the interested buyer list? Yep. Microsoft.

Interactive Entertainment comes with gaming titles like Mortal Kombat. But it also has several high-profile franchises. According to The Information’s Jessica Toonkel, such a move by Microsoft could greatly improve its ability to make games for the XboxPC Gamer’s Fraser Brown also speculates that the buyer would gain access to DC games. Adding that intellectual property to a list that includes Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Lego gives this deal even more sparkle.

Keep a close eye on the rumors, especially to see if Microsoft is victorious in its move. Regardless, though, InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto sees MSFT stock as one of the top video game names to buy for the new normal. No matter what, it looks like a winning proposition.

Keep a Close Eye on the Upcoming DoorDash IPO

[Tuesday, July 7, 3:10 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Things are looking yummy for investors in the food delivery space. Yesterday we reported on Uber’s  (NYSE:UBER) big post-breakup move to acquire Postmates. Citing Wedbush analysts, we wrote that the deal made UBER stock a buy as competition in the space heats up. But there’s a private company that looks just as appealing for investors right now.

Like Postmates, DoorDash has long been a solid competitor to Uber and Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB). It bought up the Caviar platform and has continued to expand its network of partner restaurants. And according to InvestorPlace’s Tom Taulli, an initial public offering for DoorDash is likely just around the corner. That’s why he reviewed DoorDash stock yesterday, writing that DoorDash looks quite tasty.

So where does his confidence come from? Well, this has been a solid season for initial public offerings. Other tech-focused companies like Lemonade (NYSE:LMND) and Vroom (NASDAQ:VRM) stirred a lot of investor excitement. Plus, these IPOs have generally been a bullish indication of the stock market’s recovery. Perhaps that’s generated more excitement than usual over these debuts.

But there are other things about DoorDash that makes its upcoming IPO likely. As we reported yesterday, it recently confirmed that it raised $400 million in a Series H round. This new influx of cash brings its valuation to $16 billion. With this money in its pocket and big-time investors like T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments knocking on its door, that strengthens the case for a DoorDash IPO.

One more thing. As Uber grabs up Postmates and Europe’s Just Eat Takeaway (OTCMKTS:TKAYY) snatches up Grubhub, there is serious consolidation in the space. Food delivery has been hot in 2020 thanks to the novel coronavirus, and that consolidation pressure isn’t going away. As DoorDash continues to heat up its financial standing, keep a close eye on any IPO news. It’s a public debut you won’t want to miss.

10 Sports Stocks to Buy for a Return of Live Events

[Tuesday, July 7, 2:03 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Are you getting sick of game reruns and marble races yet?

If you answered yes, you wouldn’t be alone. In the early days of the novel coronavirus, the major sporting leagues moved one by one to halt live events and cancel tournaments. Even the Summer Olympics have been postponed to 2021. Now, after weeks of well, marble racing, the leagues are planning for a return. And according to InvestorPlace’s Vince Martin, this creates a huge opportunity in sports stocks.

Sure, seasons will look a little bit different. As Martin wrote, the NBA will finish its season in a “bubble” in Orlando, Florida, The MLB will play just a 60-game season. And several key athletes have already opted to sit out these unusual seasons.

But what matters is that, in some form, sports are coming back. Martin is convinced that like other hard-hit industries, investors have a real chance to rally behind companies that benefit from sports. That could be cable companies, athletic apparel companies or even companies that hold teams and famous venues. All will benefit from athletes coming out of quarantine.

So if you’re ready for start cheering on your favorite sports, here are 10 stocks to buy:

  • The Liberty Braves Group (NASDAQ:BATRA, NASDAQ:BATRK)
  • Madison Square Garden Sports (NYSE:MSGS)
  • MSG Networks (NYSE:MSGN)
  • Manchester United (NYSE:MANU)
  • Nike (NYSE:NKE)
  • Dover Motorsports (NYSE:DVD)
  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)
  • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE)
  • Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN)

Why Was This Totally Off the Radar for 99.9% of Investors?

[Tuesday, July 7, 10:50 a.m.]
Contributed by Eric Fry and the InvestorPlace Research Staff

It only takes one hit to change your life forever.

That’s what I’m good at.

Most analysts go an entire career without finding a single 1,000% winner.

I’ve found 40 of them so far — and I don’t know of another analyst who’s found even half as many.

Today, I’m urging my readers to get in front of what I see as the next big market move.

And that’s gold.

But I’m not suggesting you buy bullion, coins, ETFs, mining stocks or any other type of investment you’ve likely heard about before.

There’s something much better I’d like to tell you about today.

I believe this recommendation could easily be my next big 1,000% winner.

What I’m about to share with you is arguably the safest, most potentially profitable gold investment you could make as its price takes off into the stratosphere.

It’s unconventional —

Not many folks know anything about it…

It has a rock-solid history of soaring in gold bull markets…

And that’s exactly why YOU should be paying attention to it RIGHT NOW…

One of these investments has made incredible gains as high as 297,900% since its inception.

Another has handed investors gains as high as 1,273% since it went public.

A third has soared as much as 1,569% since starting out.

I personally believe owning these types of investments are the best way to play a gold bull market…

Both in terms of risk — and reward.

But you need to act fast.

With the 50X gold bull market set to ignite the fuse…

I’ve found just the company to own that could very soon explode and be one of the best-performing investments over the next five to 10 years.

Click here to find out more.

Stocks Slump Tuesday as Market Magic Fades

[Tuesday, July 7, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It looks like the bad news is finally catching up with the bulls. Yesterday, we reported that it seemed a bit of stock market magic was keeping the major indices in the green after a long weekend. Now though, that magic is gone. Stocks are opening down Tuesday as investors process a group of worrisome headlines.

Novel coronavirus cases are on the rise again, as Florida and Texas continue to struggle with record amounts of new cases. Tuesday, investors learned that Arizona has also become a hotspot. More and more states are falling into this nasty resurgence, and it’s real cause for concern. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned that the United States is “knee-deep” in the first wave of the virus. He’s also taking a jab at the bulls, warning that a vaccine for the coronavirus may not offer permanent protection.

Anything that questions the strength of a vaccine really rocks the bull case right now. Investors have been rallying behind hard-hit industries like airlines and cruises because a vaccine should bring back normal. If it can’t, what will hold up the stock market?

For now, that’s a question that can’t be answered. With grey skies on Wall Street, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.53%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.69%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.21%

3 Foolproof Bank Stocks to Buy for Big Profits

[Monday, July 6, 4:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Bank stocks are never particularly sexy, but they’ve had an even rougher-than-usual time so far in 2020. Fearing a replay of the 2007-08 financial crisis, investors sold them off early on in March. This move discounted the regulatory efforts brought about in a post-crisis world, and the solid balance sheets many big banks currently have.

Although he doesn’t think bank stocks can maintain a radical rally, InvestorPlace’s Nicolas Chahine wrote today that it’s time for investors to get bullish on certain bank names. Why? They haven’t recovered as much as the S&P 500. Plus, they recently passed their stress tests, and are plenty strong. Chahine sees these names as a play for 2021 — buy now, and expect big profits later.

Here are the three names he’s recommending right now:

  • JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM)
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)
  • Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLF)

Market Magic Sends Stocks Higher to Close Out Monday

[Monday, July 6, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Who needs Cinderella’s castle or the Harry Potter franchise when you have the stock market? That’s right, the magic of bullish investors is more powerful than any wizardry, witchcraft or fairy godmother. If you don’t believe me, just look at the price action in the major indices today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 400 points as the World Health Organization declared a new record of novel coronavirus cases.

With a flick of a wand, a little bit of reopening rally dust and a long weekend behind them, bulls kept stocks in the green today. But why? Miami is joining certain Texas cities in pausing reopening plans. Elsewhere, Americans are torn between staying safe at home and embracing the new normal, with or without face masks.

Perhaps the confidence comes from the determination shared by many officials to avoid stay-at-home orders and other economy-threatening moves. So far, the rise in cases has been met with panic, but reopening continues across the U.S. Will that change? And if it doesn’t, how far can this rally go?

Unfortunately, no one knows. For now though, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are joining the Dow in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.59%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 1.78%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 2.21%

Uber Stock Is a Buy on Postmates Deal

[Monday, July 6, 3:10 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It takes some people years to recover after being left at the altar, but Uber (NYSE:UBER) was ready for a rebound in just a matter of weeks. According to Bloomberg’s Eric Newcomer, Liana Baker and Katie Roof, the ride-hailing company agreed to buy Postmates for $2.65 billion. This news comes not long after rumors that Uber was looking for a similar tie-up with Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB). Unfortunately, GRUB had some reservations, choosing instead to go with Just Eat Takeaway (OTCMKTS:TKAYY).

So what’s the rush in the food delivery space? Just like those young adult years where you realize all your friends are getting married and having kids, Uber realized it was running out of time as the competition heated up. The novel coronavirus dealt the ride-hailing company a harsh blow. A pandemic, it turns out, really lowers the appeal of sharing cars with strangers. Thankfully, rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) found itself in a similar spot.

As its main business sunk, Uber turned to its Uber Eats food delivery service. Facing competition from Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash and Caviar, there was pressure for consolidation. Private competitors like Postmates and DoorDash have been looking to raise money. Plus, local and state governments have been chipping away at profits, setting fee limits and siding with restaurants.

Grubhub’s rejection stung, but Wedbush analysts think this is the “right acquisition at the right time.” Perhaps Uber and Postmates are food delivery soulmates? For Uber, the deal gives the company a leg up against the competition. Plus, the team thinks this deal is less likely to attract antitrust scrutiny. All in all, it looks like Uber is set to benefit from this well-time acquisition. That’s why the analysts have an “outperform” rating on UBER stock and a price target of $47. At the time of their note, shares traded hands for just over $30.

As novel coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, food delivery will remain crucial. Plus, with improved market share through Postmates, its post-pandemic future will be bright. Order yourself a mid-afternoon snack and buy UBER stock now.

5 Electric Car Stocks to Buy as Buffett Turns Bullish

[Monday, July 6, 2:04 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Just a few weeks ago, Warren Buffett put a serious damper on the market. He maintained that his Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) would mostly stay conservative, in order to protect shareholders’ money. Combine that with his decision to sell off airline stocks, and investors had a case for the apocalypse. But that all is changing Monday after Buffett moved to buy Dominion’s (NYSE:D) natural gas transmission and storage assets.

According to CNBC’s Yun Li, Berkshire is spending $4 billion for the assets, and is also agreeing to take on $5.7 billion in debt (subscription required). It’s the conglomerate’s first purchase since the onset of the novel coronavirus. Broadly, Dominion shareholders aren’t happy with the news, as D stock sinks 10% today. But many analysts see Buffett’s move as a bullish indicator for one big, accelerating trend.

Rob Raymond, founder of RCH Energy, told CNBC that this deal is evidence Buffett is a fan of electric cars and the electrification megatrend. How? Electric cars will raise the demand for natural gas that goes through power plants. Buffett’s move ups his — and Berkshire Hathaway’s — stake in that trend.

If you are a long-time fan of the Oracle of Omaha, or are similarly bullish on electric car stocks, InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango has five top recommendations. Lango is betting that over the next decade, electric cars will gain popularity and market share. His picks all stand to benefit from that prediction — and they represent leaders in the growing industry.

Here’s what he’s recommending right now:

  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • Nio (NYSE:NIO)
  • Nikola Motors (NASDAQ:NKLA)
  • Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV)
  • Kandi Technologies (NASDAQ:KNDI)

$1,480 Per Day (in Bull or Bear Markets)?

[Monday, July 6, 10:50 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

The market has been moving higher after the big crash…

But we’re not out of the woods just yet.

There will be more volatility to come … including a possible correction.

So what if I told you there was a way to have the chance to get some of the volatility out of your portfolio and sleep well at night…

While making A LOT more money upfront?

(Anywhere from $240 to $2,475 per trade, per day).

Would you be interested?

If so, let me introduce you to my colleague, John Jagerson.

John, who’s a former private equity investor, a Harvard Business School Leadership Development grad, and a master market trader…

Will introduce you to what Barron’s calls “one of the greatest strategies in existence.”

In short…

It’s a simple way you can make instant cash upfront, and lower your stock market risk, every time you make one simple transaction in your brokerage account.

In his brand-new Master Class program, John will show you exactly how to use this powerful market secret, starting today.

You’ll find the details right here.

Stocks Open Higher Monday Despite Troubling News

[Monday, July 6, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As the major indices charge higher Monday morning, it’s almost as if Wall Street is getting its own personal fireworks show. But it’s not. In fact, there’s seemingly little logic behind the morning’s rally higher, except that investors are ready to believe in the reopening catalyst once again.

So what should be dragging stocks down? Well, novel coronavirus cases continue to rise across the U.S. Some cities in Texas are considering renewed stay-at-home orders. Florida is struggling to use contact tracing to mitigate new cases. Analysts at Goldman Sachs just lowered their U.S. GDP forecast, calling for a 4.6% contraction in 2020. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, many experts are saying the second-quarter earnings season will be the “ugliest earnings season since the financial crisis.” Sign me up.

Warm weather and fireworks provided a little bit of market magic going into the weekend, but will that continue today? Investors should keep a close eye on this week’s look at initial unemployment claims as well as pandemic projections. If more states join Texas in debating new stay-at-home orders, stocks could take a dive — straight into the swimming pool’s deep end.

For now though, the metaphorical sun is shining and the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 1.37%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 1.41%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 1.51%

Stocks Close Higher Thursday Ahead of Holiday Weekend

[Thursday, July 2, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Let’s start with the big news. The stock market is closed tomorrow! That means we’ll see you back here bright and early on Monday.

Thankfully, we’re sending you off on a good note. The U.S. Department of Labor’s jobs report this morning beat expectations, showing the economy added almost 5 million jobs in June. That comes after yesterday’s update from ADP, showing that private payrolls added 2.3 million jobs in the same period. For now, it looks like signs of economic recovery are influencing the market more than fears of rising novel coronavirus cases and renewed lockdowns.

Perhaps after the three-day weekend, the glow will fade from the stock market. But for now, as investors get ready to watch virtual fireworks shows and enjoy social-distancing barbeques, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.46%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.36%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.52%

As always, be safe, wear a mask, and don’t miss our daily stock market updates too much!

3 Media Stocks to Buy Now as Network Ratings Soar

[Thursday, July 2, 3:34 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If you’re looking for a modern-day rendition of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” just turn on the news. Don’t see what I mean? Allegations are swirling that Russia offered Taliban-linked militants bounties to target coalition forces in Afghanistan. Reports of flying snakes are circulating. Novel coronavirus cases continue to rise. And the world is now reckoning with centuries of racism.

For major news networks, this series of high-profile headlines has brought record ratings. Yesterday, AP News’ David Bauder reported that after 40 years, CNN hit a record. In other words, its audience over the last three-month period was larger than ever before. The prime-time audience of 1.95 million was up 120% year-over-year. And now CNN is looking to reach more people than ever, taking popular anchors to weekend and late-night slots.

What does this mean for investors? Well, through a complicated business setup, AT&T (NYSE:T) owns CNN. That makes AT&T stock a great buy right now.

And it also bodes well for the owners of other top networks. As Axios’ Mike Allen wrote this morning, Fox News and MSNBC are also seeing major spikes in viewers. In the same period, Fox saw a 43% jump in audience and MSNBC saw a 13% jump. Once again, this translates to Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOX, NASDAQ:FOXA) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) being great stocks to buy. These media networks — whether you love them or hate them — are increasingly relevant.

There’s also no need to worry yet about shrinking audiences. As Americans brace for November’s presidential election, there will be more eyes than ever on TV. That’s especially true as former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump turn to the digital world for their campaigns.

Can Trendy Apartments Save Mall REITs?

[Thursday, July 2, 2:27 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Consumers are trying on makeup products through augmented reality filters. Other shoppers, fearing the novel coronavirus, are readying themselves for virtual dressing rooms. This is the retail of the future, backed by mobile shopping apps, digital-first approaches and above all, strong e-commerce strategies. Unfortunately for mall operators like Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) and Brookfield (NASDAQ:BPY), this looks like the end of traditional shopping malls.

You can blame Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or you can blame the pandemic. You can even blame the pandemic for worsening the crisis Amazon started. But consumers prioritize convenience, tech and a “personal” experience when it comes to making purchases. Retailers that got ahead of the curve are doing quite well, while we’ve seen other names like Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Francesca’s (NASDAQ:FRAN) race to pivot.

Is there anything these mall operators can do? As Morning Brew’s Halie LeSavage wrote, Brookfield is now embracing the tech revolution, bringing in virtual dressing rooms and 3D body-scanning kiosks. That will help mitigate coronavirus risks as malls reopen. But it still requires Brookfield to get shoppers into its dying malls.

That’s where new reporting from Bloomberg’s Patrick Sisson comes in. And apparently, there actually is a source of hope for mall REITs and the bullish investors behind them. If you want to attract shoppers, make sure they live super close to the mall. Like, maybe even in the mall. According to Sisson, that’s exactly what is happening in Seattle, as Brookfield moves to partner with AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB). The duo will create a mix of trendy apartment-style housing, brick-and-mortar retail and community space.

Granted, this solution won’t work for every mall. But at a time when some are calling for all malls to disappear, this gives REITs, especially those with malls in more in-demand locations, a reason for optimism. And for what it’s worth, InvestorPlace’s David Moadel recently recommended AVB stock.

7 International Stocks to Buy as the World Recovers

[Thursday, July 2, 1:17 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Citing China’s relative success in mitigating the novel coronavirus, InvestorPlace’s Chris Lau is betting on international stocks for the rest of 2020. Unfortunately, the United States isn’t having the same luck as many of its global peers — nor is it following the same pandemic strategy. As Lau writes, that means, as we are seeing unfold now, the U.S. will struggle to reopen.

Recognizing the potential in these quicker-to-reopen countries, Lau recommends adding geographic diversity to your portfolio. But if you’re new to that line of thinking, there are risks. For starters, Lau highlights the complications of currency exchange. But you can still get exposure to top global companies through conglomerates.

If you’re dreading the rise in Covid-19 cases, follow Lau’s advice. Start with these seven companies:

  • Unilever (NYSE:UL)
  • Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
  • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)
  • Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
  • Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM)
  • Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB)
  • AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)

Francesca’s Stock Pops 60% on Mobile App News

[Thursday, July 2, 12:54 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The retail apocalypse may be coming, but a handful of brick-and-mortar retailers are racing to survive. Last week we saw a crazy pop in Gap (NYSE:GAP) on news the mall-based name would partner with Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion company. Now, Francesca’s (NASDAQ:FRAN), a so-called specialty retailer with an “upscale boutique” feel, is seeing its stock pop 60% in intraday trading.

What’s the catalyst? Well, after malls closed around the United States, Francesca’s saw an uptick in e-commerce sales. The company, recognizing that digital is the future, announced today that it will work to develop a mobile app. From CEO Andrew Clarke:

“During the temporary store closure period resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, our ecommerce business surged. Given the accelerating shift to online shopping, we are excited to be stepping up our digital transformation strategy with the launch of this mobile app. In addition to enhancing her online shopping experience, the app will provide valuable insights into how customers interact with our brand, enabling us to interact with her in a more relevant and impactful way.”

Francesca’s app should be able on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) platform before the end of the summer, and on the corresponding Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android platform before the holiday season. This could help Francesca’s take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as well. And importantly, it shows that the retailer recognizes its positioning in a world where e-commerce and convenience win.

But Footwear News’ Ella Chochrek highlighted this morning that Francesca’s faces a steep uphill climb. The retailer got close to bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, alerting shareholders it had “significant doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.” Plus, it skipped rent payments for three months, furloughed the majority of its employees and reduced executive pay.

In short, it’s a hard time to be a retailer. Investors are likely rallying behind FRAN stock because, like with GPS shares, it’s important to reward companies when they embrace accelerating trends. With a shift toward digital and a distinct aesthetic, today’s news might mean Francesca’s can survive the apocalypse. It’s certainly not a retailer to ignore in the near future.

3 Furniture Stocks to Buy for WFH Comfort

[Thursday, July 2, 11:35 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

I’m sure my work-from-home journey is relatable. In the last few months, I’ve called a beach towel on my concrete patio a desk. Same goes for my coffee table, a plastic storage container I’m using as a nightstand and my kitchen bar stool. Really, whatever works.

InvestorPlace’s Tezcan Gecgil took stock of the situation, realizing that although a few Americans are returning to the office, many are prepping for indefinite periods of working from home. Plus, there are companies like Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) moving to a “WFH forever” model. Makeshift desks only work for so long. With that in mind, Gecgil is betting that furniture companies are going to attract a ton of consumer demand. And with increased consumer demand comes big share-price gains.

Beyond furniture designed for work-from-home needs, Gecgil also took a look at anything that could make long periods inside more comfortable. Do you want a more comfortable mattress? What about a better sofa for long hours binge-watching Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)?

If you want to ride this work-from-home wave, here are Gecgil’s top recommendations:

  • La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB)
  • Sleep Number (NASDAQ:SNBR)

A New Battery Could Dismantle the $75 Trillion Oil Markets

[Thursday, July 2, 10:52 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

Check out this incredible demo.

It’s pretty crazy stuff.

It’s of a mind-blowing new type of battery insiders are calling a “paradigm shift” in energy technology…

Even going so far as to call it the “Jesus Battery” because the properties it exhibits are so miraculous.

In fact, it’s proven to be such a game-changing force that some of the most powerful oil and gas corporations in the world are terrified of this breakthrough and what it’s going to do to disrupt their industry.

To them, the writing is on the wall.

It’s either embrace this new technology or become obsolete.

The U.S. Department of Energy has already classified this innovation as a “critical need” for the mass adoption of electric vehicles — as it finally promises to dramatically reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

At the heart of this revolution, one tiny company — less than 1/1000th the size of General Motors (NYSE:GM) — gearing up to drive the commercialization of this technology…

Folks who get in on this breakthrough now, BEFORE it’s rolled out on a mass scale, will have the chance to be a part of the single largest legal creation of wealth of the last 25 years…

Click here to see how.

Stocks Open Higher Thursday as Unemployment Shrinks

[Thursday, July 2, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Boy, what a morning! Investors have a lot to cheer about today, and not even this morning’s update on initial jobless claims can bring the major indices down. For starters, it’s nice to know that tomorrow’s a holiday. With a three-day weekend ahead, bulls are looking for an early third-quarter victory.

