Tag Archives: INTC

Mondays Vital Data: Apple, Micron and General Electric

U.S. stock futures are headed lower this morning, as Wall Street digests the possibility of more interest rate hikes in 2018. On Friday, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester hinted to Reuters at the possibility of four rate hikes this year. On Saturday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams backed the current pace of three hikes due to economic lift from the tax plan.

More from the Fed will arrive today. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is due to speak at the Rotary Club of Atlanta this afternoon. Additionally, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren will participate in a panel to discuss whether Fed should stick to a 2% inflation target.

While futures were headed higher early this morning, they have since reversed course. At last check, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 0.06%, S&P 500 futures are off 0.15% and Nasdaq-100 futures have fallen 0.13%.

Turning to the options pits, Friday’s volume remained brisk. Overall, about 20.5 million calls and 16.4 million puts changed hands. The CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio rose to 0.58. The 10-day moving average held at 0.56.

Taking a closer look at Friday’s options activity, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) attracted heavy call volume heading into what proved to be a rather rough weekend for the company. Meanwhile, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) options received a sentiment boost after a bullish note on memory chip demand from Keybank. Finally, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), last year’s ultimate dog of the Dow, has emerged as one of 2018’s top 10 favorites.

Monday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc (AAPL), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) and General Electric Company (GE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-300×138.png 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-65×30.png 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-200×92.png 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-400×184.png 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-116×53.png 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-100×46.png 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-109×50.png 109w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-78×36.png 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-170×78.png 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 547px) 100vw, 547px” />

Apple Inc (AAPL)

Apple stock options were extremely call heavy on Friday. Volume topped out at 543,000 contracts, with calls snapping up an above average 69% of the day’s take. The net effect was to drive AAPL’s January 2018 put/call open interest ratio lower from a reading near 1.16 to today’s perch at 1.12.

Sentiment was up after the company said that it would quickly patch any semiconductor vulnerabilities. Chip stocks were hit hard after revelations of exploits affecting Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) processors.

Today, however, could be a different story. Apple was hit with fresh concerns over worker conditions in China following the suicide of a Foxconn worker at an iPhone production plant this weekend. Additionally, investors are calling for Apple to investigate the potential harm of iPhone and tablet-like devices on children.

AAPL stock is down fractionally in pre-market trading.

Micron Technology, Inc. (MU)

Micron stock remained volatile on Friday, despite a bullish research note from analysts at Keybanc. According to Keybanc, news in the DRAM and NAND markets is “neutral to good.” Specifically, DRAM supply is tight and should help support prices, while NAND is headed for “oversupply.” However, NAND oversupply should work its way out of the system later this year, returning pricing power to Micron.

Options traders appeared to take profits following the recent run higher, however. Volume on Friday rose to 305,000 contracts, with calls accounting for 65% of the day’s take.

The resulting January 2018 put/call OI ratio rose to 0.65 from last week’s reading of 0.62. The activity hints that options traders may be taking profits after MU rallied more than 11% last week.

General Electric Company (GE)

After finishing 2017 as the worst performing member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, GE stock has emerged as one of the potential top performers of 2018. General Electric has made the top 10 list of several notable top-ranked stock newsletters, including George Putnam’s, The Turnaround Letter.

GE stock is already up more than 6% in 2018, enjoying a solid first week for the year. Options traders have also taken up the bullish call. Volume on Friday rose to 272,000 contracts, or more than 1.5 times GE’s daily average. Calls gobbled up 72% of the day’s take.

Short-term options traders have grown heavily bullish on GE stock heading into the first expiration of 2018. Specifically, the January put/call OI ratio has fallen to a reading of 0.43, with calls more than doubling puts among front-month options.

Finally, there could be more gains to come. GE closed above its 50-day moving average on Friday and could be set to challenge resistance at $19 this week. A breakout above resistance at $19 could be a significant short-term boon for GE bulls.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett was long General Electric Company (GE) stock.

