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Key Points

  • Markets got a reality check as the latest readings on inflation came in hotter than expected. 
  • Weaker-than-expected retail sales numbers may signal what investors can expect when many of the top retailers report next week – hint, it’s not good.  
  • U.S. markets are closed on Monday. Here are some of our most popular articles for you to digest this Holiday weekend.
  • 5 stocks we like better than Walmart

Markets got a reality check this week. The latest readings on inflation showed that prices are moving higher. That doused hopes for both the number and the timing of interest rate cuts. Worse still, investors are now wrestling with the idea that any rate cuts won’t signal a soft (albeit bumpy) landing but that things are getting much worse.  

Investors may have received a hint of what “much worse” looks like as retail sales numbers came in softer than expected. That number comes in before big-name retailers like Walmart Inc. NYSE: WMT and Home Depot NYSE: HD report next week. By this time next week, we’ll have a better idea of how consumers feel about their financial situation. 

U.S. markets are closed on Monday for President’s Day. But the MarketBeat staff will keep on top of the stocks and stories moving the market. Here are some of the most popular articles from this week.   

Articles by Jea Yu 

Cybersecurity continues to be one of the hottest sectors for companies and investors. This week, Jea Yu summarized the results from Tenable Holdings Inc’s. NASDAQ: TENB latest earnings report. The company is adding customers, seeing increased profitability and raising guidance, pushing TENB stock to a 52-week high.  

Uber Technologies Inc. NYSE: UBER also reported this week. But while the company finally posted a GAAP profit from its core operations and quadrupled its earnings estimates for 2024, Yu explains why investors are keeping an eye on decelerating bookings growth.  

Yu was also looking at the emerging and expensive, field of gene editing. Many companies are introducing revolutionary therapies that only scratch the surface of what could be possible. But the hefty price tag of gene editing therapies is making insurers and patients uncomfortable and should be something investors should watch.  

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

You may believe that cash is trash. But after reading Thomas Hughes’ article on Waste Management Inc. NYSE: WM, you’ll have to admit that trash is cash. Shares of WM stock are up after the company reported strong earnings and reminded investors why they may want to be involved in this evergreen, and undervalued, sector. 

Hughes also explained why investors were pulling back from Shopify Inc. NYSE: SHOP after its earnings report. Revenue and earnings were fine, but analysts were unsettled about the company’s free cash flow (FCF) estimates. But as Hughes notes, the company’s balance sheet remains strong, which means SHOP stock may be moving back into a more attractive buy zone.  

This week, investors heard from PepsiCo Inc. NASDAQ: PEP. The consumer staples giant delivered a mixed report that sent shares lower. But Hughes explains that all the reasons buy-and-hold investors love owning PEP stock remain in place, making any pullback a buy-the-dip opportunity.  

Articles by Sam Quirke 

Even though many investors believe that stocks are overvalued, you can still find good value if you know where to look. As Quirke explains, the s a reliable barometer of a stock’s valuation. And Quirke points investors to three stocks showing signs of being heavily oversold.  

Articles by Chris Markoch 

One of the leading stories this week was how rising cocoa prices made Valentine’s Day more expensive. It also hurt The Hershey Company NYSE: HSY stock. The company is facing higher input costs and sagging popcorn sales. However, Chris Markoch writes that the company’s fundamentals are still solid, making this a solid buy-on-the-dip opportunity.  

Markoch also was looking at utilities stocks, particularly . Higher interest rates have battered the sector. But after a year of being rangebound, the stock is trading at a more attractive valuation and looks like a stock that can .  

The market pullback at the end of the week may have surprised some investors, but it wasn’t a surprise to Kate Stalter, who pointed to the outperformance of insurance stocks and concern over regional banks as two reasons beyond inflation that a bull trap may have been hiding in plain sight.  

And while the broader market may be dropping, the steady rise of crude oil prices bodes well for . This week, Stalter highlighted the broader energy sector in the weeks and months ahead.  

Stalter also wrote about Arista Networks Inc. NYSE: ANET, which continues to outperform its rival Cisco (CSCO) by a large margin. As Stalter explains, much of the gains are attributed to Arista’s dominance in cloud computing.  

Articles by Ryan Hasson 

Ryan Hasson also focused on energy stocks this week by pointing investors to the Energy Select SPDR Fund NYSE: XLE. If the impact of higher oil prices is going to be reflected in equities, it will show up in the XLE as well as some of the top oil stocks that the fund holds.  

Chip stocks will continue to perform well in 2024. But if you’re looking for names with a lower price tag than what you’ll get from a name like Nvidia Corporation NASDAQ: NVDA, Hasson offers up five semiconductor stocks that you can buy for under $10.  

Hasson is also one of several MarketBeat analysts to make the case for Pfizer Inc. NYSE: PFE. If you’re not interested in PFE stock as a long-term investment, you may get excited about it as a trade as the stock is hovering near a 10-year support level.  

Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli 

ARM Holdings plc NASDAQ: ARM is one of the latest chip stocks to double in price. If you missed out on that and are looking for high-growth stocks, Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli offers up two stocks that may be next on the list of multi-bagger stocks in 2024.  

Shake Shack Inc. NYSE: SHAK has been one of the top consumer discretionary stocks as investors have been drooling over robust earnings growth. But Osorio-Mazilli explains that some investors believe growth looks a little toppy. He goes on to explain why that makes The Wendy’s Company NASDAQ: WEN a tasty choice for investors looking for growth in this sector.  

Speaking of growth, Osorio-Mazilli points out that The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company NYSE: GT stock is trading at an attractive level. The tire giant fits into the category of boring, defensive stocks that will see solid demand no matter what happens with interest rates.  

Articles by MarketBeat Staff 

The S&P 500 has been pushing to all-time highs above the 5,000 level. Not surprisingly, the MarketBeat staff pointed out to investors that the index’s top three performers come from the chip sector. With more upside to come, now may be a time to make sure one or more of these names is in your portfolio. 

Turning to the Nasdaq index, however, the story is a little different. As the staff writes this week, analysts still love stocks like Nvidia, but there are other underperforming Nasdaq stocks analysts like for their current growth potential.  

And Valentine’s Day has come and gone. However, there’s still time to jump on the three stock picks that the MarketBeat staff identified as being beneficiaries from the record $14.2 billion that’s expected to have been spent on Valentine’s gifts in 2024.  

Before you consider Walmart, you’ll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… and Walmart wasn’t on the list.

While Walmart currently has a “Moderate Buy” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

View The Five Stocks Here

MarketBeat just released its list of 10 cheap stocks that have been overlooked by the market and may be seriously undervalued. Click the link below to see which companies made the list.

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