So what’s driving the market? Perhaps the biggest piece of news is the jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor. The economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, bringing the overall unemployment rate down from 13.3% to 11.1%. That’s good news on its own. But according to the Axios staff, the report also beat expectations. Experts were calling for the economy to add just 3 million jobs, which would have brought the unemployment rate to 12.5%.

However, looking at this morning’s initial jobless claims report, it’s important to note that the update was worse than expectations. Investors learned that another 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, while experts were predicting a figure around 1.38 million. Although it’s not the most drastic miss, this week marks 15 consecutive weeks of figures above 1 million.

In other words, the picture we’re painting of recovery is far from flawless. As the third quarter progresses, these economic reports should hopefully improve. But as novel coronavirus cases continue to rise, there’s a lot to watch. For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 1.18%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 1.47%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.95%

Stocks Close Higher Wednesday to Kick Off Q3

[Wednesday, July 1, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Investors clearly didn’t want to start off the third quarter on a rough note. That means the major indices are closing higher Wednesday, despite this morning’s payroll miss and the looming initial jobless claims report. Perhaps the combination of a clean slate and a long weekend ahead will boost the stock market tomorrow as well.

Beyond the payroll reports miss — which still showed private employers adding more than 2 million new jobs in June — it was a lot of novel coronavirus news driving trading. Cases continue to rise around the United States, and officials are struggling to balance public health concerns with the economy. At the same time, good news from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) is giving bulls something to cheer over. Pfizer’s CEO even thinks the vaccine candidate could be ready for launch in October 2020. Wouldn’t that be nice?

For now, Q3 is looking good. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are closing in the green. Unfortunately, the Dow Jones Industrial Average wasn’t so lucky.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.5%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.3%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.95%

T2 Biosystems Stock Climbs 26% on New Coronavirus Test

[Wednesday, July 1, 3:42 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ:TTOO) is looking to benefit from pandemic uncertainties. Right now, the U.S. is dealing with a record spike in novel coronavirus cases. But at the same time, many organizations, schools and workplaces are preparing to move forward with reopening plans. Both parts of this reality require an uptick and testing, a new swab from T2 can help with just that.

What exactly is T2 Biosystems? Well, Massachusetts-based company focuses on making test kits for all sorts of bacteria and fungi. These panels look for sepsis-causing pathogens in whole blood — meaning healthcare professionals don’t have to rely on blood cultures. And the perk? The tests deliver results super quickly. According to a company press release, T2 Biosystems’ standard tests deliver results in less than five hours. A blood culture would take several days to provide results.

Why does this matter? Well, in the company’s own words, it helps patients get on the right treatment faster, improves treatment outcomes and reduces costs. Instead of waiting several days for test results — and letting patients get even sicker with time — the company’s tests can give hospitals a jump start on different treatments.

This is extremely important with the novel coronavirus, and that’s why TTOO is having such a hot day. The company announced it had received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its T2SARS-CoV-2 Panel, a test that relies on its same diagnostic technology. All healthcare workers need from the patient is a nasopharyngeal swab sample, and results should be ready in two hours. Plus, especially amid rising concerns over test kit accuracy, it’s good to know that this new test has a 95% sensitivity score and a 100% specificity score.

TTOO stock is up 26% in intraday trading on the news, but it’s important to remember that T2 Biosystems is a small company. Even after the rally, shares are still under $2. That doesn’t mean there’s no potential here, but investors should be cautious while pursuing this test kit victory.

7 Utility Stocks to Buy for a Mix of Yield and Safety

[Wednesday, July 1, 1:55 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As InvestorPlace’s Thomas Niel makes very clear, it’s an odd time to be an investor. Some are chasing hard-hit names like American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and Carnival (NYSE:CCL), hoping for a big rebound as the U.S. economy reopens. Others are staying safe, rallying up tech giants to all-time highs. But is either really a good strategy right now? What about the resurgence in novel coronavirus cases — should that be influencing your approach?

Niel is doubtful that either is the perfect way to invest now, and he’s also keeping a close eye on the pandemic. That’s why instead of rushing to buy the dip or chase already lofty name higher, he’s looking at utility stocks. OK, hear him out. Utility stocks combine high dividend yields with low volatility.

If you’re looking for 100%-plus gains, these stocks likely aren’t for you. But if you’re looking for a spot in the stock market that’s “just right,” Niel’s advice makes sense. Here’s what he is recommending now:

  • Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)
  • Dominion Energy (NYSE:D)
  • Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)
  • Edison International (NYSE:EIX)
  • Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ:EXC)
  • PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL)
  • The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Pfizer and BioNTech Stock Pop on Vaccine News

[Wednesday, July 1, 1:21 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Today, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) reported results from a Phase 1 vaccine trial. And unlike what we saw yesterday with Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), the market is rewarding PFE and BNTX. Both stocks are up more than 5% in intraday trading.

The biggest difference is the level of specificity in the report. In general, both reports were positive, and are leading to further stages of human trials. Plus, both vaccine candidates have received spots in President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed program. But Pfizer and BioNTech went into greater detail about the doses they studied, the immune response triggered and the next steps for human trials.

Here are details on the Phase 1 trial, via STAT’s Matthew Herper:

“The study randomly assigned 45 patients to get one of three doses of the vaccine or placebo. Twelve received a 10-microgram dose, 12 a 30-microgram dose, 12 a 100-microgram dose, and nine a placebo. The 100-microgram dose caused fevers in half of patients; a second dose was not given at that level.”

Essentially, the low and medium doses passed the “safety” portions of the Phase 1 trial. In terms of the vaccine candidate’s ability to trigger an immune response, BioPharma Dive’s Ned Pagliarulo reported both lower doses produced antibodies that were capable of neutralizing the novel coronavirus. Additionally, the antibodies were able to neutralize the virus at levels two to three times higher than what researchers have seen in recovered Covid-19 patients.

Herper and Pagliarulo both stress that there are several more steps that the duo needs to take, but at least the initial data looks good. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla hopes to have the vaccine ready by October 2020, and the pair estimate they can produce 100 million doses by the end of the year. That estimate jumps for 2021 — up to 1.2 billion doses.

Pfizer and BioNTech have checked all the boxes so far, and Wall Street is rewarding them. Keep a close eye on the pair, you don’t want to miss out on vaccine victory.

Buy Klarna for Pandemic Potential in the Private Markets

[Wednesday, July 1, 11:30 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Many shoppers have likely found themselves with a whole lot of time on their hands and not a whole lot of money to spend. But that consumer urge is still there. Yeah, that urge for instant gratification. You see a pair of shoes, a shirt or even a new coffee table. You immediately want the item in question, and you don’t want to wait.

That’s where Klarna comes in. Like Australian Afterpay (OTCMKTS:AFTPY), which we have recommended in this blog, Klarna is all about the “buy now, pay later” model. And although it’s not publicly traded, InvestorPlace’s Robert Lakin took a deep dive yesterday into how investors can still buy Klarna stock.

Klarna is a solid company with a solid business model. Plus, the appeal of buy now, pay later services is likely accelerating thanks to the novel coronavirus. Interest-free payment installments promise instant gratification without the heartache. As Lakin details, Klarna pays the retailers upfront, collecting emails and ZIP codes from customers. From there, customers can choose to pay now, in 30 days, in four interest-free payments or across six to 36 months with interest.

That way, you can get the table you want from IKEA without worrying when your next paycheck is coming. In fact, IKEA is actually one of the more than 200,000 retail partners that Klarna works with. Other names include Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF).

If you’re rolling your eyes at the buy now, pay later concept, Lakin has an important reminder. Sure, millennials love it, but it’s not exactly a new idea. Retailers have embraced payment installments for ages, and Klarna is just bringing the concept into the modern world. Plus, e-commerce adoption is rapidly accelerating. Klarna and its peers stand to benefit from megatrends in retail, financial services and fintech. That’s why Lakin called it the “trifecta of disruption.”

Although publicly traded Afterpay is also an excellent bet, there’s a great reason to consider Klarna stock here as well. It is in a Series E funding round, and next steps are likely an initial public offering or some sort of takeover deal. In either situation, early shareholders will benefit. As with other private investing opportunities, there are risks here. But if you do your own research and use caution, there’s also a whole lot of pandemic potential.

9 Minutes, 12 Seconds Could Make You $2,475 Upfront

[Wednesday, July 1, 10:19 a.m.]
Contributed by Andrew Taylor

We recently put together a short video to show you a powerful trading strategy you’ve probably never considered.

It won’t take much time to watch — just 9 minutes, 12 seconds.

This strategy, as you’ll see, is the best and lowest-risk way to “accelerate” an investment account.

It has nothing to do with buying risky stocks … buying options … or taking a flyer on some “hot tip.”

Instead, it’s a way you can receive instant cash upfront — anywhere from $240 to $2,475 per trade — every single time you perform one simple transaction in a brokerage account.

This incredible moneymaking potential is why Barron’s calls this “one of the greatest strategies in existence.”

Before we take it offline, watch this short nine-minute video for the full story.

Stocks Open Higher Wednesday Despite ADP Payroll Miss

[Wednesday, July 1, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We’re starting to see signs of economic recovery, but it’s not enough for many investors. That’s especially true as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise, leading to renewed lockdowns — and panic — across the United States.

On Wednesday, this phenomenon appeared in the ADP payroll report. As Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick and Javier David wrote, ADP showed the market this morning that private employers added 2.37 million jobs in June. That’s up from a loss of 3 million jobs in May. It should be great news, but it’s not enough. Investors have been waiting since early March to see more meaningful signs of recovery, and each slow-but-steady update wears away at hopes for a V-shaped bounce. Plus, economists were calling for 2.95 million jobs to be added in June.

Remember, we’ll also have our weekly look at initial jobless claims tomorrow. Will that number finally start to show significant improvement?

Unfortunately, this morning’s lackluster news has the third quarter off to an equally lackluster start. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are in the green, but just barely.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.18%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.24%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.05%

Stocks Close Higher Tuesday and Q2 Comes to an End

[Tuesday, June 30, 4:09 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Boy, what a quarter. We’ve seen a global pandemic, unprecedented unemployment levels and all sorts of innovation driven by the novel coronavirus. We have also had an opportunity to watch competing forces drive the market up and down. Now, at the end of the second quarter, we face a rise in coronavirus cases and a strong push to reopen the U.S. economy. What will play out in the next few months?

Today, it’s clear bulls wanted to end the quarter on a high note. The major indices are all up on the day, as investors try to balance pandemic warnings from Dr. Anthony Fauci with stimulus promises from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. It’s likely the third quarter will see much of the same action in the stock market, and who knows what else it will bring.

For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.53%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.84%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.87%

This Is the Secret to Eric’s 10x Gains…

[Tuesday, June 30, 3:35 p.m.]
Contributed by 
Andrew Taylor

We recently convinced InvestorPlace analyst Eric Fry to reveal the secret to his extraordinary success.

It’s a pattern he discovered 30 years ago, almost by accident.

He calls it, simply, the “PRO System.”

It’s the culmination of a long career that’s taken him from San Francisco to Monte Carlo to Wall Street … and back to California, where he no longer has to head to an office every morning.

Using his proprietary “PRO System,” he’s identified the chance to pinpoint stocks in the early stages of a major advance, time and time again … and lock in the biggest possible gains.

Just take a look at some of these gains:

  • 5,075% on Ericsson Telecom
  • 1,543% on Sturm, Ruger
  • 1,028% on Service Corp.
  • 1,307% on Foster’s Brewing Group
  • 2,045% on BHP
  • 1,622% on Adidas
  • 2,277% on Agnico Eagle Mines
  •  7,908% on Australia and New Zealand Bank
  • And 11,237% on Royal Garden Resorts

In an industry where you’re fortunate to find just one 1,000%-plus gainer, Eric has found 41 of them.

Now, he’s going to show you exactly how he does it in this InvestorPlace exclusive.

He’ll even give away one of his favorite recommendation right now — including the name and ticker symbol, absolutely free — just for tuning in.

Before this goes offline again, get the details here.

Don’t Count Inovio Stock Out of the Vaccine Race Yet

[Tuesday, June 30, 3:08 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) made a big announcement Tuesday, but instead of leading a rally, the news has shares down 23% in intraday trading. The fall comes as investors struggle to balance a deep desire for novel coronavirus vaccine updates with stricter guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Does this new guidance discount Inovio’s success?

Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on. This morning, Inovio published a press release detailing how a Phase 1 trial of its INO-4800 vaccine candidate met positive results. According to the report, 94% of trial participants demonstrated an immune response to the vaccine. The purpose of these early trials is to test whether a vaccine candidate is safe and effective — does it trigger any immune response? With these new results, Inovio says it will release more details in a peer-reviewed study and soon begin Phase 2 trials.

Additionally, the company announced its vaccine candidate had been selected for President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

Sure, this is all good news. But good news typically doesn’t send a stock on a 20%-plus decline.

Reading between the lines, BioPharma Dive’s Jonathan Gardner highlight how many details are missing from the report. What was the level of immune response to the vaccine? What type of immune response was it? And how does the response in trial participants compare to that of Covid-19 survivors? These questions are causing many to doubt Inovio.

Then, factor in a new report from the FDA. The group released new guidance. Now, to meet the primary efficacy endpoint in a clinical trial, a company must show that its treatment reduces risk of disease by Covid-19 by 50%. Investors likely don’t want to support a dangerous treatment, but it is a blow of caution and realism that counters any sort of reopening rally. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has also said that there’s no guarantee of a safe and effective vaccine.

Today then is likely a result of investors backpedaling their bullishness on Inovio and its peers. And yes, investors should keep a close eye on the company to see if it releases meatier data. If it does, INO stock still can be a winner on a coronavirus vaccine rally.

7 Healthcare Stocks to Buy for Pandemic Recovery

[Tuesday, June 30, 1:50 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Everyone’s totally happy with the healthcare system in the United States, right? Oh wait.

Beyond thrusting the world into a state of panic, the novel coronavirus has highlighted a lot of flaws in the healthcare system — but it’s also been accelerating change. Just as the pandemic has raised conversations about insurance, healthcare costs, drug pricing and racial disparities in health outcomes, it has also accelerated adoption of telemedicine and shown the potential of next-generation R&D.

In fact, it’s this combination that has InvestorPlace’s Ian Bezek bullish on the healthcare space. He wrote today that it’s “painfully clear” we need more investment, innovation and modernization. Plus, as the national consensus supports such innovation, other fears are now in the rear-view mirror. For instance, some investors spent the early months of 2020 fretting what would happen if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the election in November. Now that former Vice President Joe Biden has secured the Democratic ticket, Bezek is hopeful for an outcome that solves healthcare’s challenges while still supporting a future of development.

With that in mind, here are seven healthcare stocks he’s recommending now:

  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC)
  • Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO)
  • Stryker (NYSE:SYK)
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
  • Ventas (NYSE:VTR)
  • HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA)

Lululemon Stock Is a Buy After Mirror Acquisition

[Tuesday, June 30, 11:19 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) has long been a favorite of investors. There’s serious brand appeal behind its pricey leggings and other athleisure apparel, and the company has a great sales model. That’s why InvestorPlace analyst Matt McCall wrote earlier in June that LULU stock was a buy — and that the company would thrive — regardless of woes from the novel coronavirus.

And today, it’s clear Lululemon doesn’t want to let its fans down. The company announced it would acquire home fitness startup Mirror for $500 million. That news has LULU stock up 5.3% in intraday trading.

So what exactly is Mirror? Think aesthetically pleasing mirror, but the home fitness version. In the company’s own words, it’s the “nearly invisible home gym.” Essentially, the connected screen comes with all sorts of workouts, customizable playlists and a wall mount that helps it easily blend into your living space. On the startup’s website, it retails for just under $1,500.

This all matters today because of the at-home workout push. We saw consumers start panic-buying Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) bikes, and any apps that focused on running or at-home fitness plans saw record downloads. During the peak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, this made PTON stock a star.

Now, it looks like Lululemon is entering the fitness tech space in a big way. Consumers already love Lululemon’s clothing, and the Mirror devices appear to complement the athleisure aesthetic well. Plus, as TechCrunch’s Brian Heater noted this morning, the two companies have a long history of working together, and Mirror already has a reputation for rivaling Peloton.

Although it’s unclear exactly what the fitness world will look like as the U.S. continues to reopen, many experts agree at-home fitness isn’t disappearing. Even if the Mirror acquisition doesn’t help Lululemon live the dream “sweatlife,” LULU stock is still a great name to buy.

Buy the GERM ETF for a Basket of Coronavirus Stocks

[Tuesday, June 30, 10:47 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There’s an exciting new fund on Wall Street, and it’s perfect for investors looking to ride the novel coronavirus catalyst. The ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF (NYSEARCA:GERM) gives investors direct exposure to biotech companies that specialize in infectious diseases. And right now, that means many of its top holdings are geared toward Covid-19.

As InvestorPlace’s Todd Shriber recently highlighted, this exchange-traded fund isn’t exclusively a coronavirus ETF. However, it’s the first of its kind, and it’s a pretty good bet right now. It comes with an expense ratio of 0.68%, or $68 on an initial $10,000 investment, and the index it follows accounts for disease treatments and vaccines as well as diagnostic advancements.

With the coronavirus in mind, that means some of its top holdings are stars in the vaccine race. You’ll find Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Novavax  (NASDAQ:NVAX). You’ll also get exposure to Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) partnership with BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) through shares of the latter.

Elsewhere in the world of infectious diseases — and the unfortunate world of the coronavirus — there are key diagnostic and test kit companies. Two of those names, Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE:LH), are also in the fund’s top holdings.

But what about in a post-coronavirus world? Will the GERM ETF still make sense? Shriber thinks so. He wrote that while investors should see its near-term appeal because of the coronavirus, it also has long-term appeal for its broader focus. Plus, as the fund company highlights, there were 36 epidemic events in the U.S. from January 2011 to January 2018 alone.

If you want to buy into the vaccine hype but are worried about betting on the wrong company, the GERM ETF could be perfect for you.

Stocks Slump Tuesday as Cases Continue to Rise

[Tuesday, June 30, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, there goes yesterday’s optimism. The major indices turned right around, sinking into the red on Tuesday as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning that there is “too much virus” to get the pandemic under control. Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, will testify about the path forward. In short, as cases rise around the country, things look grim.

Investors still have the jobs report and Thursday morning’s standard jobless claims filing to watch this week. But will those numbers be enough to instill confidence? More states are joining Florida and Texas in pausing reopening plans, as others push ahead.

For now, the uncertainty is heavy. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening down.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.12%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.33%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.01%

Stocks Close Higher Monday on Housing Data

[Monday, June 29, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

This morning, we wrote that investors were likely eyeing upcoming economic reports while bidding the major indices higher. That turned out to be true, as new numbers from the National Association of Realtors saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain more than 500 points. According to this afternoon’s report, pending home sales — sales where contracts are signed but the deal hasn’t closed — climbed 44.3% in May. That truly was a surprise, as economists were calling for a jump of 15%.

Plus, hard-hit Boeing (NYSE:BA) is making a comeback, closing higher by more than 14% today. This rally comes on news it is beginning test flights of its 737 Max aircraft. While analysts are quick to point out it will be a long time before the controversial plane resumes normal service, even a hint of normal is a victory at this point.

Investors are taking those two surprises and running, choosing to momentarily ignore the surge in novel coronavirus cases. Perhaps tomorrow, news that many states are revisiting lockdowns will see a return of panic. But for now, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are joining the DJIA in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.47%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 2.32%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.2%

Pour Yourself a Beer and Buy Anheuser-Busch Stock

[Monday, June 29, 3:18 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Happy hours, weekends at craft breweries, trivia nights. These beloved social outings were temporarily removed from society, thanks to the novel coronavirus. But according to data from BeerBoard, beer is back on the tap and Americans are back in the breweries. As Axios’ Hans Nichols puts it, although it’s not a perfect measure, the so-called Beer Barometer still indicates the U.S. is reopening.

The good news is that despite attention-grabbing headlines from Florida and Texas, approximately 85% of BeerBoard’s clients have reopened. Granted, BeerBoard can’t speak to every brewery or bar, but with 1,300 clients across the U.S., it’s a good analysis.

The bad news is that only half of the taps at those reopened watering holes are on. And, as Nichols emphasizes, the restaurant industry is far from its pre-pandemic standing.

For investors, there are a few takeaways. To start, the fact that so many breweries have reopened is an indication of economic recovery. Just think about where we were in late March. However, consumers’ pent-up demand hasn’t quite taken the recovery all the way yet. This means that investors should start looking for solid beer stocks that will benefit from those final stages of the return to normal.

Barron’s Teresa Rivas has one recommendation: Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD). Not only are the company’s beer brands staples, but its Bud Light Seltzer will benefit from America’s obsession with hard seltzers. Essentially, BUD stock has it all. With a few more hot summer months ahead, start stocking up your pantry, and starting buying Anheuser-Busch stock.

Gilead’s New Price for Remdesivir Makes GILD Stock a Buy

[Monday, June 29, 1:43 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

A loss for patients is a win for the healthcare world, and for eager investors. That sentiment is true today, as Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) confirms a price range for its remdesivir treatment. According to most experts, the final per-patient price of $3,120 will almost guarantee the company makes a profit. This news comes after weeks of concerns that a lower price would appease advocacy groups, but limit the upside potential for GILD stock.

There’s no joy in this bull case, but it’s important to understand. The $3,120 price tag reflects what U.S. hospitals will pay for the average individual with private insurance. President Donald Trump has already secured 500,000 doses of remdesivir for U.S. hospitals, likely enough to last through September. But these doses aren’t a free gift from the White House — it will charge them Gilead’s set price.

Remdesivir is the only drug that proved effective against the novel coronavirus in clinical trials. Because of this success, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Gilead emergency-use authorization for the antiviral. Gilead had initially developed the drug as a treatment for Ebola.

The pandemic has brought concerns over unemployment, healthcare costs and broader social justice movements to the mainstream. Each week investors have watched millions of Americans file for initial unemployment benefits. With that, millions of Americans now find themselves without health insurance. That reality — and the needs of lower-income countries — has lead advocacy groups to push Gilead for lower prices. Investors, wary of the limited stock-price upside lower prices would bring, have largely stopped flirting with GILD stock. Even today, shares are up just marginally in intraday trading.

Morality concerns aren’t disappearing, and neither is pricing pressure. Early studies have declared cheap steroid dexamethasone effective in some of the worst cases of Covid-19. Hospitals can acquire that drug for just a few dollars per vial. However, that drug still has a ways to go to catch up with remdesivir. In the meantime, a new rise in cases means more demand for Gilead’s treatment. And at a high price, that demand should translate to a pretty profit for the drugmaker.

