Sunday, December 4, 2022

Stocks To Watch: Inflation Headwinds, Natural Gas Plays And Apple Event


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The unpredictable ripple effect on the commodities market from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia will dominate market discussion again next week even as traders start to prep for the Federal Reserve meeting that follows later in the month. While FOMC members will be in a blackout period from tipping their hands with speeches, speculation over the magnitude and pace of rate increases will continue. The biggest economic report to watch will be the monthly read on consumer prices due on March 10. Economists expect a 0.5% month-over-month rise in the core CPI mark and 7.5% year-over-year increase in consumer prices. Energy prices and food prices will be watched closely, while prices for travel-related categories like lodging, airline fares and car/truck rentals are also expected to show strength after moderating during the Omicron spike. “The risk is to the upside. It will be a shocker if we get an 8% handle,” said Bannockburn Global Forex Chief Market Strategist Marc Chandler. On the corporate calendar, big events are on tap for AT&T (NYSE:T), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS).

Earnings spotlight: Monday, March 7 Ciena (NYSE:CIEN).

Earnings spotlight: Tuesday, March 8 Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB), Petco Health and Wellness (NASDAQ:WOOF), Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY), Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX).

Earnings spotlight: Wednesday, March 9 United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFI), REV GRoup (NYSE:REVG) and Crowdstrike (NASDAQ:CRWD).

Earnings spotlight: Thursday, March 10 (NASDAQ:JD), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Docusign (NASDAQ:DOCU) and Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN).

Earnings spotlight: Friday, March 11 Ballard Power (NASDAQ:BLDP).

IPO watch: Quiet periods end on Safety Quick (NASDAQ:SKYX), Modular Medical (NASDAQ:MODD) and Heartcore Enterprises (NASDAQ:HTCR) on March 8, as well as Arena Group (NYSEMKT:AREN) and TC Biopharm (NASDAQ:TCBP) on March 8.

Projected dividend increases: Companies forecast to boost their quarterly dividend payouts include Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) to $0.5125 from $0.4375, Redwood Trust (NYSE:RWT) to $0.25 from $0.23, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) to $0.26 from $0.24, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) to $0.71 from $0.68, Horace Mann Educators (NYSE:HMN) to $0.32 from $0.31 and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) to $0.46 from $0.45.

Apple event: Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to host the company’s first product event of the year on March 8. The “Peek Performance” will be streamed digitally on YouTube and Apple’s website. Apple is expected to a new iPad and a new silicon Mac. Details on the new iOS 15.4 software release are also anticipated.

Cybersecurity: The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has increased the focus on the cybersecurity sector. In particular, analysts think companies could boost spending this year above their prior budgeted amounts in order to protect datacenters, networks, vulnerability points and other highly sensitive data. Amid jittery trading in the tech sector, key cybersecurity names are called a clear pocket of strength by Wedbush Seurities analyst Dan Ives. Some of the cybersecurity companies seen as most likely to benefit from the potential additional Ukraine-driven APT spending include Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW), Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS), Crowdstrike (CRWD), Tenable (NASDAQ:TENB), Varonis (NASDAQ:VRNS), Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT), Telos (NASDAQ:TLS), Mandiant (NASDAQ:MNDT) and CyberArk (NASDAQ:CYBR).

AT&T event: AT&T (T) holds an investor event on March 11 ahead of the planned spinoff of WarnerMedia. The presentation will give shareholders a preview of how the legacy communications company views its growth track and could include details plans for WarnerMedia. The event is being labeled as a potential driver of increased investor confidence of both businesses ahead of the split.

M&A watch: The HSR waiting period on the Arena Pharma (NASDAQ:ARNA)-PFizer (NYSE:PFE) deal expires. Shares of ARNA trade at a discount to the $100 per share offer from Pfizer.

Corporate events: A busy week of corporate events starts off on March 7 with Kohl’s (KSS) hosting a virtual investor day presentation and Pfizer (PFE) participating in the Cowen 42nd Annual Health Care Conference. On March 8, Parker Hannifin (NYSE:PH) will webcast a virtual meeting with investors and analysts and Pool Corporation (NASDAQ:POOL) holds a similar event. On March 9, Dine Brands Global (NYSE:DIN) will host an investor and analyst day. Nio (NYSE:NIO) begins trading in Hong Kong on March 10, while General Electric Company (GE) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) hold investor events. Check out some of the other events scheduled for next week that could lead to share price movements in Seeking Alpha’s Catalyst Watch.

Barron’s mentions: Front and center with the publication this week is the opportunity for more gains with natural gas stocks. More LNG is anticipated is to go to Europe as customers there turn away Russian gas. That trend has already started with U.S. exports of LNG to Europe topping Russian pipeline volumes for the first time in January. Looking ahead, new facilities are seen helping boost LNG exports from the U.S. by as much as 50% by 2027. Stocks highlighted to watch in the space include Chesapeake Energy (NASDAQ:CHK), Antero Resources (NYSE:AR), Coterra Energy (NYSE:CTRA), EQT (NYSE:EQT), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) and Tourmaline Oil (OTCPK:TRMLF).

Sources: EDGAR, Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters, Renaissance Capital

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