Kevin O’Leary: 7 Stocks to Buy for the ‘Great Digital Pivot’

[Monday, June 29, 1:07 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has been playing the role of detective. As the novel coronavirus has continued to shape and shift the world we know, O’Leary has been keeping close watch. He’s indexing the changes that he sees and investing in them himself. And according to Benzinga’s Dustin Blitchok, these changes center around a trend O’Leary has dubbed the “Great Digital Pivot.”

We all know that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is a stock market star. It made e-commerce the norm. It has accelerated the decline of all sorts of brick-and-mortar retailers. To survive, many businesses were used to getting 40% of their sales through Amazon’s platforms. But the pandemic changed that.

According to O’Leary, Amazon’s business customers are fighting back. The e-commerce giant isn’t exactly known for being warm and fuzzy, or for treating its business partners well. At a time when every dollar counts more, many smaller businesses were worried about losing their customers to Amazon. When you buy a product on the site, you don’t exactly get connected to the third-party seller.

O’Leary is investing in this rebellion through the “Great Digital Pivot.” These are companies the legendary investor believes will benefit from businesses looking to profit from e-commerce sales in a way that doesn’t detract from their branding or image. And right now, he has seven top recommendations:

  • Shopify (NYSE:SHOP)
  • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)
  • Wayfair (NYSE:W)
  • Crowdstrike Holdings (NASDAQ:CRWD)
  • Twilio (NYSE:TWLO)
  • DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU)
  • Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM)

Note: According to Blitchok, these companies are all included in O’Leary’s O’Shares Global Internet Giants ETF (NYSEARCA:OGIG).

WHO Plans to Deliver 2 Billion Vaccine Doses in 2021

[Monday, June 29, 12:04 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Everything about this year’s race to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus has been ambitious. Companies developed candidates at record speed. Public health coalitions have contributed record funding and talent. Now, countries around the world are ramping up testing and manufacturing, establishing ambitious plans to vaccinate their populations. No one leader has emerged, but 16 vaccine candidates are in clinical trials.

According to BioPharma Dive’s Ned Pagliarulo, the World Health Organization (WHO) is taking the next ambitious step. The organization’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator published a plan to administer 2 billion doses of a vaccine by the end of 2021. In order to do so, it would need $18.1 billion.

In the United States, President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed is funneling money and resources into vaccine R&D. Similar programs exist in the United Kingdom and the European Union. But the WHO fears for lower- and middle-income countries. Countries that do not have the money to pay for vaccines will likely become hotspots for the virus to fester. By truly vaccinating the world, it’s more likely experts can eradicate the virus.

As the WHO only has a fraction of the money it needs, it has set up a so-called investment facility. Wealthier countries can purchase doses through the facility — which will make 950 million doses available. From there, with demand levels high, companies will have an incentive to scale up manufacturing. The WHO will then purchase another billion doses and distribute them across low-income countries.

Like with other steps in the vaccine process, this means there will continue to be increased pressure on and excitement around leaders in the race. Within Operation Warp Speed, that has meant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck (NYSE:MRK). As the WHO expands its focus internationally other vaccine makers could also receive a boost. Keep a close eye on top vaccine players.

Stocks Open Higher Monday as Coronavirus Cases Jump

[Monday, June 29, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

What a weekend. The global death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 500,000. Hospitals in the United States are rushing to prepare for a second surge in new cases. States like Texas and Florida are shutting down bars, delaying key business reopenings and bracing for the worst. According to the New York Times’ Frances Robles, cases in the latter state are up “fivefold” in just two weeks.

There’s not much to celebrate there, and investors also have a jobs report due this week to process. On Friday, we saw the gloom in the market take the major indices lower. But on Monday, despite a string of worrisome headlines, stocks are in the green.

Will that change today? Will this week’s economic updates cause another round of panic? Or, will we finally start to see more meaningful signs of recovery? As usual, it’s too soon to tell. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are opening in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.32%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.77%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.17%

Stocks Close Lower Friday as Pandemic Fears Return

[Friday, June 26, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Ugh. We didn’t exactly see a weekend rally in the stock market today. The major indices remain in the red, as novel coronavirus cases continue to rise around the United States. After a record climb in infection numbers, there are now 2.4 million confirmed cases. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there could actually be 24 million cases.

State officials are now responding to the rise in infections, halting or reversing reopening plans. North Carolina Gov. Ray Cooper has made face masks mandatory in public. And Florida is closing its bars — again — to try and slow the spread of Covid-19.

Companies are also responding. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to close its retail locations in hard-hit states. Disney (NYSE:DIS) has paused its plans to reopen California’s Disneyland. And Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is strengthening its position on face masks. If you don’t wear one, you’ll be banned from your flight.

With a vaccine still a long ways out, bulls will face a challenge on Monday to turn things around. For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 2.42%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 2.83%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 2.59%

Is There a Bull Case Behind Rising Coronavirus Numbers?

[Friday, June 26, 3:23 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

MarketWatch’s Steve Goldstein said it best. Everyone has “become” an epidemiologist thanks to the novel coronavirus. Wall Street analysts are modeling infection numbers. So is your college friend who sells essential oils. Everyone wants to know exactly how the pandemic will impact their economy and their families, and with so much uncertainty present in the market, everyone is trying to find answers for themselves.

Right now, a source of uncertainty is the spike in Covid-19 cases. After reopening, Florida and Texas have already had to pause plans. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is closing stores once again. Americans are struggling to balance social distancing protocols with pent-up demand and a lust for “normal” life.

But a rise in cases has brought fear back to the market. Stocks have been struggling most of the week, and analysts are back to looking at work-from-home and defensive plays. There is one analyst, however, that is taking the resurgence of the novel coronavirus as a good sign: Christopher Wood, the head of global equity strategies at Jefferies.

According to the analyst, the spike in cases is perhaps a sign that the virus is losing its strength. His evidence? The virus is now spreading outside of crowded cities, it’s starting to mostly affect younger people and the mortality rate appears to be falling. He thinks this means Covid-19 will “burn itself out” like the SARS virus did.

Even if he’s wrong, Wood maintains that a second shock wave isn’t about to hit the market. He believes officials will work together to prevent nationwide lockdowns and will strategize to keep the economy running through the summer. His argument may be hard to believe, but it’s worth noting, especially as many investors find themselves pulled between fearing a second wave and cheering a reopening rally.

Tencent Stock Is a Buy on Its Growing Media Dominance

[Friday, June 26, 2:52 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) has wasted no time in 2020 growing its global footprint. Quickly recognizing what trends the novel coronavirus was accelerating, the company InvestorPlace’s Tezcan Gecgil recently called a “behemoth” has rushed to get ahead. With that in mind, investors should rush to get ahead of Tencent’s likely share-price explosion.

When Gecgil recommended the stock on June 15, she highlighted all of the different ways Tencent exerted its power in tech and entertainment. It controls popular messaging app WeChat. It now has a stake in recent IPO Warner Music Group (NASDAQ:WMG) after spinning off its own Tencent Music Entertainment (NYSE:TME) in 2018. Plus, it has cloud, video and gaming businesses.

Earlier in the quarantine, the company made moves in the retail space after becoming a “substantial shareholder” in Australia-based Afterpay (OTCMKTS:AFTPY). Afterpay capitalizes on pandemic-driven consumer trends like buy now, pay later, making e-commerce purchases more accessible. That news led us to recommend AFTPY stock, and it certainly boosts the bull case for Tencent.

But Tencent isn’t stopping there. It just confirmed that it had acquired Malaysia-based iFlix, a streaming media company with operations in 13 countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Thailand. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has been putting resources into its Asia expansion, but Tencent’s bold move could help it gain and sustain streaming dominance. This also gives it more of an edge against iQiyi (NASDAQ:IQ), which Tencent is allegedly looking to acquire a stake in.

In the music world, Tencent has its Joox brand, which, according to The Drum’s Shawn Lim, primarily sources users from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. Joox is a “freemium” service with 30 million songs, and it uses country-specific partnerships to generate excitement. Soon after the mobile app’s release, it had dominated the streaming music market in Hong Kong and Malaysia. This early success already has some questioning whether it will beat Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) in Asia. Some experts have called Asia Spotify’s “weak spot,” recognizing Tencent’s enormous potential.

Lastly, in a time when video gaming and esports is the rage, Tencent is stepping up to the plate with a Nintendo (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) partnership. The duo just announced a new Pokemon game, which many have been quick to compare to League of Legends in mechanics. According to the South China Morning Post’s Ravi Hiranand, this is a sign the largest names in gaming are starting to trust and respect Tencent.

Tencent is clearly a behemoth. As Gecgil wrote earlier this month, TCEHY better be on your radar.

4 Marijuana Stocks to Buy Now for a Market Recovery

[Friday, June 26, 1:28 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Cannabis, cannabis, cannabis. The industry went from flying high to crashing hard. It turns out that investors simply weren’t willing to support marijuana stocks when the economy began to suffer. Over 2019, many allowed popular cannabis names to lose money, shake up leadership and experiment with new products, facilities and international expansion plans. But amid a pandemic, the stock market wanted more hard numbers.

Unfortunately, this has meant that even some of the strongest names in the cannabis world have been decimated. U.S. legalization remains uncertain, and legal growers are still fighting for share with the black market.

Plus, the novel coronavirus has brought even more uncertainty and hardship to the cannabis space. Some scientists think cannabis — or at least certain proteins high in CBD — can help treat Covid-19. Others warn that even smoking occasionally increases your risk for contracting the virus, and increases the severity of your symptoms. At the very beginning of lockdowns, many consumers stocked up on marijuana products to cope. But a few months in, drops in consumer spending and rising unemployment are hurting that vice catalyst.

Clearly, it’s an ugly time to be a cannabis company. But there is still hope, at least for the strongest players. Other hard-hit industries have already started to rebound as investors processed their overreactions in March. Plus, at least over the long term, the bull case for marijuana will become clearer. That’s why InvestorPlace’s David Moadel is recommending four companies he sees as being most likely to benefit from a rally in the sector.

According to Moadel, if you plant your seeds today, you could see them bear fruit later in 2020. Here are his top four recommendations:

  • Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA)
  • Hexo (NYSE:HEXO)
  • Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON)
  • Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB)

Buy Gap Stock on Brand Collaboration With Kanye West

[Friday, June 26, 12:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

What a headline — and what a share-price catalyst. After months of struggling, Gap (NYSE:GPS) shares are up more than 25% in intraday trading on news that the retailer would partner with Kanye West and his fashion company Yeezy.

So what’s the big deal? Don’t celebrities partner with brands all the time? A big part of Friday’s excitement comes from the fact that Gap has been struggling. Beyond its namesake Gap locations, it also is the company behind Old Navy and Banana Republic. What those apparel outlets all have in common is that they are often found in malls. Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s been hard for retailers. And malls were struggling for years beforehand.

Another key issue with Gap is what the New York Times’ Sapna Maheshwari calls an identity crisis. What makes a Gap or an Old Navy store special? And what consumers prioritize those retailers? Kanye West, however, doesn’t share that same problem.

Gap signed a 10-year contract with West to create affordable apparel items through a new Yeezy Gap collaboration. Additionally, West is set to play a key role in deciding how his products are arranged and sold through Gap stores. While a new brand itself is exciting, especially with celebrity star-power behind it, it’s the impact on Gap’s revenue that is likely most exciting for investors.

According to Maheshwari, Gap hopes the Yeezy Gap line will bring in $1 billion of revenue annually. In 2019, the company brought in just $4.6 billion of global revenue. The partnership with West then could generate a new future for the retailer. As consumer preferences and brand expectations shift amid a world-altering pandemic, such a move could keep Gap from falling victim to the retail apocalypse.

Consider buying GPS stock, and make sure to check in with Gap’s earnings after the Yeezy spinoff launches.

7 Small-Cap Stocks to Buy Ahead of a Major Rally

[Friday, June 26, 11:21 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Over the last few months investors have largely clung to big tech names. It makes sense, as companies like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) have reputations and business models that are commonly understood. Sure, the novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the entire economy, but it’s likely safe to assume that internet search and social media will survive the pandemic. But what about small-cap stocks without household recognition?

Credit Suisse analysts are acknowledging that up until now, this year has created a lot of reliance on mega-cap tech stocks. And investors are starting to doubt their luck chasing some of these hot names. According to the analysts, this reality, among many other catalysts, is creating big potential for small-cap stocks in the near future.

Andrew Garthwaite, a global equity strategist at Credit Suisse, wrote in a client note that “Small caps are more cyclical and less diversified businesses and thus do well as the economic cycle recovers.”

With that in mind, here are seven small-cap stocks the firm is recommending now (subscription required):

  • BWX Technologies (NYSE:BWXT)
  • eHealth (NASDAQ:EHTH)
  • Equitrans Midstream (NYSE:ETRN)
  • PennyMac Financial Services (NYSE:PFSI)
  • Tradeweb Markets (NASDAQ:TW)
  • TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS)
  • United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR)

Stocks Slump Friday as Coronavirus Cases Hit a Record

[Friday, June 26, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It may almost be the weekend, but Wall Street sure isn’t cheering. The novel coronavirus is making a fierce comeback, forcing Florida to join Texas in its delayed reopening. At a broader level, the rise in new cases hit a second record in the U.S. That also comes on news seemingly more young people than ever are testing positive. What exactly are investors to do?

Fortunately, there have been several signs this week that vaccine development is moving along well. Companies like Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) and Sanofi  (NYSE:SNY) each are prepping for new stages of manufacturing, production and testing. It’s a good sign, but healthcare woes rage on.

In a night of conflicting social media messages — symbolic of the dueling catalysts on Wall Street — President Donald Trump tweeted that the economy was “roaring back.” In another late-night move, he asked the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law of former President Barack Obama. Many are worried about that move’s effects on the millions of Americans who have recently lost their jobs and their health insurance.

That’s a grim way to start the day, but anything is possible. Perhaps stocks will be headed into the green before the end of today’s trading. For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.43%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.76%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.23%

3 Travel Stocks to Buy for 2021 and Beyond

[Thursday, June 25, 4:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. The novel coronavirus began its economic damage in early March, and travel stocks were some of the hardest-hit equities. In the last few weeks, as states have continued to reopen, bulls led an impressive rally in these names. But now that the U.S. is seeing a record rise in Covid-19 cases, some investors are swearing off the travel sector altogether.

But InvestorPlace’s Nicolas Chahine doesn’t want you to do that. In fact, he actually is recommending three travel stocks now. Although rushed reopenings — or beach week trips and Memorial Day weekend barbeques — have brought new cases, that doesn’t mean travel stocks will never recover. Chahine wrote today that investors need to think of their buys as plays for 2021 and beyond.

If you expand your timeframe, the pressure for immediate returns isn’t so strong. That way, you can ride out the volatility in travel stocks and not fret so much about reopening plans. Doesn’t that sound like a good plan? Here are the 2021-focused travel stocks Chahine thinks you should buy now:

  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
  • Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN)

Stocks Close Higher Thursday Despite Rise in Cases

[Thursday, June 25, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Stocks closed higher on Thursday, but for no apparent reason. Just this morning, we wrote about the weekly unemployment figures and Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) plan to shutter parks. But things didn’t turn around throughout the day. In fact, Texas announced it would halt its reopening plan after cases surged in the state. And in response to rising cases in Florida, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be shuttering a few recently reopened locations.

Do you see a bullish case anywhere in those headlines? I don’t. But many investors are confident that despite a resurgence in cases, we are still in a better place now than in early March. Vaccine makers continue to make progress — and receive funding for key research. Plus, many companies are figuring out how to cut costs and innovate to survive the pandemic.

What will tomorrow bring? Will we head into the weekend on another rally? Or, will fears of virus-spreading beach trips put a damper on weekend plans? For now, that’s unclear. The S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all are in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.09%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 1.17%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.09%

Buy Target Stock on Plans for Nationwide Grocery Delivery

[Thursday, June 25, 3:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There’s a lot to like about Target (NYSE:TGT). It has strong brands like Good&Gather, Opalhouse, Cat & Jack and up&up. It also has the beloved Dollar Spot — a section dedicated for cheap items you might not need but most certainly will want. But Target also faces a lot of competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Even within the brick-and-mortar retail and grocery space, Target faces competition from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Kroger (NYSE:KR).

In what is likely a move to become more competitive, Target just announced it will expand grocery delivery services to locations around the country. According to Retail Dive’s Jeff Wells, it had been piloting such delivery offerings before the novel coronavirus hit. It temporarily paused the pilot, but after resuming tests in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Kansas City, the company released a plan Thursday to take the service nationwide.

As Wells wrote, the service will be available at roughly 400 stores by the end of June and 1,500 stores by the holiday season. Prior to this announcement, shoppers had access to 250,000 products via curbside pick-up, but perishable grocery items were not included. Now, 750 of these fresh grocery items will be available for free delivery.

There’s a lot to like here. As we have previously reported in this blog, the entire food world got shaken up at the start of the pandemic. Consumers opted to stock up on grocery items, and any stores offering delivery became big winners. Although the U.S. is moving forward with a reopening plan, a rise in new Covid-19 cases should keep grocery delivery a hot service.

Plus, as Barron’s Teresa Rivas wrote, there’s another key reason to be bullish on Target. The company recently raised its minimum wage, and Credit Suisse analyst Seth Sigman thinks that its decision indicates “strength across the business.” He also believes many similar retailers will follow suit, and that increased sales and profits will keep the new minimum wage from negatively impacting he company.

If you’re ready to head back to Target’s stores, or if you’re still waiting out the pandemic inside, Target has something for you. That’s what makes TGT stock such a compelling by now, and it seems like Wall Street agrees.

This Week’s 6 IPO Stocks Are a Bullish Blessing

[Thursday, June 25, 3:06 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

In many ways, this has been a rough week. Disney (NYSE:DIS) delayed its reopening plans, and the entire state of Texas put a similar pause on its return to normal. Behind these signs of lackluster economic recovery is a “record” rise in novel coronavirus cases. Will we ever be able to walk about and socialize without masks on again?

But despite trouble brewing on Wall Street, the pace of initial public offerings is still picking up. According to Renaissance Capital, this week brings six new IPOs and one special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to the public markets. As we reported yesterday, Albertsons is leading the way — the grocery chain is set to raise $1.3 billion when it debuts.

So what other companies are joining stock exchanges this week, and why do IPOs matter? Well, by at least one metric, these newly public companies are outperforming the broader market. The Renaissance IPO ETF (NYSEARCA:IPO) is up 32% so far this year, likely thank to its tech holdings. And beyond that, this first wave of post-quarantine IPOs is generating a ton of excitement. IPOs were starting to get a bad name thanks to the likes of Uber (NYSE:UBER) and WeWork, but now bulls have started to cheer on names like Vroom (NASDAQ:VRM), and soon-to-debut Lemonade.

For right now, a constant stream of IPOs is a sign that the stock market is looking ahead to better days.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s on tap for this week. Besides Albertsons, there’s Agora, a Chinese developer of APIs for embedding voice and video, which will trade under the ticker API. According to TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm, this debut is one that “cannot happen soon enough.” Akouos, a biotech company focusing on inner-ear disorders; Ebang International, which makes equipment for cryptocurrency miningFusion Pharmaceuticals, a biotech making medicines for solid tumors; and PolyPid, a biotech company working to prevent infections at surgical sites, are also among closely watched new IPOs.

Experts are anticipating several more high-profile IPOs in the coming weeks, which is truly a bullish blessing. Disneyland may remain closed, but it looks like the IPO world isn’t headed for quarantine again anytime soon.

5 Stocks to Buy for the Future of Healthcare

[Thursday, June 25, 2:04 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There’s no doubt that healthcare is changing — and individual consumers are at the forefront of these changes. In fact, it’s this “consumerization” of healthcare that UBS analysts believe will soon define the sector’s best investing opportunities. But what exactly does it mean to “consumerize” healthcare? According to UBS, in the wake of the novel coronavirus, individuals began asserting more control over their health and wellness through research and advocacy.

Just think about it. At least part of this trend is probably thanks to the growing presence of healthcare in the mainstream. The pandemic made the whole country familiar with the N95 mask, personal protective equipment, ventilators and all sorts of new health symptoms. Plus, many found themselves newly unemployed — and newly without health insurance.

Combine coronavirus catalysts with an aging population and growing discourse over the cost of healthcare, and it’s a perfect storm. A new generation of Americans want to advocate for themselves and research health outcomes. UBS thinks investors should start taking this shift seriously — analysts estimate it could be a $600 billion opportunity. And to profit now, UBS is looking for a variety of health-focused plays.

Here are the analysts’ recommendations (subscription required):

  • Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC)
  • Walmart (NYSE:WMT)
  • Salesforce (NYSE:CRM)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Danaher (NYSE:DHR)

3 Safe ETFs to Buy for Exposure to Leisure Stocks

[Thursday, June 25, 12:39 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Find a sector that has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus, and examine its potential for survival. Does it represent something that consumers need and want? Can it innovate? If so, buy the dip. That thinking has led to massive rallies in travel and leisure names over the last few weeks. But many investors may be hesitant to dip their toes in troubled waters — a rise in Covid-19 cases has already demonstrated its ability to turn the market upside down.

That’s why InvestorPlace’s Todd Shriber recommends turning to exchange-traded funds for safer exposure to leisure stocks. Like with any other category, these ETFs are designed to provide diversification. If one popular name like Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) or Disney (NYSE:DIS) suffers, hopefully the fund’s other holdings will keep it balanced.

As Shriber makes clear, it may be impossible to truly marry “safety” with “leisure” these days. But if you’re set on exposure to leisure stocks, these funds are your best bets.

Here is what Shriber is recommending now:

  • Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (NYSEARCA:PEJ)
  • VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (NASDAQ:BJK)
  • Roundhill BITKRAFT Esports & Digital Entertainment ETF (NYSEARCA:NERD)

Vaxart Stock Pops 40% Thursday on Vaccine News

[Thursday, June 25, 11:25 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As a second wave of novel coronavirus cases — or perhaps just a brutal resurgence of the first wave — emerges, the case for a vaccine becomes even stronger. This week, we’ve seen a host of updates from Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Translate Bio (NASDAQ:TBIO), and each has had the market moving. Today, Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) joins that list, as VXRT stock is up 40% in intraday trading.

The likely catalyst for the big move is an announcement regarding a new manufacturing and lyophilization partnership with Attwill Medical Solutions Sterilflow. Lyophilization is a specific type of freeze-drying process. Between the lines here is an indication that Vaxart, a California-based vaccine developer, is ready to move forward with its Covid-19 vaccine.

According to the company’s press release, Attwill Medical Solutions Sterilflow will allocate resources to help scale up the production of various Vaxart products, including its preclinical oral vaccine for Covid-19. Vaxart CEO Andrei Floroiu said Attwill can produce 1 billion vaccine doses a year — and Vaxart is already thinking about supplying its vaccine candidate to the Europe and the U.S.

Vaxart believes its so-called oral tablet vaccines are ideal because they can provide sterilizing immunity for infectious diseases like Covid-19 and trigger specific types of immune responses. Not much is known about its Covid-19 vaccine, as it is in preclinical stages. Vaxart has similar candidates further along in the research pipeline for the norovirus, common influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

As with any of these high-flying vaccine stocks, especially ones that are less far along in the research and testing process, it’s important for investors to be careful. However, it’s not a bad idea at all to add VXRT to your coronavirus stocks radar.

Buy Fastly Stock on Its Work-From-Home Success

[Thursday, June 25, 10:50 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

CNBC’s Ari Levy made a shocking announcement earlier this week. Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) is no longer the top work-from-home stock in 2020. How could this be? Seemingly everyone has turned to Zoom’s platform, scheduling video conferences with friends, coworkers and even family members. But what many investors may have forgotten is that a certain type of tech company is needed to power Zoom’s video-conferencing success.

That’s exactly where Fastly (NYSE:FSLY) comes in. The cloud computing company helps supports all sorts of work-from-home tech, from team messaging on Slack (NYSE:WORK) to streaming music on Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) to other trends like video conferencing. Cloud computing is simply a necessity to make our remote world function. Without companies like Fastly, the massive — and almost immediate — shift to working from home wouldn’t have been possible.

As a result, Fastly stock is now up more than 300% in 2020. Zoom, previously considered to be this year’s biggest winner, is up 280%. Just to be clear, that’s still incredible success.

Perhaps the shock of Levy’s announcement comes from how under the radar Fastly is. Who thinks about the tech behind the tech they’re currently using? If you haven’t been pursuing that line of thinking, Fastly’s victory makes it clear it’s time to start.

After rallying 300%, some investors are likely cooling on Fastly. But InvestorPlace’s William White reported earlier this week that shares may be headed for even more success. The company beat estimates for its first-quarter earnings, and it’s fair to expect a similar performance in the second quarter. If Fastly can keep driving its business higher, investors are likely to reward the high-flying name. That’s especially true as many companies consider having employees work from home forever, or at least indefinitely.

Stocks Open Lower Thursday on Weekly Jobless Report

[Thursday, June 25, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Here we are again. Another Thursday, another grim look at initial claims for unemployment benefits, and another day stocks are opening lower. Today, investors learned that another 1.48 million Americans filed for such benefits, despite massive moves toward recovery around the U.S. When will the job market start to recover?

As CNBC’s Jeff Cox highlighted, there are two key takeaways from the report. On one hand, 1.48 million people filed this past week, which was worse than Wall Street’s estimate for 1.35 million. On the other hand, the number of continuing jobless claims fell below 20 million. In coming weeks, it will be critical to watch how many Americans are returning to work.

But there’s another reason for the somber mood in the stock market today. As we’ve previously discussed, the bulls and bears are fighting it out. Are we facing a reopening rally or a terrible second wave of novel coronavirus cases? Today, investors are likely digesting some bearish news. Disney (NYSE:DIS) has decided to delay its reopening of California’s Disneyland. Summer camps, schools and all sorts of other retailers are also coming to terms with renewed lockdowns. Will this be the new normal again?

For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all starting Thursday in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.12%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.49%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.02%

Keep a Close Eye on the Albertsons Grocery IPO

[Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Hey, remember when people were getting into fistfights over toilet paper, chicken and eggs? It’s refreshing to know that some things have changed in recent weeks, but grocery stores are still hot. With that in mind, bulls should keep a close eye on Albertsons, which is set for an initial public offering this week. It will trade under the symbol ACI on the New York Stock Exchange.

As we have previously reported in this blog, the pandemic changed the American food situation. Instead of rushing home from offices, heading to happy hours and grabbing dinner out with friends, families embraced the grocery store. Well, some embraced the grocery store. Others turned to grocery delivery apps, curbside pick-up services and utter panic. Luckily for investors, Albertsons benefits from all of the above. The grocery chain — and parent of Safeway — is a big leader in the industry.

Albertsons has over 2,000 locations across 34 states. And where it operates, it has market dominance. Plus, in response to the pandemic, Albertsons ramped up a partnership with Instacart and began its own delivery and pick-up services.

So what’s the big deal with its IPO? Well, Albertsons has long talked about debuting on the public markets. In 2015, it paused its plans due to unfavorable market conditions. Now,despite ongoing coronavirus concerns, it’s hitting the NYSE. To many, that’s a sign that Albertsons is truly a coronavirus winner and in a strong position. Renaissance Capital estimates the IPO will raise $1.3 billion at an enterprise value of $19 billion.

And, once it’s public, there may be room for more growth. Albertsons operates through a handful of well-known brands, and in recent years tried to acquire Whole Foods and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD). Will it be able to close the next big deal?

Sure, consumers are already headed back to restaurants, but they’re not completely abandoning grocery stores. Some families even learned to embrace new cooking projects. But either way, expect Albertsons to benefit from a more permanent pandemic-driven shift.

7 Stocks to Buy to Embrace Pandemic Home Improvement

[Wednesday, June 24, 2:47 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Some Americans are taking the early days of reopening as a chance to move. And why not pack up and head across the country — or just into a cheaper suburb? As InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote today, many millennials are becoming first-time homebuyers, embracing low interest rates. And these low interest rates are the direct result of the novel coronavirus.

But what if you can’t afford to buy a home, or you’re simply happy with your current location? You’re definitely not alone. Many Americans have spent roughly the last three months getting too familiar with where they live. Some have fallen in love with every nook and cranny. Others are now looking to make big changes. For those preparing for “WFH forever,” home-improvement projects can be the happy medium. You don’t have to move, but you don’t have to make peace with ugly paint.

With this in mind, analysts at Bank of America are rounding up retail stocks that will benefit from summer do-it-yourself trends. From remodeling to making each room feel more comfortable, these stocks represent companies gaining popularity with remote workers.

Here are seven great picks to start (subscription required):

  • Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW)
  • Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY)
  • RH (NYSE:RH)
  • Tempur Sealy (NYSE:TPX)
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Wayfair (NYSE:W)

Lenovo Stock Is a Buy on the Return-to-Work Trend

[Wednesday, June 24, 2:17 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

For many Americans, it will soon be time to swap out work-from-home pajamas for long commutes and hours in cubicles. But one thing that isn’t changing as employees return to work is the threat of the novel coronavirus. That’s why Lenovo (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) is working to position itself as the top tech play for companies in need of a little extra help.

Lenovo is a China-based tech giant, but as Axios’ Ina Fried writes, it also has an internet of things (IOT) business that is gaining traction. Fortunately for LNVGY shareholders, this IOT business is based in the U.S. Now, Lenovo is positioning itself as the top solutions provider for the return-to-work trend. Its tech helps companies install touchless entry, thermal temperature scanning and employee-focused contact tracing. This way, the move back to the office brings less risk for employees and their families.

Embracing the return-to-work catalyst inherently makes sense, but Lenovo also has the data to back it up. John Gordon, the president of Lenovo’s IOT business, recently shared that 88% of general U.S. survey respondents wanted to know their employers were using tech solutions to make offices safer. That translates to a lot of companies looking to lure employees back with new precautions.

Lenovo’s suite of products, known as ThinkIoT Back to Work Solutions, also provides the ability to monitor employee safety. For instance, managers could make sure all employees stay at least six feet apart the whole day.

If you’re still looking for more reasons to be bullish on this return-to-work play, consider this. For those unable or unwilling to return to in-person work and school, Lenovo also has solutions. It has its ThinkSmart View devices for remote work, and also partners with school systems for remote education through its LanSchool Air offerings.

Buy Etsy Stock to Profit From the Face Mask Economy

[Wednesday, June 24, 11:57 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Early in March, companies that manufactured and sold N95 masks — those considered most effective against infectious diseases like the novel coronavirus — skyrocketed. But what about companies that make and sell DIY masks? As public health guidance has evolved, Americans started using bandanas, t-shirts, coffee filters and even underwear to cover their noses and mouths. Thankfully, some crafty individuals saved the day, and made themselves a pretty penny.

The biggest winner in all of this just may be Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY). According to CNBC’s Ari Levy, ETSY stock hit an all-time high yesterday on news of its coronavirus success. RBC analysts found that 82% of buyers expect to spend more money on Etsy in the next year. And 4 million new buyers came to the craft-focused platform in April.

A big part of that success includes total face mask sales of $133 million for that same month.

You could argue that as states reopen, demand for face masks will drop. But Etsy has already proven that it can beat expectations. Investors sold off ETSY stock like crazy in March, assuming consumers would halt all purchases. Shares have more than tripled in price since then. And many experts think face masks will be a part of life in the U.S. for a long time to come, if not forever.

Just think about it. In other parts of the world, face masks are commonly used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Now, many in the U.S. are coming around to it, although there is certainly friction. Many reopening plans for schools require mandatory masks, and office workers are now spending eight hours a day with their faces covered. Demand will stick around, especially as consumers need more masks to tackle more errands as restrictions ease. My favorite face mask is courtesy of my grandmother’s friend — it features little puppies and paw prints.

The face mask economy is booming, as is e-commerce. That’s why InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango is so bullish on ETSY stock. He believes its core fundamentals are solid and that this rally is far from over — and that sounds good to me.

iBio Stock Is Soaring on New IBM Partnership

[Wednesday, June 24, 11:15 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Many investors have long liked iBio (NYSEMKT:IBIO) because of its unique approach to fighting the novel coronavirus. And today, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) joined bulls in championing the company’s potential. As a result, shares are up 12% in intraday trading.

So what exactly is the story? Well, it comes down to iBio’s approach. Like other biotech companies, it is touting two vaccine candidates for Covid-19. But its IBIO-200 and IBIO-201 are perhaps less important than its FastPharming production system. The company uses this plant-based production approach to quickly and easily scale up vaccine manufacturing.

Today, IBM decided to give the vaccine candidates and the FastPharming system a vote of confidence. It extended iBio its IBM Clinical Development (ICD) solution for 18 months, free of charge. ICD helps companies manage patient sites and test facilities, and the platform focuses on helping reduce the time and costs behind clinical trials by making trial data easier to access and digest. As the race heats up, anything that can help iBio get a leg up certainly goes a long way.

It’s important to note that some of the criticism surrounding iBio is fair. It does have much less research funding than competitors like Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). According to InvestorPlace’s Muslim Farooque, iBio has just $4.5 million in its current budget for research and development.

But Farooque is still bullish on IBIO stock. FastPharming is a truly unique system that sets iBio apart from many other biotech companies. Even if its two vaccine candidates fail to successfully combat Covid-19, it is likely that FastPharming goes on to great success. That’s why Farooque wrote earlier in June that as long as the company can manage its finances, it’s a great buy.

With IBM’s cost-managing tools, iBio should be in an even better place than before. Don’t take your eyes off this innovative name.

5 Housing Stocks to Buy as the Market Recovers

[Wednesday, June 24, 10:37 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Housing stocks have been rallying hard since March, and some investors are starting to worry. Why? As InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote, these investors are comparing a booming housing market to a struggling U.S. economy and deciding it’s time to sell their housing stocks. But that would be a bad move for your portfolio.

There are a lot of trends supporting housing stocks. Just this morning, we learned that new home sales climbed 16.6% in May, beating economists’ expectations. The novel coronavirus may have initially turned off prospective homebuyers, but it looks like that’s not the case any longer. As Lango wrote, a massive wave of first-time millennial homebuyers is meeting the reopening rally. The result is growing demand for entry-level homes across the U.S.

And according to Axios’ Erica Pandey, there’s one other catalyst that should help the housing market. “Second-tier” cities are fighting to attract high-earning employees that are now working from home forever. As big companies in Silicon Valley and New York City move to allow such policies, there may be some incentive for employees to move. If salaries don’t change with the shift, workers could save more money living in smaller cities with lower costs of living. Knowing that, Savannah, Georgia, is offering $2,000 to any remote worker that relocates to the city.

Although it’s too early to tell exactly how this will play, some experts are already calling for a housing boom in smaller cities and suburban neighborhoods.

Recognizing all the potential in the housing market, Lango made five recommendations this morning that will benefit from all of these trends. Here’s a look at his picks:

  • KB Homes (NYSE:KBH)
  • Lennar (NYSE:LEN)
  • D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI)
  • Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL)

Stocks Open Lower Wednesday on Record Virus Cases

[Wednesday, June 24, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Remember how we outlined the two big catalysts driving the stock market? Well, that information is important again today. Bulls are fighting to defend the reopening rally — and all other signs of economic recovery. Bears are pointing to rising novel coronavirus cases, that in some states, are setting new records for daily diagnoses. The bears are winning Wednesday morning.

So what do the bulls have to champion today? Well, yesterday’s vaccine news from Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) isn’t far from mind. But there’s another sign of recovery coming from the housing market. Today, investors learned that new home sales rose 16.6% in May, after bottoming in March and April. According to Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland, this report beat economists’ predictions and is a great indicator of the market’s health.

Perhaps on another day, this better-than-expected report would have had the major indices racing higher before the opening bell. Unfortunately, news that cases continue to climb after reopening is taking priority. As many states move into phases two and three of their reopening plans, it’s worrisome to think what could happen if another round of lockdowns is necessary.

Grab a mask, and keep a close eye on the market. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.68%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.86%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.26%

5 Cheap Stocks to Buy Before Q2 Earnings Season

[Tuesday, June 23, 4:17 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Except for a few hiccups driven by a resurgence in novel coronavirus cases, the stock market has been consistently headed higher. Retailers and restaurants are reopening, commuters are headed back to the office, and even many consumers are opting for crowded events and summer destinations. But InvestorPlace’s Laura Hoy wants to make sure investors don’t chase the rally without caution.

According to Hoy, buying too deeply into the rally, and pouring too much money into the market now, could be dangerous. That’s why she recommends being cautiously bullish and focusing on cheap stocks. What does she fear? Well, second-quarter earnings season is just around the corner. Most investors should know that earnings are likely to be ugly, but results could still cause another downturn.

Ahead of earnings then, Hoy recommends gradually buying cheap stocks that are likely to gain over time. Here are five of her top recommendations:

  • McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)
  • AT&T (NYSE:T)
  • Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)
  • Remark Holdings (NASDAQ:MARK)

Stocks Close Higher Tuesday as Bulls Ride Vaccine Victory

[Tuesday, June 23, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As we wrote this morning, the stock market is a tale of two catalysts. And heading into the closing bell, it seems like only one matters to investors right now. This morning, it was clear concerns of rising novel coronavirus cases were clashing with a vaccine victory. Bulls won, driving the major indices higher despite the pandemic.

Sanofi’s (NYSE:SNY) announcement, particularly its plans to partner with Translate Bio (NASDAQ:TBIO) created a lot of motion in the market today. But as with previous vaccine announcements, it’s important to remember that the price action is bigger than any one company. Investors want — and need — to believe in a company’s ability to bring the world back to normal. As there are many companies chasing such a vaccine, there are many potential rally triggers. For instance, we also had an announcement from Inovio (NASDAQ:INO) that sent shares up on the day.

Will the vaccine optimism carry into tomorrow, or will new Covid-19 data force bulls to sit down? It’s hard to say, but as we’ve seen lately, anything is possible. For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.43%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.5%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.74%

4 Recession-Proof Stocks to Buy Now

[Tuesday, June 23, 3:20 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The U.S. — and the rest of the world — is in a recession. Sure, signs of economic recovery are already popping up, but many industries are likely to feel long-lasting pain. Think about all the consumers who will delay vacations. Or all the states still preventing dine-in restaurant service. There’s just a lot weighing on the global economy right now.

That’s why InvestorPlace’s Tezcan Gecgil says it’s time for investors to get serious about protecting their portfolios. She likes a group of four stocks she sees as recession-proof plays. They are in defensive spaces, like consumer packaged goods. Some of her recommendations even pay dividends.

If you want proof that a little protection is what you need right now, InvestorPlace spoke with Sanjiv Sabherwal, the Goolsby-House Endowed Chair and Professor of Finance at the University of Texas at Arlington. Sabherwal shared some key insight on reopening the economy:

“I believe we need to maintain a balance between opening the economy and controlling the spread of the virus. If we open the economy too fast and without businesses, other organizations, and people following the best practices that inhibit the proliferation of the coronavirus, we run the risk of a surge in the virus and having to shut down again. On the other hand, we cannot afford to have the economy closed for a very long time.”

With economic risks still remaining, take a look at these four recession-proof stocks now:

  • Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM)
  • Diageo (NYSE:DEO)
  • Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
  • Walmart (NYSE:WMT)

Buy Translate Bio Stock for Its Sanofi Partnership

[Tuesday, June 23, 1:41 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) has been making waves since it first announced its vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus. Perhaps most controversial was its promise to prioritize does for the United States. But today, Sanofi’s waves are pulling Translate Bio (NASDAQ:TBIO) stock much higher — like by 40%.

There are two parts to today’s big news. Sanofi is working with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) on a vaccine candidate, and today, it announced it anticipates receiving approval sooner than previously thought. Now, it believes the vaccine could be ready to go in the first half of 2021, as opposed to the second half. Here it’s important to note that Sanofi is behind the crowd, as some of its peers are farther along in clinical trials.

The other part of today’s news is having a much larger impact on Translate Bio, a smaller biotech company based out of Lexington, Massachusetts. Translate is partnered with Sanofi, and the duo is working to study a separate vaccine candidate that used messenger RNA (mRNA). Today, Sanofi announced it would invest as much as $1.9 billion in Translate Bio.

For Sanofi, the deal is exciting in that the company will get worldwide rights to any infectious disease vaccines that the partnership produces. Beyond a vaccine for Covid-19, it is also working with Translate Bio to study vaccines for the common influenza and other pathogens.

As Barron’s Bill Alpert wrote today, this deal should have a big influence on Translate Bio. It will give the company capital needed to pursue research goals, and help it pursue mRNA tech that is in high demand. Additionally, partnering with Sanofi will give it more visibility, especially if it finds some success with its coronavirus vaccine. H.C. Wainwright analyst Andrew Fein is bullish on TBIO stock, estimating it will hit $500 million in revenue by the end of the decade. He has a “buy” rating on the stock and an $18 price target, but it’s likely he’ll be revising that target soon.

Inovio Stock Pops 20% on New Government Funding

[Tuesday, June 23, 11:25 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) is the scrappy underdog in the fight to treat the novel coronavirus. It’s a smaller company, and it’s more reliant on funding from public health coalitions and governments. But it also developed its vaccine candidate in record time and has been chugging along through clinical trials.

In evaluating it, many experts warn that it faces too much competition from pharmaceutical giants. Others question the science behind its quick progress. Those fears don’t matter today.

INO stock is up 20% in intraday trading on news it has received $71 million from the U.S. Department of Defense. This money will fund the production of Inovio’s Cellectra 3PSP smart device as well as the procurement of Cellectra 2000 devices. According to a company press release, these devices are capable of delivering INO-4800 — its vaccine candidate — directly into the skin.

The appeal of the Cellectra device is that any healthcare provider or government agency could stockpile large quantities without worrying about maintenance. As President Donald Trump seeks to ramp up his Operation Warp Speed to develop, manufacture and deploy a vaccine, such a stockpile would be critical.

Sure, the criticisms of Inovio remain, but it’s clear those with money are taking its work seriously. As MarketWatch’s Jaimy Lee reported this morning, Inovio has previously received funding from the DOD for its coronavirus vaccine. Results for its Phase 1 trials should be available before the end of June.

With that in mind, know that both INO-4800 and the Cellectra devices represent great potential. If this company can defeat the odds and produce an effective vaccine against the coronavirus, investors will take shares straight to the sky. You don’t want to miss out.

10 Stocks to Buy to Win Like a ‘Robinhood Investor’

[Tuesday, June 23, 10:12 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Don’t discount the power of pandemic-driven trading on popular platforms like Robinhood.

This blog is all about being bullish — about looking for opportunities created by the novel coronavirus. Some days, that means looking for big companies that have fallen hard. Other days, it means examining pandemic-specific plays like vaccine and drug stocks. And perhaps no category of investors embodies such a bullish mindset more than those on Robinhood.

Young adults turned en masse to Robinhood at the start of the lockdown, embracing time-tested ideology like “Don’t fight the Fed.” Day trading became a source of entertainment, particularly as live sporting events disappeared. Many of these young adults look for investment advice on social media platform Reddit, and as Axios’ Dion Rabouin reports, are seen as overconfident and underprepared.

And in recent days, this cohort of retail investors has drawn criticism for chasing up names like Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) and Carnival (NYSE:CCL). The high-profile suicide of one young trader also has many bashing Robinhood.

But as Rabouin highlights, these retail investors are, in many instances, outperforming the professionals. Goldman Sachs has gone so far as to say that the top picks of this cohort are outperforming those of hedge funds, leading analysts to start rounding up data on retail investors’ best-performing ideas. As we shared on this blog last week, via CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald (subscription required), Goldman has identified 15 such stocks.

If you still are looking to emulate some of the biggest bulls, here’s a look at the 10 most popular stocks on Robinhood right now.

  • Ford (NYSE:F)
  • General Electric (NYSE:GE)
  • American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL)
  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)
  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)
  • Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE:CCL)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Stocks Open Higher Tuesday on Renewed Vaccine Hopes

[Tuesday, June 23, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Today’s market price action is a tale of two opposing catalysts. The first is that novel coronavirus cases continue to rise as states reopen. Offices, beach vacations and hair salons have all been linked to outbreaks. Now, officials must reckon with public health concerns. China has returned to lockdown mode thanks to new cases in Beijing, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said cases are rising at “an unacceptable rate.”

Will this “unacceptable rate” mean a second round of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders? Those fears have weighed on the major indices lately, but there’s a second catalyst.

The race for a novel coronavirus vaccine continues, and investors have something big to cheer about today. Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) announced that it is targeting a “speedier” approval of its vaccine, and it’s also ramping up efforts with Translate Bio (NASDAQ:TBIO). It’s particularly easy to celebrate Sanofi’s success as it is a pharmaceutical giant with a more proven reputation.

So, despite the fears and the rise in cases, stocks are higher on Tuesday morning. The S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.91%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.99%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.67%

Follow the Insiders and Buy Uber Stock Now

[Monday, June 22, 3:00 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Legendary investor Peter Lynch said it best. “Investors might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they them for only one: They think the price will rise.” With his guiding words in mind, investors should be very curious about recent insider buying in Uber (NYSE:UBER) stock.

According to Barron’s Ed Lin, the ride-hailing company’s newest director just paid $500,000 for 15,740 Uber shares. Robert Eckert — the insider in question — made his purchase at an average per-share price of $31.60. On Monday, shares are up in intraday trading and hovering near $32.70.

Uber has had a rough year — and honestly, a rough time since making its public debut. The business model has been called into question, and the company has found itself in an ongoing legal struggle with California over the classification of its drivers. Plus, amid the novel coronavirus, ride-hailing is simply struggling. Who wants to hop in a stranger’s car and risk getting sick?

Making matters worse, Uber just lost its bid to take over Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB). And some like Apptopia’s Jonathan Kay have been speculating all year that rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) will soon become the dominant ride-hailing name. Those all sound like good reasons to sell, sell, sell.

Here though, we have Lynch’s famous words. Robert Eckert made the first insider purchase since November — despite all the potential downside catalysts. It’s likely recovery will come to the ride-hailing space, although the timeline is unclear. Knowing that Eckert is bullish on Uber’s long-term outlook is a good sign.

InvestorPlace’s Larry Ramer and Luke Lango agree. Ramer wrote that one big catalyst for Uber is the fact that many consumers will avoid public transporation. Not all commuters will go out and buy cars — many will swap subway rides for Uber rides as businesses return the office. Lango feels similarly. He wrote that ride-hailing is already bouncing back as the economy reopens. He’s calling for shares to hit pre-coronavirus levels very soon.

9 Stocks to Buy for Upcoming Bad Weather

[Monday, June 22, 12:27 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

This year has checked many boxes. Military conflict with Iran. Trade conflict with China. A pandemic. Could things get any worse for investors and consumers? According to a recent note from Michael Arone, the chief investment strategist for the U.S. SPDR business, there’s unfortunately another downside catalyst just around the corner.

Meteorologists are calling for this summer to be hotter than average. Some cities are likely to see “extreme” weather events, such as unusual storms, heat waves and tornadoes. And in the south, where tourism-dependent economies already have struggled thanks to pandemic closures, an unusually bad hurricane season could be coming.

As Arone wrote, one of the dangers of extreme weather is its impact on the economy. Storms that hit one region can tank an area’s small businesses, like what happened in Nashville at the beginning of March. Plus, consumers struggle in hot weather. Productivity drops. Per-capital income similarly drops. Hot weather may make the beach more inviting, but it’s bad for the overall economy.

Up until this point in 2020, the chief investment strategist wrote that weather has had very little impact. Prices for a few agriculture commodities have shifted, but day-to-day life — and the broader economy — have been unscathed. What happens if that all changes? What should individual investors be doing to protect their portfolios.

Well, according to Investopedia’s Barclay Palmer, there are certain stocks that benefit from such extreme weather. If thoughts of unprecedented heat and further economic downturn are making you sweat, consider buying these nine stocks:

  • Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
  • Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW)
  • Walmart (NYSE:WMT)
  • Generac Holdings (NYSE:GNRC)
  • Aecom (NYSE:ACM)
  • Fluor (NYSE:FLR)
  • Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY)
  • Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B)
  • Xylem (NYSE:XYL)

SiNtx Stock Skyrockets Monday on New Coronavirus Data

[Monday, June 22, 11:56 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Vaccines, antiviral drugs, antibody treatments, plasma therapies, a so-called Hemopurifier. You name it, a company is testing it on the novel coronavirus. Today, SiNtx (NASDAQ:SINT) became the next hot company in the news thanks to positive data from its trial of sintered silicon nitride powder against Covid-19. Boy, that was a mouthful.

SiNtx is an original equipment manufacturer that specializes in using silicon nitride — a chemical compound formed by combining the elements silicon and nitride. The company then sinters this compound, heating and pressuring it into a powder. According to many scientists, the sintered form of the compound is higher density and can be used in more demanding capacities.

In normal times — read, before the pandemic — SiNtx works with firms in biomedicine, defense, aerospace and transportation. Its silicon nitride contributes to wound dressings, turbocharger rotors and missile components. But the company knew sintered silicon nitride had virus-fighting properties, and set off to study it against the coronavirus.

Over the weekend, SiNtx reported that in a controlled laboratory setting, the virus behind Covid-19 was “inactivated” once exposed to the silicon nitride powder. More results will be available soon, and tests at outside laboratories will similarly be working to study the compound.

As InvestorPlace Web Editor Nick Clarkson reported this morning, investors are really excited about this crazy science. Shares of SINT stock have soared more than 180% in intraday trading, taking shares above $2. Whether or not sintered silicon nitride powder becomes a mainstream cure, you’re better off keeping this company on your radar.

Stocks Open Lower Monday Despite Recovery Hopes

[Monday, June 22, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s a new week on Wall Street, and up until the opening bell, it looked like the sun was shining on Wall Street. Managing Editor John Kilhefner shared on Friday that a fear of missing out on gains would likely drive the major indices higher. But as the bell rang, things headed south. The bulls are simply trying to balance recovery hopes with novel coronavirus fears.

Yes, many Americans were living it up this past weekend, packing up minivans to head to lakes or beaches or state parks. But at the same time, cases of Covid-19 are on the rise in many states. Public health experts are worried about reopening processes and the risks of a second wave.

This week, it’s likely much of that same tug-of-war game will drive the market. Just as cases rise and preppers hunker down, we’re seeing several signs of normal. Economists are expecting new figures on the housing market to come in strong, and we’re already seeing a rebound in retail sales. Plus, Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) stock is shooting to the moon on a new NASA partnership. Looking at certain areas of the investing world, it’s almost as if the pandemic didn’t happen.

For now, investors are struggling to enjoy the reopening rally. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened in the red, although the Nasdaq Composite managed to start the day in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.18%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.41%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.05%

Dow Forfeits Early Bull Run as Big Tech Falters, But Indices Post Weekly Gains

[Friday, June 19, 4:38 p.m.]
Contributed by John Kilhefner

Once the bell rung on Wall Street, traders seemed exuberant in contrast to Thursday’s ho-hum day. Investors quickly took profits, however, sending major indices lower, and eventually into the red where all but the tech-centric Nasdaq would end the day. No matter — all of the major indices managed to eke out weekly gains, a positive sign that buyers are beginning to take the wheel.

Today’s downturn was due in no small part to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) closing of some stores in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina. Apple had recently shuttered these locations but reopened them as the virus appeared to ease. The reason for closing its doors again? Businesses and consumers alike are facing a possible second wave of the novel coronavirus, which stokes unease that another quarantine could be around the corner. In all, Apple revealed it’s shuttering 11 of its stores as cases of Covid-19 begin to spike in areas where restrictions have been eased.

This is in sharp contrast to economic data showing a recovery in retail buying and a flattening in jobless claims. In the week ahead, the WSJ points out that many analysts expect FOMO (or a fear of missing out) to drive stocks in the coming week.

Here’s the tale of the tape on Friday:

  • The S&P 500 gave back 0.56%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.8%
  • The Nasdaq Composite inched higher by 0.03%

The Massive Rally in Gold Is Picking Up Sparkle

[Friday, June 19, 11:58 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Did you ignore InvestorPlace analyst Eric Fry when he warned that soon, investors would be wondering where all the gold went? What about all of his warnings that the world’s richest individuals were starting to hoard gold? Or his urgent messages to consider getting into the bull rally now?

Well, new reporting from Reuters shows that his predictions are coming true. The headline states “World’s Ultra-Wealthy Go for Gold Amid Stimulus Bonanza.” One of the key catalysts behind gold prices that we have discussed in this blog is the precious metal’s role in hedging against inflation. As the Federal Reserve expands an already unprecedented bond-buying program and the U.S. government considers other stimulus measures, many experts are fearful about post-pandemic inflation.

And now, that fear is driving demand for gold. According to the Reuters report, private banks are channeling as much as 10% of their clients’ money into gold. Morgan Stanley even added a 5% allocation to the commodity across all of its models. It turns out the ultra-wealthy among us really are looking to hoard gold.

Gold prices have already been climbing, thanks to a number of factors. We saw a spike early in 2020 after the U.S. military struck and killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani. We saw another spike early in March, as the novel coronavirus began to make more of a global impact. And lately, we’ve seen a spike in prices as investors fear inflation, social unrest and a second wave of the virus.

That’s why Eric Fry thinks it’s time to add a little bit of gold to your portfolio. It trades around $1,750 now, but analysts are calling for it to hit $1,800, $2,000 or even $3,000 before the rally is over. Don’t miss out.

10 Stocks to Buy to Pandemic-Proof Your Portfolio

[Friday, June 19, 11:21 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It seems like these days you’re either too scared to get into the market or you’re so confident you’re chasing every high-flying penny stock you can find. But what about investors who want a cautious approach that’s still profitable? According to InvestorPlace’s Will Ashworth, that’s not too much to ask for. In fact, he has 10 stocks perfect for investors looking to protect their portfolios from disaster.

Ashworth’s approach involves looking for what he calls cash-rich stocks. These are companies that convert as much free cash flow as possible from net income and have more cash than debt on their balance sheets. He wrote today that these are the best companies when it comes to generating cash.

So whether you’re trying to protect your portfolio from a long-lasting recovery, a second wave of the novel coronavirus or whatever other apocalypse keeps you up at night, these cash-rich stocks are a great place to start. Plus, you’ll get exposure to solid businesses across different sectors.

Here are Ashworth’s top 10 recommendations:

  • Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)
  • Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA)
  • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)
  • Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST)
  • Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL)
  • SEI Investments (NASDAQ:SEIC)
  • Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)
  • Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV)
  • Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED)

Stocks Open in the Green on Friday

[Friday, June 19, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It looks like bulls are gearing up for another day of gains right before the weekend. After a choppy day of trading on Thursday, stocks opened solidly higher on Friday. We’ve seen this one before — who wants to try and relax all weekend with a suffering market on their mind?

Not much changed overnight, but the optimism is back. Novel coronavirus cases are still climbing in some states and the Federal Reserve is still buying up corporate debt. Will we get any new market-moving headlines next week?

For now, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the green. Investors will have to wait and see how the rest of the day — and the struggling reopening rally — will play out.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 1.17%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 1.21%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 1%

4 Education Stocks to Buy for the Remote Learning Future

[Thursday, June 18, 4:25 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Parents are frazzled. Teachers are frustrated. Some students are thriving, others are falling behind. The novel coronavirus is calling the shots in education, and this spring showed just how unprepared some schools were to shift learning from the classroom to video calls. However, companies are rising up to fill this void, offering solutions to make remote learning easier and even fun.

Sure, a big question with education stocks is whether or not schools will resume in-person education in the fall. But even if they do, many parents will opt to keep their children at home if they are particularly at risk or just uncomfortable with the idea. Plus, how do you stay six feet apart in a kindergarten classroom? With this in mind, InvestorPlace’s Faisal Humayun took a deep dive into education stocks that will benefit from growing innovation in digital learning.

Here are four top names he’s recommending now:

  • Chegg (NYSE:CHGG)
  • K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN)
  • Arco Platform Limited (NASDAQ:ARCE)
  • New Oriental Education and Technology (NYSE:EDU)

Stocks Close Slightly Higher Despite Pandemic Fears

[Thursday, June 18, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Is there any news here? After reopening plans went into place around the United States, cases of the novel coronavirus are surging once again. Some states are hitting record highs of new cases each day. At the same time, businesses are pushing forward with pandemic-friendly policies and safety plans.

Elsewhere in stock market, investors are digesting the May retail sales report, this morning’s jobless numbers and the Federal Reserve’s mixed bag of plans. Some are spooked over the Fed’s plan to keep near-zero interest rates in place through 2022. But others are focusing more on unprecedented corporate bond-buying policies that are boosting the debt market.

With the exception of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, bulls managed to pull off a slight win on Thursday. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.06%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.15%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.33%

Walmart Stock Keeps Improving Its Bull Case

[Thursday, June 18, 2:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Another day, another victory by Walmart (NYSE:WMT). The company has found great success amid the novel coronavirus, as its brick-and-mortar locations drew crowds looking for essential items. Its digital business saw similar success as consumers stocked up — and several even turned to splurging on household items and comfort foods. Lately, a series of announcements has positioned Walmart as a likely leader as the U.S. emerges from lockdowns.

We recently reported in this blog about Walmart’s initiative to partner with ThredUp to enter the resale market. And even more recently, we wrote abut the company’s move to partner with Shopify (NYSE:SHOP). The latter partnership is a clear jab at e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The deal will bring 1,200 sellers to Walmart’s online platform, mirroring Amazon’s marketplace for third-party sellers and some of the unique products it has via those relationships.

Today, Walmart is taking another big jab at its rival. According to Retail Dive’s Rebecca Pifer, Walmart has acquired the technology platforms of CareZone, a startup that helps people manage medications and chronic illnesses. Walmart has expressed concerns about its shoppers delaying prescription refills and healthcare amid the pandemic, and it manages a generic prescription program and Health Center clinic. As Pifer wrote, Walmart lost out on PillPack to Amazon back in 2018.

Walmart doesn’t want to miss out on anything these days. Fashion resale, third-party sellers, healthcare. Walmart wants to be wherever Amazon already is. InvestorPlace’s David Moadel, and many other experts, have commented on the stability of WMT stock — its dividend, its long track record of slow-and-steady growth. For many reasons, it’s a great investment. But now, it also might be becoming “sexy” through new acquisitions and Amazon-focused competition. Keep a close eye on this company.

Aethlon Medical Stock Surges 90% on Coronavirus News

[Thursday, June 18, 2:10 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Vaccines, antiviral drugs, antibody therapies, you name it, researchers are working on it. The fight against the novel coronavirus is attracting serious funding and a lot of investor attention, but there are still breakthroughs to be made. Today, Aethlon Medical (NASDAQ:AEMD) is entering the race, and shares of AEMD stock are up more than 90% in intraday trading on the news.

So what exactly is Aethlon Medical? The company is small — shares trade for less than $3 and its market capitalization is just $25 million. It’s a clinical-stage biotech working to treat infectious diseases and cancers with immunotherapeutic products, like its Hemopurifier device. Aethlon is also the majority owner of Exosome Sciences, which works to diagnose and monitor life-threatening diseases through biomarkers. Today, the Hemopurifier is thrusting AEMD into the spotlight.

Essentially, the device “sucks” the virus out of a patient’s blood, removing it entirely. According to Aethlon Medical, it can circulate out toxins, cancer-causing exosomes and viruses. It has yet to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for any indications, but it has clinical trials for Ebola, Hepatitis C and HIV. As of Thursday, it also received FDA approval for a feasibility study to examine the Hemopurifier with Covid-19 patients.

According to a company press release, a feasibility study is the device equivalent of a Phase I drug trial. Aethlon will work to enroll as many as 40 subjects in the study, all who have tested positive for Covid-19, have been admitted to an ICU and suffered lung injury. Hopefully, researchers will find that the Hemopurifier can remove the virus causing Covid-19 from the subjects’ bodies.

Investors shouldn’t dive in head first here, but the rise in AEMD stock is worth noting. Its Hemopurifier device has long drawn attention as an innovative and industry-changing piece of equipment, and hopefully studies related to the coronavirus will shed light on its effectiveness. As with any other drug or vaccine company, good news could send shares skyrocketing.

10 Robotics Stocks to Buy for Futuristic Gains

[Thursday, June 18, 1:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

For many investors, the novel coronavirus has highlighted glaring issues in the supply chain. When workers at Tyson Foods’s (NYSE:TSN) and Smithfield plants contracted Covid-19, the choice seemingly became forcing employees to produce meat products in dangerous conditions or risk massive meat shortages. Less essential factories, like auto plants, simply closed down.

But what if, especially in extreme circumstances like a pandemic, human workers could find help from robot friends? That’s exactly what Boston Dynamics is hoping to determine with its robot dog, Spot. According to Emerging Tech Brew’s Ryan Duffy, Spot is all about taking over “ugly” and “dangerous” job duties. Before the pandemic, that largely meant certain construction, mining and electrical power generation jobs. In the future, though, could that mean stepping in when a virus pops up?

Right now, as Duffy writes, it’s time for Spot to prove itself. The cute-but-mechanical dog comes with a $74,500 price tag, and will need to show that it’s capable of handling existing dangerous tasks. However, the potential here is massive. Could automation be the key to protecting the supply chain during inevitable future pandemics? Think about it. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been using a fleet of robots for years to help with physically taxing warehouse work.

If you’re excited about the potential here, I have some bad news. Boston Dynamics is still a private company, so you can’t pick up shares to bet on Spot. However, if you’re broadly bullish on the innovation that robotics companies present, InvestorPlace’s Vince Martin has 10 great alternatives. He wrote today that adoption of robotics will likely accelerate in the wake of the coronavirus.

So what sort of companies is Martin recommending? His list includes smaller companies that are not yet household names. But he’s confident in the coming years, giants like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will enter the race. Here are his top picks now:

  • ABB Ltd. (NYSE:ABB)
  • iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT)
  • Stereotaxis (NYSEMKT:STXS)
  • FLIR Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR)
  • AeroVironmnent (NASDAQ:AVAV)
  • Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB)
  • Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)
  • Globus Medical (NYSE:GMED)
  • Daifuku (OTCMKTS:DFKCY)
  • Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ)

11 Tech Stocks to Buy to Profit From Pandemic Trends

[Thursday, June 18, 12:08 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Saying that the novel coronavirus has disrupted Americans’ daily lives is quite the understatement. The pandemic changed what we know about work, education, commerce and public health. There are changes just now beginning to unfold — and we don’t even have an effective vaccine yet. Investors have had opportunities to profit from hot and volatile stocks that capitalize on these changes, but as states begin to reopen, many are likely looking for more stable ways to invest in pandemic tech.

We’ve seen video conferencing come out of nowhere. Electronic signatures. Augmented reality filters for social media platforms. Massive streaming media partnerships. What will last when some semblance of “normal” returns to the market? And what hot tech will suddenly fade away?

According to researchers at Morgan Stanley, it’s important to analyze what specific trends a company benefits from. They highlight what they see as the largest three: e-commerce, digital entertainment and contactless payment.

From there, researchers picked a handful of companies benefiting from each trend. These are names that will also continue to benefit as these trends accelerate after the pandemic eases. Here are the top 11 recommendations from Morgan Stanley (subscription required):

  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Chewy (NYSE:CHWY)
  • eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY)
  • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)
  • Spotify (NYSE:SPOT)
  • T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS)
  • Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)
  • Visa (NYSE:V)
  • PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Mastercard (NYSE:MA)

Spotify Stock Is a Pitch-Perfect Buy Now

[Thursday, June 18, 11:17 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) has been music to investors’ ears these last few weeks. And to many, that reality is far from initial predictions. Spotify is all about music on the go. Plug in your headphones or earbuds of choice and hop on the subway. Or, stream your favorite pump-up playlist while you’re at the gym. Since the novel coronavirus came to town, there hasn’t been a lot of commuting or working out going on.

But nonetheless, consumers are streaming and Spotify is booming. Shares are up another 10% in intraday trading on Thursday.

One of the initial catalysts for Spotify stock has been that, while stuck at home, consumers are listening to music. Early reports from the company suggest that time cooking is now accompanied by food podcasts or kitchen-friendly playlists. It makes sense — I know I’m tired of just listening to my keyboard click and clack all day.

It also became clear that podcasts were bringing great value to the company. Axios’ Sara Fischer reported that consumers were abandoning traditional audio streaming for podcasts — especially those that incorporated video. Spotify soared when it announced Joe Rogan would be bringing his highly followed Joe Rogan Experience exclusively to its platform. Plus, his podcast would be one of the first to combine audio and video streaming for the company.

That move solidified Spotify’s role in the podcast world. But things are heating up even more today. Spotify announced new exclusive podcast deals that are stirring up excitement. A first deal partners with Kim Kardashian West on a new podcast about criminal justice. The podcast will solely be available on Spotify, and will look at wrongful convictions. Benzinga’s Neer Varshney speculates that this topic will have a large audience in light of the Black Lives Matter movement gaining mainstream support.

But that’s not all for Spotify. It also announced a deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to produce an exclusive series of scripted podcasts about Batman, Wonder Woman and other associated characters. According to Variety’s Todd Spangler, this deal will also bring exclusive podcasts from the Looney Tunes brand and TV shows like Supernatural.

Spotify is the go-to music streaming platform for many consumers. As it ups its stake in the podcast business, expect it to further its leadership there as well.

Stocks Open Lower Thursday on Weekly Jobless Claims

[Thursday, June 18, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s a tough morning for investors. Just yesterday, the market struggled to balance rising novel coronavirus cases with signs of economic recovery. Today, things feel even more uneven after reports that another 1.5 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week. This number was slightly higher than many economists predicted.

For every step the economy take forward, the pandemic drags us all two steps back. Will it be a V-shaped recovery? Or will we see many more months — if not years — of economic pain as a result of Covid-19? It’s strange to think we’ve been pondering this same question for several weeks now.

On Thursday, the bulls took the back seat. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.53%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.78%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.17%

3 Safe Stocks to Buy to Protect Your Portfolio Now

[Wednesday, June 17, 4:17 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Novel coronavirus cases are spiking — and in some instances hitting record highs — in states that have reopened. The Federal Reserve anticipates near-zero interest rates through 2022. President Donald Trump is stirring up tensions within the U.S. and abroad, and fears over U.S.-China trade relations are once again front and center. Will the U.S. delist all Chinese companies from the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange?

If you’ve been watching the news, your head is likely spinning. As we’ve previously reported in this blog, there are seemingly infinite factors driving the day-to-day performance of the major indices. It may seem impossible to buy stocks with so much volatility in the market.

But don’t despair. InvestorPlace’s Ian Cooper understands the fear that many investors likely have right now. It’s hard to find stocks that will protect your portfolio from wild volatility. That’s why he has three recommendations (including an exchange-traded fund) to help you right now.

Here are his top three picks:

  • Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEARCA:UVXY)
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Clorox (NYSE:CLX)

Stocks Struggle and Close Lower on Wednesday

[Wednesday, June 17, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Remember the childhood game of plucking petals off a flower, chanting “he loves me, he loves me not”? It seems investors are playing a similar game, wobbling back and forth on their commitment to a reopening rally. This morning, we wrote that stocks were headed higher on good news from retail sales, the Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump’s administration.

But with a pluck of a petal, stocks headed south. Last week, renewed fears of a second wave of the novel coronavirus dominated the market. Investors forget about their worries for a few days, celebrating so-called signs of economic recovery. Now it appears that the panic is back, as several U.S. states continue to report surges in cases.

Will the market love us tomorrow? Who knows. For now, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed in the red. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite managed to stay afloat in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.36%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.65%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.15%

Fintech Bulls Should Be Hot on the Quicken Loans IPO

[Wednesday, June 17, 3:25 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Prior to the novel coronavirus, fintech stocks were hot. Most investors knew that they addressed real problems in various financial services, and that the growth potential was massive. But the pandemic thrust big names like Square (NYSE:SQ), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) into the spotlight. These companies offered cashless and contactless payment solutions. They acted as banks, helping small businesses get loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. In short, fintech leaders went from the fringes to the mainstream.

That bodes well for the upcoming IPO of Quicken Loans. According to some calculations, Quicken Loans is the leading mortgage lender in the U.S. And as InvestorPlace’s Joel Baglole wrote today, its IPO value is likely to be in the tens of billions of dollars. That’s why he marked the fintech company as one of the top initial public offerings to watch for the rest of 2020.

But there’s also more to the story. As Housing Wire’s Julian Hebron wrote, this is a key case of a fintech disruptor hitting the public markets. Using numbers from the International Monetary Fund, Quicken Loans funded more mortgages than industry stalwart Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC).

And if the Quicken Loans IPO is successful, which Baglole and many other experts expect it will be, Hebron thinks it will set the stage for other fintech IPOs. Robinhood has long been flirting with a public debut. And Revolut — a British fintech that handles banking services — is also raising funding. Quicken Loans will definitely influence any IPO decisions from this star duo.

Keep a close eye on Quicken Loans. According to CNBC’s Leslie Picker, it could easily be the largest IPO in 2020. And beyond that, it represents a big shift in momentum for fintech. Bulls, don’t miss out.

5 Retail Stocks to Buy as Consumers Embrace Suburbia

[Wednesday, June 17, 2:54 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Cities have long represented shiny company headquarters, open-concept offices, high-rise apartment buildings and the luxuries of vegan and gluten-free bakeshops. But during a pandemic, cities take on a new threat factor. There’s no “great outdoors” to safely explore. Plus, sky-high rent prices no longer make sense when you’re working from home. This reality has spurred what the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher, Paul Schwartzman and Ben Weissenbach have dubbed the “Great American Migration.”

Certainly, companies are playing a big role in this too. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are exploring policies to allow employees to work from home forever. Now that jobs once reserved for San Francisco and New York City can be done anywhere, consumers are packing up and heading to suburbia. It makes sense. If nothing is tying you down to your city, moving somewhere with more space is safer. It can also potentially save you money — why pay astronomical rent prices in a city you no longer have to commute and work in?

As with any trend, certain companies will profit. That’s why Jefferies analysts are rounding up retailers likely to benefit from the “doorman to cul-de-sac” switch. Here are their top five recommendations (subscription required):

  • Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW)
  • Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
  • Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)
  • Floor & Decor (NYSE:FND)
  • Wayfair (NYSE:F)

Here’s one more note. According to Jefferies, Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), At Home (NYSE:HOME) and Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO) could also benefit from this trend. However, the firm only has hold ratings on these three companies now.

Yelp Stock Is a Buy for its Pandemic Innovation

[Wednesday, June 17, 1:15 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) has not had an easy year in 2020. Shares are down approximately 30% — which makes sense considering the amount of restaurants and non-essential businesses that either closed or saw steep drops in sales these last few months. But Yelp knows the businesses on its platform need help, and that consumers are looking for information, so it’s unrolling some attractive new features.

Beyond being a place for creative and often over-the-top reviews, Yelp has a reservations platform and gives consumers a chance to browser through crowd-sourced information like menus and restaurant photos. According to one Seeking Alpha contributor, Yelp has three income streams, including advertising revenue and subscription fees. That same contributor is very bullish on YELP stock — despite its recent downturn, he thinks investors can see some nice gains if they buy and hold onto shares through 2020 and beyond.

New reporting from Axios’ Ina Fried should strengthen that bull case even more. She wrote yesterday that Yelp is appealing to consumers who are braving reopened restaurants. Are you looking for a cafe with dine-in seating? What about a restaurant known for having lots of space? And are you interested in knowing which cleaning protocols a staff is following?

Yelp is hoping to provide just that. It is adding a section to restaurant pages for staff members to update with their Covid-19 details. It’s also rolling out a “waitlist” feature, as limited restaurant capacity is likely keep lines high at in-demand businesses. Businesses that show consumers they understand the altered dining landscape are likely to win favor, which is why Yelp’s offerings are so important.

Sure, this little solution isn’t likely to move mountains, but it will help Yelp’s rebound case. And right now, every little detail matters as the economy climbs back from rock bottom.

Buy Merck and Mylan to Benefit from Coronavirus Cure

[Wednesday, June 17, 12:30 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Yesterday, big news broke about the novel coronavirus, but investors didn’t seem to care. According to Bloomberg’s John Lauerman, a study out of the University of Oxford found that a cheap steroid, dexamethasone, showed “life-saving promise” in hospitalized patients. The key for investors is that pharmaceutical giants Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) both produce this drug.

Dexamethasone received approval several decades ago, and is now marketed for rheumatism, asthma, allergies and chemotherapy-triggered nausea. And as Lauerman points out, a full course of the drug costs roughly $5. BioPharma Dive’s Jonathan Gardner said that in some instances, the dose used in this trial would cost just $1 or $2 per patient.

Researchers initially began studying the drug in a massive move to find potential treatments for the novel coronavirus and its many symptoms. Scientists began studying existing drugs, like dexamethasone, to see if they would be effective in mitigating any Covid-19 symptoms. To date, the only drug that has received approval is Gilead’s (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir, so the search continues on.

Results found that dexamethasone reduced deaths by a third among patients on ventilators and by a fifth among those receiving oxygen. This should give consumers a lot of hope, as it helps the survival chances of even the sickest patients. As POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle makes clear, this is the first drug found to reduce the risk of death.

For investors, a big concern is likely the cost of dexamethasone. The same cause for excitement — its cheap per-dose price — also is a limiting factor in the revenue Mylan and Merck can bring in. However, that doesn’t mean investors should check out. As this study gains more attention and more Covid-19 patients receive dexamethasone as part of their treatment, the companies behind the drug could receive celebrity status. One way they could benefit is simply heightened attention and the market’s willingness to bid them up as a reward.

It’s too early to tell exactly what will happen, but keep a close eye on MRK and MYL shares now.

15 Online Retail Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2020

[Wednesday, June 17, 11:34 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango said it best. Online retail stocks really have been on fire so far in 2020 — and they’re not stopping anytime soon.

The rise of e-commerce has been unfolding since Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) became a star, but this megatrend has only been accelerating in the last few years. Plus, the novel coronavirus did nothing but help. Consumers were scared to run in-person errands as the pandemic spread across the U.S. And even if they wanted to go out and about, non-essential retailers were closed for weeks.

As a result, American shoppers turned to buying cars, pet food, clothing and even furniture online. As Lango wrote yesterday, the Amplify Online Retail ETF (NASDAQ:IBUY) is up 30% in 2020. If you find yourself questioning whether e-commerce will take a back seat as states reopen, here’s a reminder. Americans love convenience. And at its heart, e-commerce is all about convenience.

If you’re ready to embrace this trend as e-commerce keeps heating up, here are Lango’s top recommendations:

  • Wayfair (NYSE:W)
  • Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY)
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Chewy (NYSE:CHWY)
  • Revolve (NYSE:RVLV)
  • eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY)
  • Blue Apron (NYSE:APRN)
  • MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI)
  • Carvana (NYSE:CVNA)
  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH)
  • Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX)
  • PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)

3 Airline Stocks to Buy as Europe Reopens for Travel

[Wednesday, June 17, 10:21 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

You likely know that airline stocks are a hot topic right now, but chances are, you’re still looking for the right strategy to enter this hard-hit sector. U.S. passenger carriers like American Airlines  (NASDAQ:AAL) have drawn attention as they begin to restore flight capacity for the summer. However, the future isn’t all rosy as many reports indicate massive layoffs are coming to the industry in just a few months. What does that mean for investors?

According to InvestorPlace’s Laura Hoy, it means that U.S. airline stocks don’t offer any real opportunity right here. But she still does see a pent-up demand catalyst affecting travel, especially as many consumers lust for summer vacations. In an effort to find fair comparisons to the likes of American and United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), Hoy headed across the Atlantic to look at European carriers.

And there, she found opportunity. Just like in the U.S., many European nations are beginning to reopen and allow some travel. Quarantine restrictions for travelers vary, but it’s like that within the European Union at least, summer vacations will be back on the calendar. To capitalize on that reality, Hoy picked three airline stocks likely to serve European customers this summer.

Here’s what she’s recommending now:

  • Ryanair Holdings (NASDAQ:RYAAY)
  • Wizz Air (OTCMKTS:WZZAF)
  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)

Stocks Open Higher Wednesday for Fourth Straight Day

[Wednesday, June 17, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Not much has changed on Wall Street, but that’s not stopping this rally. Last week, a surge in novel coronavirus cases and guidance from the Federal Reserve spooked investors into launching a massive selloff. But since Friday, stocks have been ticking higher once again.

Sure, we’ve had a great retail sales report and the Fed keeps working its bond-buying magic, but the catalysts behind the selloff remain in place. For right now, stocks are up on Wednesday and ready to keep charting gains. Will tomorrow’s jobless report shake things up again?

It’s too early to tell. For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all are opening in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.34%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.18%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.48%

Stocks Close Higher Tuesday Amid Renewed Rally

[Tuesday, June 16, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Cases of the novel coronavirus may still be climbing across the United States and the rest of the world, but it looks the reopening rally has regained its speed. Stocks are up and the major indices just keep climbing higher.

This morning, we reported that a rebound in retail sales was helping turn things around. It’s also important to remember yesterday’s move by the Federal Reserve to begin buying individual corporate bonds. There’s a lot going on in the mark to keep equities high.

Oh, bullish investors have one more thing to like. A new report suggests that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering $1 trillion in infrastructure stimulus spending. Such a move would boost a handful of industries and certainly help the economy.

Altogether, there’s enough to send the major indices upwards. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all closed Tuesday in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.90%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 2.04%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.75%

Buy Thor Industries and Winnebago Stock for an Adventure

[Tuesday, June 16, 12:55 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Some consumers have had enough of the novel coronavirus, but they aren’t ready for large crowds or even pre-pandemic socializing. Just think about it. You don’t want to get sick — or get anyone else sick. At the same time, your back hurts from working on your couch all day and you’re craving some fresh air. Apparently, this line of thinking is making one industry in particular a big winner.

Recent reports have focused on consumers buying RVs in record number. Existing RV owners are hoping to get more use out of the vehicles this year, as hotels, airlines and cruises are out of the question for many families. Other consumers are deciding that this summer is the time to buy — and according to Business Insider’s Brittany Chang, demand isn’t slowing down. Demand for Airstream RVs — a brand owned by Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) — is so high that the company is struggling to keep up.

The safety argument makes a lot of sense. You can travel alone, with your family or quarantine friend group, and see sites across the U.S. And unlike with various other forms of travel, your exposure to others is much lower.

Sure, it’s likely that as pandemic fears ease (likely with the commercialization of a vaccine), that RVs will lose the coronavirus attraction. But for right now, demand is growing and THO and Winnebago (NYSE:WGO) are winning. That’s something investors can’t deny.

Take a look at all the consumer surveys, consider the safety and relaxation offered by a campground and just maybe add some THO or WGO shares to your portfolio now.

Bulls Should Keep a Close Eye on These 5 Biotech IPOs

[Tuesday, June 16, 10:40 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The IPO market just keeps delivering after a weeks-long hiatus. This week, there’s two reasons for bullish investors to buy into the initial public offering hype.

Bulls’ first reason for cheer is the same as in weeks prior. The stock market saw some companies delay highly anticipated IPOs due to the novel coronavirus, and other set-to-IPO companies are now simply struggling to exist. Things are turning around in recent weeks thanks to the debuts of Warner Music Group (NASDAQ:WMG), Vroom (NASDAQ:VRM) and Nikola Motors (NASDAQ:NKLA). The other positive is that this week marks a major move for the biotech sector. Five new offerings — the entirety of this week’s IPOs — are coming from the healthcare space.

Why does that matter? Well, as we’ve previously reported in this blog, the healthcare sector has had a hard year. Sure, companies that dove into developing vaccines or drugs for Covid-19 have largely met success, but other sector players aren’t so lucky. Labs were shut down, clinical trials were delayed. Market attention simply turned away from cancer and rare diseases and focused on the pandemic.

These new five biotech IPOs show that the market’s appetite is changing. Yesterday, Royalty Pharma’s (NASDAQ:RPRX) entrance to the public markets saw it become the largest new deal year-to-date. This New York-based company buys royalty interests in marketed and late-stage biopharma products.

Although it’s unclear if the other four deals will meet the same success, bulls should keep a close on the market. Next up are Forma Therapeutics under ticker FMTX, a company that develops drugs for specific blood cancers; Genetron Holdings under ticker GTH, a Chinese cancer diagnostics provider; Repare Therapeutics under ticker RPTX, a preclinical oncology biotech and Progenity under ticker PROG, a fertility and prenatal screening biotech.

Stocks Open Higher Tuesday on Record Retail Sales

[Tuesday, June 16, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, President Donald Trump said it’s going to be a “BIG DAY” for the stock market, so investors better take note. Stock futures are headed sharply higher on Tuesday after a record jump in retail sales growth painted a sunnier picture of the United States’ reopening.

So what’s the report all about? Well, in May, retail sales jumped 17.7%. This figure accounts for all sorts of purchases, from clothing and accessories to musical instruments and book stores. Back in March, when the novel coronavirus began to destroy the U.S. economy, many experts were worried about consumer spending. Retail sales fell, as many Americans lost their jobs or started saving for the unknown. But it’s hard to talk about a V-shaped recovery when no one is spending.

On Tuesday, this retail sales surprise really gave investors something to celebrate. Fears that the pandemic would have long-lasting impacts have weighed on the stock market these last few days, so this sign of recovery is moving mountains. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all well in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 2.73%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 3.19%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 2.43%

7 Chinese Stocks to Buy Despite Pandemic Volatility

[Monday, June 15, 4:46 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s been a tough season for Chinese stocks. Trade tensions between the United States and China are caught in a loop — things ease, and then they spike again. After the novel coronavirus emerged from Wuhan, hard-hit equities fell even further, despite company fundamentals or growth promises. Perhaps nothing can move sentiment more than a pandemic.

Sure, we’re seeing a reopening rally distract investors, but that hasn’t erased the volatility for Chinese stocks. One outcome of the pandemic has been the trade deal’s return to the spotlight. Now, some lawmakers are supporting a bill that would delist foreign companies from the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Exchange that fail to meet certain accounting practices.

Although this bill was targeted at the likes of Luckin Coffee (NASDAQ:LK), it is having an impact on solid names like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).

Through this volatility, InvestorPlace’s Tezcan Gecgil sees a real buying opportunity. She wrote today that while volatility is likely to continue over the next few weeks, particularly as China returns to strict lockdown protocols, Chinese stocks are worth of investor attention right now.

Here’s what Gecgil is recommending:

  • Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)
  • Baozun (NASDAQ:BZUN)
  • Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY)
  • Weibo (NASDAQ:WB)
  • ZTO Express (NYSE:ZTO)

The Fed Saves the Day and Sends Stocks Higher

[Monday, June 15, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The Federal Reserve can’t make more Americans follow social distancing guidelines or cure the novel coronavirus, but it can ease stock market woes. And it did just that on Monday, reversing a panic-driven downturn caused by a spike in new cases.

So what exactly did the Fed do? According to Yahoo Finance’s Brian Cheung, it announced a plan to buy individual corporate bonds as part of a new corporate bond portfolio. This is an expansion of its plans to backstop the corporate debt market, as many companies continue to struggle from the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic.

Unlike other recent Fed actions — like forecasting near-zero rates through 2022 — this action seems to have a positive impact. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all are closing in the green on Monday.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.83%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.62%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.43%

Buy Eli Lilly Stock for Growing Coronavirus Potential

[Monday, June 15, 2:13 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is a massive player in the pharmaceutical space. Its famous drugs include leading treatments for depression, lung cancer, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. The company has a sizable market capitalization over $130 billion — Eli Lilly truly puts the “big” in Big Pharma. But it isn’t sitting out the race to fight the novel coronavirus, jumping in alongside smaller biotech startups.

We have previously recommended LLY stock in this blog for its coronavirus potential, and today, InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier shared his recommendation. He likes this duality between Eli Lilly’s Big Pharma reputation and cutting-edge research. The company already is working on two antibody treatments through partnerships with AbCellera and Junshi Biosciences. Fortunately for LLY shareholders, it’s already progressing with human trials.

In short, Eli Lilly wasn’t lagging in the race. But new reporting from Barron’s Bill Alpert highlights another key way the company is looking to fight Covid-19.

On Monday, Eli Lilly confirmed it was studying its arthritis drug Olumiant — which has already received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other international agencies — as part of a program to moderate coronavirus symptoms. An artificial intelligence firm BenevolentAI identified that Olumiant could potentially help keep patients off of ventilators.

Now, based on this inquiry, Eli Lilly is sponsoring a 400-patient trial to see if Olumiant truly can help coronavirus patients. Regardless of the outcome, it’s clear Eli Lilly is exactly where it needs to be.

Walmart and Shopify Are Heating Up E-Commerce

[Monday, June 15, 12:44 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) have both been solid companies in 2020, although Shopify’s year-to-date gain of 100% makes it the clear winner. On Monday, news that the duo is partnering on an e-commerce initiative has shares up in intraday trading.

Walmart is a giant retailer, and WMT stock benefited earlier in the spring as consumers rushed to stock up on essential items like groceries. At the same time, Walmart’s smart pivot to e-commerce saw digital sales grow 74% in the first quarter. What’s more, a new partnership with ThredUp has sparked excitement that Walmart understands what is and isn’t working in apparel retail. Shopify, a provider of platforms and other solutions for smaller businesses, has soared in 2020 as it helped a variety of brands survive despite novel coronavirus lockdowns.

Together, Walmart and Shopify are now looking to change the e-commerce game and compete against the likes of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Target (NYSE:TGT). According to Retail Dive’s Daphne Howland, Walmart will now welcome 1,200 sellers from Shopify to its third-party platform by the end of the year. This will help Walmart as the company expands its unique products — and it shows Walmart is taking a page from Amazon’s book. Shopify investors are also excited, as the deal means more exposure for the e-commerce company.

Right now, Howland emphasizes that because it’s unclear which sellers Walmart will welcome, it’s hard to predict exactly how beneficial the deal will be. For now, though, it’s a promising partnership. Sellers will not have to pay just to list, but each sale through Walmart’s platform will earn WMT a so-called referral fee.

Investors now should be even more bullish on Walmart and Shopify, as these two companies clearly have what it takes as the world of retail transforms. Plus, according to InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto, WMT stock also offers even the most traditional investors something to like. That’s because it has a solid dividend and a powerful reputation with American consumers.

15 Stocks to Buy to Invest Like a Robinhood Winner

[Monday, June 15, 12:10 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

An odd trend is emerging on Wall Street. Since March, we’ve talked at length about the number of Americans turning to bread making, TV streaming and at-home exercising. But plenty of other consumers decided to open Robinhood accounts and explore the world of retail investing.

This trend has driven some beaten-down stocks to the moon, as small-scale investors hop on the reopening rally bandwagon. Some investors are so confident in the post-pandemic future that they’re chasing Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) higher. Might I remind you that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections just a few weeks ago — all those equity investors are likely to get wiped out.

But not all of retail investors’ ideas are as skepticism-inducing as Hertz. Some of the most popular stocks on Robinhood’s platform right now include travel plays like Carnival (NYSE:CCL) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL). Other leaders are Ford (NYSE:F) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) — two big industry names impacted by shuttered factories. But these beaten-down stocks did rally big time.

In fact, Goldman Sachs said that companies popular with “amateur” traders are significantly outperforming hedge funds right now. Yahoo Finance’s Sam Ro notes the same trend, writing this morning that “big money” may soon be following Robinhood’s lead.

With that in mind, Goldman Sachs has picked out the 15 best-performing stocks in its retail investor basket. If you want to follow the bold with a little bit of traditional backing, this list of stocks sounds like a great place to start. Here are the recommendations, via CNBC (subscription required):

  • Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN)
  • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)
  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM)
  • Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL)
  • Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)
  • Snap (NYSE:SNAP)
  • Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH)
  • Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)
  • Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE)
  • JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU)
  • Boeing (NYSE:BA)
  • Ford (NYSE:F)

7 Regional Bank Stocks to Buy Now for PPP Benefits

[Monday, June 15, 11:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s no secret that the reputation of financial institutions has weighed on bank stocks in 2020. Some investors simply can’t get over the role big banks played during the 2007-08 financial crisis — although regulations have greatly changed the banking landscape since the Great Recession.

InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier sees where those investors are coming from. As a former banking analyst, he wrote today that he’s too familiar with the “creative accounting” that many banks employ. That’s why he’s looking for smaller bank stocks to buy now.

And there’s another reason to be bullish on small, regional banks. According to Barron’s Matthew Klein, it was this group of smaller banks that took the lead with the Paycheck Protection Program. This may not initially make a lot of sense, but Klein elaborates. For instance, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) told small businesses that it would only handle PPP loans for existing customers. Peers Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) had similar stances.

That’s where the smaller banks came in. Many smaller banks began the loan process with new small businesses, perhaps as American Banker’s Jim Dobbs put it, in an effort to gain market share. Navellier likes where these regional banks are headed, especially as many businesses approach phase two of the PPP process. He’s looking at banks around the United States, and especially regional chains that have a lot of growth potential.

Here’s what he’s recommending now:

  • Merchants Bancorp (NASDAQ:MBIN)
  • Glacier Bancorp (NASDAQ:GBCI)
  • Landmark Bancorp (NASDAQ:LARK)
  • Eagle Bancorp Montana (NASDAQ:EBMT)
  • German American Bancorp (NASDAQ:GABC)
  • Stock Yards Bancorp (NASDAQ:SYBT)
  • United Bancorp (NASDAQ:UBCP)

Stocks Open Lower Monday as New Covid-19 Cases Climb

[Monday, June 15, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The reopening rally has finally met its match. On Monday, the major indices are sinking into the red — just a few days after investors pushed stocks higher to enjoy the weekend. This move lower comes as novel coronavirus cases surge around the world.

A new outbreak in Beijing has prompted China to revisit strict lockdowns and mass testing measures. Around the United States, officials are considering similar decisions. Florida reported 2,000 new cases in one day — for the second day in a row. This rise in new cases comes just a few weeks after most states embarked on three-phase reopening plans. Now, it looks like Memorial Day weekend festivities and lax social distancing have a price.

Investors will have to determine exactly what that price is. Travel stocks are some of the biggest losers in early morning trading, as vacations once again seem far away. Keep a close eye on Covid-19 figures to get a sense for market sentiment.

For now, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all in the red.

  • The S&P opened lower by 2.15%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 2.45%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 1.49%

Stocks Close Higher Friday to Start the Weekend

[Friday, June 12, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If you’re anything like me, you’re prepping for a weekend filled with time safely spent indoors, social distancing and staying away from crowds. But regardless, a weekend is a weekend. It looks like that logic is helping the major indices stay in the green Friday, after a rout that took the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower by 1,800 points.

Granted, Friday’s into-the-weekend rally doesn’t mean that everything is better. Officials in Houston, Texas — one of the areas seeing a resurgence of novel coronavirus cases after reopening — are considering a return of stay-at-home orders. What would that mean for all of the businesses just beginning to reopen their doors after months of lost revenue? Are other cities around the U.S. about to face similar decisions? Plus, Axios’ Dion Rabouin showed investors today just how flawed May’s non-farm payrolls report really was.

Clearly, there’s just a lot more going on than the daily ups and downs of the stock market can account for. But for now, it’s the weekend, and sunshine is returning to Wall Street. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are joining the Dow in the green to end the week.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.3%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 1.9%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.01%

Don’t Miss Out on the Coming Gold Bull Run

[Friday, June 12, 3:45 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The words of Barron’s Steven Sears come to mind now. Early in June, he wrote “As America burns, gold shines.” At the time, his words were quite literal. Protesters flooded U.S. streets after the Minneapolis killing of George Floyd, and fires broke out across the country. Now, investors are also reckoning with a less literal fire — Thursday’s stock market rout that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose 1,800 points.

If there’s one thing you should take away from the stock market these last few weeks it’s this. Buy gold now.

Some say it’s the perfect crisis investment. Others call it a safe haven, turning to it in times of political uncertainty. It rose after the U.S. military killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani. It rose again at the peak of the novel coronavirus pandemic. And gold prices are up 3% this week amid renewed pandemic panic.

That’s why InvestorPlace analysts Eric Fry and Neil George are bullish on gold right now. As George wrote yesterday, lower interest rates are the biggest driver of gold prices. And boy, interest rates are low right now. In fact, it was the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would maintain near-zero rates through 2022 that largely sparked yesterday’s selloff. But low interest rates should keep gold prices headed higher for the foreseeable future.

Fry is also urging investors to buy gold now, writing that they simply have to purchase the hot commodity. Why? Gold is gaining amid the pandemic, but it will gain even more after. That’s because fears of post-pandemic inflation should drive prices higher. Gold mining stocks are Fry’s top recommendation to profit from gold’s soon-to-be massive gains.

Neil George has one specific recommendation — what he sees as the best way to profit from gold now. He likes Franco-Nevada (NYSE:FNV). However you choose to play the coming bull run in gold, just make sure you get in now before it’s too late.

Farfetch Stock Is a Buy as Consumers Turn to Luxury Retail

[Friday, June 12, 3:04 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We’ve previously reported about The RealReal (NASDAQ:REAL) and ThredUp, two ways to play luxury retail amid the novel coronavirus. ThredUp — which Walmart (NYSE:WMT) just partnered with — and The RealReal focus on the second-hand niche. But is there any way to profit during the pandemic from full-price luxury goods?

According to InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango, there is. That’s why he’s bullish on Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH), an e-commerce retailer that focuses on full-price luxury fashion and accessories. In fact, he thinks the stock could soon hit $120 from its current per-share price of $15. That’s because in many ways, Lango sees the site as the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) of the luxury space. From Lango:

“Over the next decade, a few things will happen. The global luxury fashion market will continue to grow. Sales in that market will increasingly pivot online. And Farfetch will likely become the go-to centralized digital marketplace for luxury fashion.”

On the site, you can browse through designers like Prada, Burberry, Off-White and Versace. In addition to clothing, you can nab luxury shoes, handbags and other accessories. During a pandemic credited with slamming the economy into a recession, it’s an odd argument to bet on anything luxury. But as we’ve reported previously in this blog, designer scarves and statement earrings were in high demand as white-collar workers shifted to the world of videoconferencing.

Plus, the luxury world is making a comeback. CNN’s Michelle Toh wrote that consumer spending data from China shows that shoppers are finally back to buying luxury items. She uses the phrase “revenge spending” — encapsulating the pent-up demand driving purchases. Forbes contributor Pamela Danziger sees luxury retailers benefiting from the “wellness” trend likely to emerge as the world reopens. The last few months have taken a mental and physical toll on many workers, so retailers that can cater to rest and relaxation will stand to win.

But what about the very real impacts of the coronavirus on consumer spending? A McKinsey report is quick to highlight the problems. A lot of luxury shopping is done by consumers on international trips. Factories — many of which are in Italy — were shut down for long periods. But those brands that pivoted to digital engagement and responded with innovation are likely to come out on top.

And when those brands do, consumers will come to Farfetch for their purchases. Like Lango wrote, it will become the go-to platform for luxury e-commerce. Even if this shift doesn’t happen overnight, getting in near $15 and eventually seeing shares hit $120 isn’t a bad proposition.

9 Cryptocurrencies to Watch for the Rest of 2020

[Friday, June 12, 2:15 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

This has been quite the tumultuous year. We entered 2020 on a high, driven on by big excitement over accelerating trends in electric vehicles, next-generation healthcare and 5G. Then the U.S. renewed tensions with Iran, a pandemic destroyed the economy and America entered a period of ongoing civil unrest. There’s simply a lot of news driving the market right now.

Recent price action should confirm that it’s a tumultuous time. Stocks were on a massive rally — one that seemed too resilient to stop. But this week brought renewed panic about the novel coronavirus, and investors wanted out. That’s why InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto, like many other market legends, are turning to cryptocurrencies right now.

For one, these cryptocurrencies allow investors to look toward the future, embracing a unique megatrend. But because of their separation from fiat currencies, they also offer a way to hedge your portfolio from government-driven ups and downs. Some would even go so far as to say that cryptos are a safe-haven investment like gold.

Enomoto is bullish on cryptocurrencies for many reasons, and he is encouraging others to do some research. Here are nine cryptocurrencies he’s recommending now:

  • Bitcoin (CCC:BTC)
  • Ether (CCC:ETH)
  • Litecoin (CCC:LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (CCC:BCH)
  • Lumens (CCC:XLM)
  • 0x (CCC:ZRW)
  • Dai (CCC:DAI)

4 Stocks to Buy to Embrace the Great Outdoors

[Friday, June 12, 12:40 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Time spent in quarantine has given many Americans new habits. Some are baking several loaves of bread a week. Others are learning to sew — and then donating masks to local organizations. And plenty of others are taking up outdoor activities. Running. Biking. Long family walks. Even those who lived mostly sedentary lives prior to the novel coronavirus are feeling the itch to get out and explore.

During peak moments of lockdown, this benefited at-home fitness companies like Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON). Now, states are reopening, and consumers are ready to safely experience nature. Sure, there are those Americans eager to be the first in line at a reopened casino or movie theater. But for most adults, it seems like the urge is just to simply explore, while still social distancing.

Bloomberg’s Olivia Carville reported this week that Airbnb is seeing a surge in vacation-rental demand. Instead of weekend getaways, city workers are finding work-from-home retreats in nature-filled locations. In fact, even after months of suffering while consumers stayed at home, Axios’ Dan Primack said a 2020 IPO is back on the table for the short-term rental company.

Clearly this means demand is present and real. For investors, it’s time to buy a subset of travel and entertainment stocks geared toward the outdoor trend. Where should you start?

Trust me, I rolled my eyes when I read that Americans were panic-buying Peloton bikes. I also rolled my eyes at headlines that RV companies were seeing record demand. But it’s true, and points to a growing outdoors-focused mindset. Maybe we’re learning that binge-watching TV isn’t all that rewarding?

As the team at Morning Brew recently reported, Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) — the maker of Airstream and other RV brands — recently reported stellar earnings, and that’s a key sign of what’s to come in terms of consumer trends. One Bloomberg columnist even said RVs are the new commercial real estate. Next, add Vista Outdoors (NYSE:VSTO) and Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) to your buy list. That way, you can benefit from all the consumers stocking up on bikes, outdoor wear, camping gear and even grills.

Lastly, consider recent IPO Azek (NYSE:AZEK) for those consumers who want to experience the outdoors without roughing it in an RV or tent. The company supplies the materials for luxury decks and patios, and shares keep heading higher.

Buy Chegg Stock for a Future of Learning From Home

[Friday, June 12, 12:00 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

A common theme in community forums is that an unexpected shift to remote education has put a strain on many American families. Some struggle because parents are balancing their own work — remote or not — with homeschooling. Other are struggling as children miss out on social time, one-on-one teacher engagement and structured learning. Now, America is reopening, but the future of education is hazy.

Earlier this week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a phased approach to reopening schools. Students who need in-person education the most could start back as early as this summer. And universities around the country are determined to return to campus.

But there are certainly families uneasy about the return to in-person learning. Some are at high risk for the novel coronavirus. Others have become fond of extra time together. Regardless of the reasoning, companies that make remote education easier are sure to benefit. Startups like QuizletTop HatEdsights and Primer are raking in funding after this spring. Helping students succeed and helping parents stay sane seems to be the common goal.

Investors in the public markets can turn to Chegg (NYSE:CHGG), an industry leader in the learn-from-home space. It helps with homework answers, textbook rentals and essay writingInvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote Wednesday that it’s one of the best stocks to buy and hold for the next 10 years. He sees it as being early on in its successful journey, especially as more consumers will likely embrace virtual education. Plus, its diverse education offerings give it a leg up as new startups enter the space.

However, it’s clear Chegg is taking the competition seriously. ZDNet’s Stephanie Condon just reported it acquired Mathaway for $100 million, giving it access to users in 100 countries. Mathaway is a popular problem-solving application used for virtual learning, and it’s one of the highest-rated education apps. According to Condon, one of the biggest wins for Chegg is the fact Mathaway is used in 13 languages across 100 countries. This should help Chegg up its international exposure.

As families across the U.S. and around the globe continue to learn from home, look to companies like Chegg for profits. It turns out everyone needs a little help with math sometimes.

Stocks Reverse Losses to Open Higher Friday

[Friday, June 12, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s time to party like it’s the weekend! Or at least, that seems to be the mantra many investors are following Friday morning. The sun is shining again on Wall Street and the major indices are opening higher after a market rout yesterday.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what changed. The Federal Reserve’s predictions remain intact, and novel coronavirus cases haven’t evaporated. Perhaps it really is just the power of the weekend ahead. It’s also possible that bulls have taken over again, driving stocks higher on a reopening rally.

Either way, the S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are all opening in the green Friday.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 2.2%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 2.51%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 1.73%

Dow Drops 1,800 Points on Return of Recession Fears

[Thursday, June 11, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Writing that headline hurt. After all things sunshine and rainbows in the past few weeks, the major indices just couldn’t hold it together today. Yesterday’s comments from the Federal Reserve — including plans to maintain near-zero rates through 2022 — have renewed a sense of panic in the stock market.

Knowing that the Fed has such a gloomy outlook for the economy is certainly causing investors to second-guess the reopening rally. At the same time, another 1.5 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits today. That brings the total above 44 million, and paints an ugly picture of just what the novel coronavirus has done to the American economy.

There’s one more catalyst behind the pain, at least according to a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Many states “rushed” to reopen, in hopes of revitalizing small businesses and getting people back to work. But now, some of those states are reporting record rises in cases. Just yesterday, Texas reported more than 2,500 new cases — the highest since the start of the pandemic.

For now at least, daydreams of summer vacations and a pandemic-free America have faded. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite closed Thursday deep in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower Thursday by 5.89%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower Thursday by 6.9%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower Thursday by 5.27%

3 Stocks to Buy as the Market Sinks

[Thursday, June 11, 3:03 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There’s not much to cheer about today as the stock market tumbles, but one piece of time-tested advice rings true — if there’s a will, there’s a way.

That motto is inspiring InvestorPlace’s Tyler Craig to offer some bullish advice right now. Sure, investors are selling stocks like crazy and the S&P 500 is down more than 5% in intraday trading. But there are stocks you can buy now to actually profit from the selloff.

He starts by looking at companies that have already found a lot of success amid the novel coronavirus. But unlike other high-flying names, he’s convinced his three recommendations still have room to run. That piece is key, especially as we wait to see where the U.S. will fall between a reopening rally and a scary second wave of the virus.

Here’s what he’s recommending now:

  • Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON)
  • Twilio (NYSE:TWLO)
  • Crowdstrike (NASDAQ:CRWD)

Bank of America: 15 Stocks to Buy to Sleep Better at Night

[Thursday, June 11, 2:46 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Will there be a second wave of the novel coronavirus? And will researchers ever come up an effective treatment or cure? If those questions, along with thoughts of ongoing civil unrest, rising international tensions and a recession are keeping you up at night, it’s time to evaluate your portfolio.

Or at least, that’s Bank of America’s recommendation. Analysts at the firm acknowledge that investors are likely sleepless over recent events. Just today, the stock market is down 5% in intraday trading after a rally so resilient it appeared nothing could shake it.

But if you invest in the right stocks, there’s a lot less reason for worry. You can go to sleep at night knowing that whichever direction the major indices take in the morning, your portfolio will still look solid. These are companies that will continue to benefit from the reopening rally, but they’ll also be there for you if a second wave of the virus does emerge.

Here are 15 stocks Bank of America is recommending now (subscription required):

  • Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
  • Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW)
  • Costco (NASDAQ:COST)
  • Kellogg (NYSE:K)
  • Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL)
  • General Mills (NYSE:GIS)
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
  • Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)
  • Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB)
  • Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK)
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
  • Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Nike (NYSE:NKE)
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

Get Creative, Take a Selfie and Buy Adobe Stock

[June 11, 2:17 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) has been a clear winner in 2020. InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango has highlighted its outperformance — it’s up 20% so far this year — and the appeal of its work-from-home software. Ahead of its second-quarter earnings this afternoon, InvestorPlace’s Tezcan Gecgil reiterated that it’s a solid buy, although investors should expect some choppiness after earnings.

Where’s the appeal? According to Lango, it’s in Adobe’s Document Clouds solutions and its creative offerings. If you hadn’t noticed, there’s no shortage of influencer content being made despite the novel coronavirus. When the company reports earnings today, analysts expect $2.33 per share on revenue of $3.2 billion. And Adobe bulls should find confidence in its potential for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Today Axios’ Ina Fried reported on an exciting new innovation from Adobe. The company launched its Photoshop Camera app for mobile, designed to spark on-the-go creativity. Users can access some higher-quality photo editing tools, and also add fun features like filters. As Mashable’s Alex Perry wrote this morning, the move is also perfect for branding. An initial preview of the app in November featured Billie Eilish camera lenses.

It’s certainly not a true Photoshop equivalent, but it could go a long way in promoting Adobe’s products to younger smartphone users eager to create trendy content. Plus, as Fried reported in November, Adobe has a bunch more mobile-friendly products in the works. It previously announced Photoshop and Illustrator versions for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and an expansion of its Fresco painting app for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows.

Now, more than ever, the world of digital creativity matters. Influencers are getting younger, and time spent in quarantine fueled many creative projects. Anything industry leader Adobe can do to stay relevant and attract younger users matters. Keep a close eye on today’s earnings, and on the future of Adobe’s mobile releases.

Buy Regeneron Stock for Its Covid-19 Cocktail Drug

[June 11, 12:38 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

If you’re already sick with the novel coronavirus, having a drug that will make you feel better is certainly nice. But what if there’s a drug you could take that would actually prevent you from ever getting sick? That’s exactly what Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) is working on now.

Today the company announced it had begun human trials of its REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail at multiple sites across the U.S. Regeneron is managing four different study populations — examining the uses of this drug for both treatment and prevention. These groups include those who are hospitalized, those who are sick but not hospitalized, those who are healthy but at high risk, and those who are healthy but have come in contact with a sick individual.

At this point in the pandemic, it seems too good to be true that such a drug could be a few months away. But according to CNN’s Jen Christensen, if all goes well, REGN-COV2 could receive emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the fall. Plus, as Christensen points out, Regeneron’s team of scientists has a lot of experience in this field. They have developed effective antibody cocktails for the Ebola virus and for MERS.

Right now, there are several companies working on vaccines and a variety of drugs for the novel coronavirus. Some work to treat specific side effects, while Gilead’s (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir is designed to help those who have already become sick. Remdesivir also happens to be the only drug to receive emergency-use authorization thus far.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Rockoff, there’s a key difference between remdesivir and REGN-COV2. Remdesivir, and other antiviral drugs, is designed to attack the virus once it enters a cell. REGN-COV2 and other antibody drug cocktails target viruses before they have entered cells. More information on the study design, as well as the drug’s antibodies, should be available soon.

InvestorPlace’s Dana Blankenhorn thinks REGN stock is a great long-term buy. He likes its proposed drug for the coronavirus, but he’s also a fan of the technology behind Regeneron’s drug development. In late May, he told investors that as long as they had a longer time frame, there’s no reason to worry about today’s price. Get in, hold on to shares and make a profit.

Moderna Stock Climbs on Late-Stage Trial Plans

[Thursday, June 11, 12:14 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is seriously looking to make a name for itself amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and so far, it’s working. Just a few weeks ago, an update on its early trials sent the market soaring — especially as investors see a vaccine as the key to returning to “normal” once and for all. And MRNA stock is up again today on news it’s ready to launch the final stage of trials in July.

The Massachusetts-based biotech has long been leading the race. According to a company press release, Moderna will test a 100-microgram dose of its vaccine in 30,000 trial participants. This study is massive, its placebo-controlled and it’s further evidence that Moderna is getting closer to a successful coronavirus vaccine. According to BioPharma Dive’s Ben Fidler, this morning’s announcement also makes it the first company to thoroughly outline Phase 3 trial plans.

Underlying this victory is President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. The New York Times recently reported that Moderna was among the mission’s final candidates, likely thanks to its progress thus far and its scaling abilities. Two of its peers, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), also plan to launch “massive” trials in July.

But Moderna is still the first to release an official plan.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, manufacturing, commercializing and delivering the vaccine is the next part of the problem. Trump is promising companies federal funding and military support. On its own, Reuters’ Julie Steenhuysen reports that Moderna is able to produce 500 million doses of the vaccine this year, and hopefully 1 billion doses annually beginning in 2021. January 2021 also marks the official “deployment” date for Operation Warp Speed.

Keep a close eye on Moderna. It’s already flown quite high, but it’s hard to predict just what a successful coronavirus vaccine could mean for Moderna’s stock price. Right now, InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier acknowledges that it’s a risky stock, but he says it’s worth a buy anyways. It looks like you just can’t bet against a potentially pandemic-ending vaccine.

Stocks Slump Thursday on Rash of Bad News

[Thursday, June 11, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s a gloomy day in the stock market — although Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is finding some room for humor. Investors are still processing yesterday’s announcement from the Federal Reserve, and like with past announcements, the unprecedented move to support the market has everyone a little spooked.

Making matters worse is the weekly look at initial unemployment benefit claims. This week, investors learned that 1.5 million more Americans had filed for these initial benefits. Sure, that number is lower than the weekly figures from March. But as Axios’ Courtenay Brown highlights, 1.5 million is still a record number. In fact, this number is still more than double the pre-pandemic record set in 1982.

It’s clear the bulls have taken a step back to process all the news. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all opened sharply in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 2.57%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 3.02%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 2.14%

Stocks Struggle Wednesday on Federal Reserve Comments

[Wednesday, June 10, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Oh, the Federal Reserve. Each time it swoops in to save the day, investors panic. To be fair, its response to the novel coronavirus has been simply unprecedented. And today, during the meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee, the group decided to maintain near-zero rates until 2022.

On one hand, investors could find comfort in knowing the Federal Reserve has their back, and that the market support the group has provided thus far won’t disappear anytime soon. But on the other hand, it’s an indication that the Fed anticipates the recovery being far from instantaneous.

Stocks weren’t sure which way to go after the announcement. At the closing bell Wednesday, the major indices were split. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were in the red, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite stayed steady in the green.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.53%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 1.04%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.67%

4 Entertainment Stocks to Buy for a Reopening Rally

[Wednesday, June 10, 2:09 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The smell of slightly burnt popcorn. Bright lights, loud music. The sound of a roller coaster rushing by your head. Do you remember any of those sensations? Well, if you’ve been mourning the delightful experiences found in crowds of strangers, you’re in luck.

That’s right, America is reopening and investors are ready. Over the past few weeks, many investors piled into other hard-hit sectors like travel and leisure. With planes and cruises, the reopening thesis is a little easier. Consumers eventually are going to need to travel again, and there’s already data flowing in about cruise interest. But what about movie theaters and concerts?

A big concern with this live entertainment space is just what exactly reopening will bring. Many states plan on opening these large venues last, as part of three-phase plans. And when the venues do reopen, will consumers come? Or will safety concerns dominate for the rest of 2020 and beyond?

Well, InvestorPlace’s David Moadel is pretty confident that the pent-up demand catalyst we’ve seen in other sectors will give entertainment stocks a boost. That’s because Americans love freedom, even if seeing a concert means risking exposure to the novel coronavirus. If anything, long-term investors can also find some comfort in knowing that eventually, things will be safe. Buying in now at discounted prices could bring you a pretty profit.

Here’s what Moadel is recommending now:

  • AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC)
  • Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS)
  • Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV)
  • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Corning and UPS Stock Offer Unique Vaccine Plays

[Wednesday, June 10, 1:20 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It’s been incredibly easy to be a bull on vaccine stocks. Think about all the companies racing to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus. Scientists, researchers, biotech startup executives. But somewhere in this buying frenzy, investors have ignored two potentially profitable opportunities.

Right now, President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed has taken some of the best candidates and thrust them into the spotlight. The mission brings federal funding, as well as increased support for manufacturing and deploying. Heck, the U.S. military might even get involved. But ramping up manufacturing at unprecedented levels brings some unique concerns.

For instance, think about the vials and other packaging goods. Where do those come from? In this case, it looks like Corning (NYSE:GLW), the iconic glassmaker, is involved. After concerns over glass vial shortages started circling, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) gave Corning $204 million for vaccine vial production.

Sure, $204 million isn’t enough to move mountains, but the interest in glass is key. Think about what happens if Operation Warp Speed is successful and a vaccine is ready by January 2021. What happens if — despite broad consumer fears — it becomes mandatory in America? Corning could be set for a major new stream of revenue.

Here’s another problem to chew on. How do the vaccines get from laboratories to trial sites, and then from trial sites to hospitals or patients’ homes? Well, the United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) has a healthcare division that is working to address just that. According to Wes Wheeler, the president of the healthcare subsidiary, UPS is pivoting to create the facilities and transport vehicles necessary to support Operation Warp Speed. Supply Chain Dive’s Matt Leonard wrote that this could mean shipping with dry ice for specific sub-frozen conditions. Plus, as Leonard wrote, the healthcare unit has also helped ship personal protective equipment to U.S. customers from China.

Corning and UPS are surely not the only unique plays in the vaccine space, but these stocks serve as a reminder to think outside the box. Operation Warp Speed itself is unprecedented in nature — although Trump has compared it to the Manhattan Project — and the pandemic is forcing all sorts of innovation.

This Week’s IPO Stocks Are Heating Up the Bull Case

[Wednesday, June 10, 12:30 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Last week’s initial public offerings truly gave bullish investors something to celebrate. After a few months of silence in the IPO world, eight deals and two special purpose acquisition companies hit the market. As we previously reported in this blog, this return to public debuts marks a major shift in the stock market’s recovery.

Warner Music Group (NASDAQ:WMG) debuted at $25, and has since climbed to just over $31. It grabbed attention as the largest IPO yet in 2020, and as a company that wasn’t afraid to enter the public arena amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But this week, things are even hotter in terms of IPO stocks, which is an even better sign for investors. There are eight more deals, cumulatively set to raise $2 billion. And these deals have already racked up a lot of headlines. This week saw the biggest first-day return for a tech IPO since 2018. It’s also been the biggest week for preclinical biotech offerings — ever.

Two names in particular stand out, and both have pandemic-driven catalysts. Vroom (NASDAQ:VRM) priced its IPO at $22, and shares have already doubled. Like Carvana (NYSE:CVNA), the beauty with this company is that it allows consumers to order, finance and receive a new car all without leaving their home. Not only does this play into the accelerating social distancing trend, it’s clear that Vroom also understands e-commerce is the future for most shopping.

One more IPO to watch is Azek, which will trade under ticker AZEK. This company is a manufacturer of outdoor living products, specifically for the luxury market. It sounds very niche, but all things “nature” are gaining traction as consumers emerge from weeks in quarantine.

Regardless of the success of specific new offerings, it’s clear things are changing in the stock market. Expect the pace of initial public offerings to pick up speed through 2020, and don’t count out debuts from big names like Airbnb just yet. Who knows what the reopening rally will bring.

5 Stocks to Buy for Post-Pandemic Remote Work

[Wednesday, June 10, 10:39 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Many Americans have come to an interesting point in the work-from-home journey. It’s not so bad to wake up, grab a mug of coffee and then head to the couch. For some white-collar workers, these last few months have created opportunities to work from the wilderness, or perhaps a parent’s house. But for many, one of the biggest drawbacks is the time lost socializing with friends and coworkers.

Now, as the country reopens, many investors are likely starting to bet against the work-from-home trend. Why? Surely, they argue, if states are reopening then workers will return to the office voluntarily. But big companies like Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) have already moved to a “WFH forever” model.

That’s where InvestorPlace’s Thomas Niel comes in. He understands that there’s a fine line between choosing to work from home and having to work from home. He also understands that Americans are likely more bummed out about replacing in-person happy hours and birthday parties for their video-call alternatives.

According to Niel, that means pure work-from-home plays — companies that don’t dive too far into the social realm — are the best stocks to buy in this trend moving forward. That way, as businesses prep to keep some employees home forever, these names will benefit while social-focused tech may lag.

Here’s what he’s recommending now:

  • Atlassian Corporation (NASDAQ:TEAM)
  • DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU)
  • Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Slack (NYSE:WORK)

Stocks Reverse Losses to Open Higher Wednesday

[Wednesday, June 10, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

When will the recession end? What will the Federal Reserve decide today? And will a second wave of the novel coronavirus destroy this beautiful reopening rally? Unfortunately, investors don’t have answers to any of those important questions.

Yesterday, fears of a longer-lasting recession seemed to pull stocks down even as initial public offerings drew excitement in the market. It’s clear bulls and bears are fighting it out, and a lot is at stake. This morning it appears the bulls are back in charge. The S&P 500Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite all opened in the green.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.35%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.15%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.92%

Nasdaq Composite Gains Tuesday Despite Market Stumble

[Tuesday, June 9, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tuesday was an interesting day in the stock market to say the least. It seems that a report declaring the U.S. has been in a recession since February is still weighing down equities. But at the same time, IPO stocks are rallying and Big Tech names like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are still pushing higher.

It seems like in many ways, investors are split. Is it time to fully embrace the reopening rally and chase shiny new public offerings to the moon? Or, are we one press release away from a second wave of the novel coronavirus?

For today, bulls are walking a fine line. Big Tech took the Nasdaq Composite higher, but the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday in the red.

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.78%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 1.09%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.29%

Beyond Meat Stock Is a Buy on Massive China Potential

[Tuesday, June 9, 3:16 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Let’s quickly recap how the novel coronavirus is affecting the global meat supply. Consumers started buying more groceries and making more food at home than ever before. But this demand was complicated by shortages of supply. Why? Plants around the U.S. closed as workers fell sick at record pace. This in turn lowered the nation’s meat supply, and prices went up.

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) and its plant-based peers then became unexpected winners amid the coronavirus. Americans who had perhaps never considered fake meat stocked up on its products on fears real chicken, beef and pork would disappear.

As a result of the stockpiling — and its sudden relevancy — BYND stock is up more than 100% in 2020.

But the catalyst behind Beyond Meat doesn’t stop there. The company is rapidly expanding as the Chinese market similarly turns to plant-based meat. It has already announced partnerships with Yum China (NYSE:YUMC) and certain Chinese Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) locations. Investors bid shares up on that news because of the potential for Chinese consumers to fall in love with fake meat.

That argument looks even more convincing now. According to Barron’s Al Root, Beyond Meat recently signed a distribution agreement with Sinodis, a subsidiary of Savencia. Essentially, Sinodis will distribute Beyond Beef and the Beyond Burger products to Chinese wholesalers, hotels and restaurant operators. This partnership sounds like major exposure for Beyond Meat.

There’s one more catalyst to watch. The African swine fever has been decimating China’s pig population, and pork, which is the country’s most popular meat, has been in short supply. Although China has pivoted to importing more pork, perhaps the virus will push more consumers to plant-based meat.

All in all, there’s a lot to like. InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango still thinks BYND stock is one of the best names to buy in 2020. Although he says shares could stumble as more restaurants reopen, catalysts like its growth in China should quickly restore its long-term winning trajectory.

There’s Nothing Sour About the Upcoming Lemonade IPO

[Tuesday, June 9, 2:24 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Hello and welcome to the digital world. You can buy clothes online, or your groceries or even that new sofa you’ve been admiring on social media. Not feeling well? Chat with your doctor — from almost any specialty — while lounging in bed. Now you can even nab an insurance policy through an aesthetically pleasing mobile app.

Lemonade, a mobile-first insurance provider, focuses on the home and renters’ insurance space. Download the app, input your info and get your policy. The startup claims the world of “insurtech” — or insurance tech — as its home. And according to Business Insider’s Graham Rapier, a big part of the appeal is its reliance on artificial intelligence and Big Data to better analyze risk.

Oh, and Lemonade just filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering. According to Axios’ Dan Primack its most recent round of funding gave it a valuation of $2.1 billion. Like other recent IPOs, it’s not yet profitable — reporting a loss of $108 million last year.

So what’s the big deal? Essentially, Lemonade combines its high-tech offering with consumer-focused convenience. It charges a flat subscription fee, says it pays out claims super fast and donates any money leftover to charity organizations. Can it get any more millennial?

Beyond the aesthetics, there’s something big here for investors to pay attention to. Not only is Lemonade backed by SoftBank (OTCMKTS:SFTBY), but it’s playing into a major trend that the novel coronavirus is only accelerating. The world of insurance is quickly moving online, as InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango revealed with his recommendation of EverQuote (NASDAQ:EVER). Before the pandemic, consumers were just starting to embrace this trend, especially younger demographics. As the pandemic made all sorts of errands and appointments difficult — if not impossible — going online to start a new policy became much more attractive.

As with any red-hot IPO, it’s important to be cautious and dig through the facts. But Lemonade is launching into an accelerating trend. Young millennials are likely considering their first home purchases, and younger consumers are packing up and searching for their first apartments. Getting a reputable policy right through an app just can’t be beat.

7 Pharmaceutical Stocks to Buy Outside the Vaccine Race

[Tuesday, June 9, 1:49 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

One of the biggest narratives in the pharmaceutical and biotech space has centered on a long list of companies racing to fight the novel coronavirus. President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed has thrust a short list of vaccine makers front and center. Right now, a lot of investor attention and consumer hope rests on a successful vaccine.

But for many reasons, it’s likely time to expand your horizons in the pharmaceutical world beyond vaccine stocks. America is reopening, and other headlines are more pressing. Plus, there are several other important and rare diseases in need of cures. Sure, not too long ago it was risky to invest in anything outside of the coronavirus race. Lockdowns delayed trials and kept researchers out of labs. But that’s all changing as many states in the U.S. move into phase-two protocols.

InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier addressed this issue today. He wrote that while there’s still lots of “glow” surrounding vaccine makers, less risk-tolerant investors should be protecting themselves with diversified pharma plays.

For that reason, he has seven recommendations that span the world. He looks at generic drugs, cancer-fighting biotechs and even a healthcare tech supplier. One thing is certain: There’s no shortage of growth potential on his list.

Here are seven pharmaceutical stocks on his buy list now:

  • Grifols (NASDAQ:GRFS)
  • Repligen (NASDAQ:RGEN)
  • Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (NYSE:RDY)
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TAK)
  • Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS)
  • Merck (NYSE:MRK)
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Nikola Stock Is a Buy on Surging EV Potential

[Tuesday, June 9, 1:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

There’s no doubt that Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) has been on fire since its initial public offering. Shares are up almost 10% in intraday trading, and they’re up a whopping 680% since its debut. Although electric vehicles — and the all-electric future underway — are exciting, there’s clearly something else going on here.

In short, investors are excited because Nikola seems to be the next Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Sure, there are hot companies like Nio (NYSE:NIO) and soon-to-debut Xpeng, but Nikola is different. For one, it comes with its very own Elon Musk in the form of founder Trevor Milton. As InvestorPlace’s David Moadel wrote yesterday, it’s exciting to think that Milton could bring the hype and celebrity status to Nikola that Musk brings to Tesla.

As has been clear in the last few years, a simple tweet from Musk can move the market and send TSLA stock skyrocketing. Yesterday, after Milton referenced a preorder date for the Badger truck, NKLA shares went up 80%.

We reported in this blog yesterday that the future appears to be learning toward electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them. This means good things for existing EV players, and Nikola looks ready to become a true industry leader. Hashtags, a spotlight-ready CEO and a megatrend are all supporting NKLA stock, so keep your eyes on the prize.

The electric future sure looks bright.

Stocks Open Lower Monday on Recession Fears

[Tuesday, June 9, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Yesterday brought such a solid start to a new week of trading. Travel stocks were rallying, recent IPO Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) was on a tear and hard-hit Boeing (NYSE:BA) once again showed signs of a meaningful recovery. Heck, the S&P 500 is now positive for the year to date.

But just before the closing bell, investors caught wind of a report from the National Bureau of Economic research — the group responsible for tracking business cycles in the U.S. We reported yesterday that the report, which declared that a recession began in February, was just not that surprising.

Maybe we jinxed it. Stocks are opening down Tuesday, although it’s possible the rally will return. It is rather resilient, as we’ve seen in the last few weeks. For now, though, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite are opening in the red.

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 1.07%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 1.32%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.55%

7 Risky Stocks to Buy Now for Coronavirus Gains

[Monday, June 8, 4:28 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The last few months feel like a lifetime. In early March, investors found solace — and outperformance — in so-called coronavirus stocks like Clorox (NYSE:CLX) and Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM). Then, the market moved to support vaccine developers, test kit makers and personal protective equipment suppliers. Now we’re seeing a rally in hard-hit industries likely to benefit most from a reopening.

Boy, hasn’t it been a doozy? Unfortunately, this whiplash-inducing shift in market sentiment means that some names from early March have run out of upside potential. But for risk-tolerant investors, there are still some worthy coronavirus stocks.

According to InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier, some of these stocks are likely to benefit from now-permanent changes in consumer behavior. These trends include the acceleration of e-commerce and American’s embrace of doing — and buying — everything online. Other names on this list are likely to benefit from reopening-driven testing, and the unfortunate potential for a second wave of the virus.

Here are seven risky names that Navellier is recommending now:

  • Wayfair (NYSE:W)
  • Carvana (NYSE:CVNA)
  • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)
  • Shopify (NYSE:SHOP)
  • Co-Diagnostics (NASDAQ:CODX)
  • Alpha Pro Tech (NYSEMKT:APT)

Stocks Close Higher Monday Despite Calls of Recession

[Monday, June 8, 4:01 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

This morning, we reported on a whole host of reasons that stocks were opening higher. New Zealand eliminated the novel coronavirus, and New York City is moving ahead with reopening. A better-than-expected jobs report on Friday has investors cheering — despite any flaws in the data.

As has been typical in the last few weeks, this optimism is incredibly powerful. Bulls drove stocks even higher in trading on Monday to close in the green. This comes despite calls of a recession — which allegedly started in February — from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Perhaps investors knew this to be true before the report, or perhaps they think it no longer matters.

Regardless, the major indices surged higher on the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 450 points, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite joined it in the rally.

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.20%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 1.70%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 1.13%

4 Electric Car Stocks to Buy for Post-Pandemic Power

[Monday, June 8, 3:35 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Let’s quickly reflect on all that’s happening in the world of electric vehicles, and the role the novel coronavirus has played in 2020. Before the pandemic, many market experts saw this year as the year for EVs. But when a health crisis mixed with an oil crisis, the argument for alternate energy sources faded with crude oil at rock-bottom prices.

Now, things are turning around. As we reported earlier today, Democrats in the House of Representatives are pushing for infrastructure spending that would specifically target electrifying America. China’s Xpeng — considered to be a rival to Nio (NYSE:NIO) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) — is prepping for a U.S. IPO.

Plus, excitement is generally returning to the EV space in the U.S. Tesla fans have been cheering on as CEO Elon Musk found success with his SpaceX launch. Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA), which just made its public debut, announced a preorder date for its “Badger” electric truck. Shares are up more than 80% in intraday trading on the news.

With that in mind, InvestorPlace’s David Moadel revisited the EV space today and made four recommendations. Citing calls for the international EV fleet to hit 130 million by 2030, Moadel is bullish on these names, especially in the post-pandemic world.

Here’s what he’s recommending now:

  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • Nio (NYSE:NIO)
  • Ford (NYSE:F)
  • Kandi Technologies Group (NASDAQ:KNDI)

AstraZeneca and Gilead Stock Sparkle on Merger Rumors

[Monday, June 8, 1:33 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Another day, another round of headlines about Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD). But this time, the news isn’t just about its remdesivir treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Over the weekend, Bloomberg’s Ed Hammond, Aaron Kirchfield and Dinesh Nair reported that pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) was making a move for Gilead. Apparently informal talks first began a month ago, but Gilead isn’t interested in a sale. One thing for investors to note is that for now, this is all a matter of speculation. AstraZeneca isn’t confirming interest in a merger.

As of Friday, AstraZeneca’s market capitalization was $140 billion. Gilead’s was $96 billion. If such a merger were to happen, it would be the largest in the healthcare world. Granted, experts are now saying a tie-up isn’t likely, but that doesn’t mean bulls should shrug off this story.

For one, Axios’ Dan Primack wrote the rumors could start a wave of coronavirus-related merger talk in the pharmaceutical space, especially as companies team up to develop vaccines and other treatments. AstraZeneca — a participant in President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed — is already collaborating with researchers at the University of Oxford on its vaccine candidate.

Plus, as SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote about the news, most mergers in this sector emerge in times of distress. This rumored tie-up then stands out, as both companies are success stories in 2020. In other words, bulls should see AstraZeneca and AZN stock as highly attractive right now. Gilead may not be too hot on a deal, but AstraZeneca could pivot and pick another M&A target.

Here’s a final bullish note. Gilead stock has been both lauded and criticized, and shares are now up just slightly in intraday trading. Look at AstraZeneca’s interest as a good sign that GILD shares are worth your investment dollars here.

Buy Dunkin Donuts Stock for a Major Hiring Spree

[Monday, June 8, 12:31 p.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Oh, Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), how I love thee. There’s something so familiar about its iced coffee drinks and signature doughnuts. In fact, that’s likely why the company is holding up well amid a pandemic, and is even moving to hire 25,000 new employees across the U.S.

According to a company press release, Dunkin’s franchisees will begin welcoming 25,000 new employees at locations around the country. This move comes as the chain prepares for the “America reopening” catalyst that appears to be underway. Dunkin’ Donuts is so intent on this hiring spree that it’s even rolling out a national advertising campaign — a first for the company.

Investors like this news. DNKN stock is up 2.1% in intraday trading and is still climbing higher. That’s because some analysts worried that breakfast-focused chains wouldn’t benefit from the reopening rally. But as Barron’s Teresa Rivas wrote this morning, 25,000 new employees certainly isn’t a sign of a struggling company. With this in mind, Keybanc analyst Eric Gonzalez just boosted his rating from “sector weight” to “overweight” and set a $78 price target. Shares currently trade near $70.

So, why is Dunkin’ Brands seeing relative success? Well, America runs on the company’s coffee and doughnuts, or in other words, it benefits from strong brand loyalty. That’s why InvestorPlace analyst Eric Fry recently recommended DNKN stock. He wrote that it already has a strong following, but that there’s still room for brand growth. Plus, its takeout and delivery options will help it benefit as some consumers maintain social distancing protocols for the weeks and months to come.

Grab your favorite coffee, send a Dunkin’ job posting to a friend or family member and have some confidence — thanks to a jolt of caffeine — while you buy DNKN stock here.

4 Stocks to Buy for Massive Infrastructure Reform

[Monday, June 8, 11:50 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

According to many economists, we’ve already hit the Great Depression. Unemployment figures are up, consumer spending is down. The novel coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the economy and the stock market, and it’s unclear just what the recovery will look like. To some, the answer is clear. Democrats in the House of Representatives are now pushing for an infrastructure stimulus, similar to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration.

The WPA gave Americans jobs. Workers built all sorts of community buildings — schools, libraries, hospitals. They also restored tunnels, highways and street lighting around the U.S.

Could modern-day infrastructure spending be the solution to today’s struggling economy? To some, the answer is yes. House Democrats recently introduced the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act. If passed, it would authorize $494 billion over five years to improve American infrastructure.

According to Smart Cities Dive’s Chris Teale, this legislation is considered a key part of Democrat’s plan to move forward from the pandemic. Plus, it tackles another important issue by specifically including grants for alternate fuel sources and electrification projects.

For investors, the bill in itself supports bullish sentiment, particularly as it would restore industries and jobs that sorely need help. But it also creates an argument for specific companies likely to benefit from increased infrastructure spending.

In the electrification world, a key stock to watch is Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Currently, one of the largest arguments against the hot electric vehicle maker is the lack of charging infrastructure. But as an industry leader, it is sure to benefit from EV spending.

When it comes to more traditional infrastructure plays, InvestorPlace’s Ian Cooper has three recommendations. He looked at the space in February, when talk of an infrastructure bill was just starting to circle. He picked Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC), Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) and Aecom (NYSE:ACM). These companies provide construction materials as well as the engineering behind big projects.

Keep a close eye on the bill, and on ongoing infrastructure talk. Improving America’s highways may just be the answer to getting the country back on track.

Amazon’s Air Expansion Plans Make AMZN a Buy

[Monday, June 8, 10:07 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shareholders are really lucky. The company is doing almost everything right — at least from an investing standpoint. It has completely dominated retail, and its e-commerce business is just gaining more popularity thanks to the novel coronavirus. Amazon’s Whole Foods and PillPack businesses also support home delivery trends. The list goes on and on, as the market leader touches cloud computing, streaming media and video games.

Now, it’s upping the stakes even more in the logistics world. According to Supply Chain Dive’s Matt Leonard, Amazon is expanding its Amazon Air fleet through its partnership with Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ:ATSG), which we’ve previously recommended in this blog.

Essentially, Amazon will have 82 planes at the end of next year, and these planes support its one-day and two-day delivery initiatives. Back in 2019, the company also announced plans to build a “hub” for its fleet Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Amazon keeps working to expand its in-house logistics. It competes with FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS), which currently have larger air fleets. But Amazon is a much larger company with much larger power. Many analysts are quick to assume that its expansion in the skies will bring great pain to the legacy logistics players.

Granted, Amazon’s air expansion will take a long time to play out, and concerns over its handling of the pandemic have marked the company. However, if you’re looking for a long-term growth play, there’s perhaps no better bet than infinitely innovative Amazon.

Stocks Open Higher Monday on Signs of Recovery

[Monday, June 8, 9:31 a.m.]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Friday’s jobs report still has the bulls cheering, and stocks are looking for a repeat rally this week. Plus, news from around the world continues to support the idea that we’re in a post-pandemic recovery.