Compare Brokers

Dow Jones Surges Past 25,000 for the First Time

The New Year’s surge continued on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing over the 25,000 level for the first time. There was no particular catalyst for the rise, merely a continuation of a no-volatility, no-drama uptrend that was the hallmark of the market action in 2017. This comes just one day after the Nasdaq Composite nabbed the 7,000 threshold.

One possible reason was the stronger-than-expected ADP payroll report, raising spirits ahead of Friday’s non-farm jobs report.

In the end, the Dow Jones 0.6%, the S&P 500 gained 0.4%, the Nasdaq gained 0.2% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.2%. Treasury bonds were weaker, the dollar continued its recent weakness, gold gained for the 10th consecutive session and crude oil added 0.6% on an inventory draw (largest since August).

Financials led the way with a 0.9% gain, while real estate investment trusts were the laggards, down 1.8%. Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE:DPZ) gained 2.9% on an upgrade from Oppenheimer on expectations for strong sales growth. Snap Inc (NASDAQ:SNAP) fell 4.7% on an downgrade from analysts at Cowen, citing mixed results from a buyer survey. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) fell another 1.8% amid ongoing fears about reports of a processor-based security vulnerability.

Dow Jones Surges Past 25,000 for the First Time investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-100×61.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-82×50.jpg 82w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

Breadth was positive, with advancers outpacing decliners by a 1.5 to 1 ratio, while volume was relatively heavy, at 106% of the NYSE’s 30-day average.

Conclusion

investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-100×61.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-82×50.jpg 82w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

The Dow Jones’ latest 1,000 point gain comes just 23 calendar days after the move above 24,000 on Nov. 1, the fastest large number jump ever. On a percentage basis, it’s the fourth fastest gain.

The flip side of this is the absolute lack of volatility, with the CBOE Volatility Index falling to an 8 handle for the second day in a row — something that has never happened before.

Remember, however, that a rise in inflation driven by wages is the lynch-pin that threatens to undermine this dynamic. David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff is looking for hourly wages to accelerate in the payroll data released tomorrow. Moreover, the persistent rise in energy prices — driven by harsh winter conditions — means that crude oil will start being a lift on overall inflation levels in a way that hasn’t been seen in years.

All together, that means that the Federal Reserve’s pace of 2018 rate hikes could be more aggressive than is widely assumed.

Today’s Trading Landscape:

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.

For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

Compare Brokers

Stocks Set for Record Run as Risks Multiply

U.S. stocks continued their perfect start to 2018 on Tuesday, rising yet again despite turmoil in the bond market and in cryptocurrencies. Also weighing was news overnight that the Bank of Japan had decide to taper its bond purchase program — a major sea change for a central bank that has really typified the extreme post-crisis money printing mentality.

In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1%, the S&P 500 gained 0.1%, and the Russell 2000 broke the trend to fall 0.1%. Treasury bonds were hit hard, gold declined, and crude oil gained $1.64 to close at nearly $63-per-barrel.

Breadth was negative, with decliners outpacing advancers 1.7 to 1.2. At the industry level, auto and energy stocks led the way higher with gains of 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively. Airlines were the laggards, down 1.3%. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) lost 2.5% amid ongoing fallout from the recent news of processor vulnerabilities and the performance cost of needed fixes. Drugmaker Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) gained 3%.

The big news was the whipping 119% gain in Eastman Kodak Company Common New (NYSE:KODK) after the company announced it would use blockchain technology to help photographers secure their digital rights.

Conclusion

It sure feels like maybe, just maybe, stocks will never go down again as Wall Street enjoys a rip-roaring start to 2018.

The dynamics are familiar: The economy is strong and about to enjoy a boost from the implementation of the GOP’s recently passed tax cut plan, inflation remains tepid, the Federal Reserve’s rate hike campaign is proceeding cautiously, and corporate earnings growth has been solid.

With the S&P 500’s gain on Tuesday, stocks have risen 2.9% for the year-to-date, rising in each and every session so far. According to Jeff Hirsch at the Almanac Trader, this performance along with the solid run to end 2017 suggest the new year will be a great one for investors. Over the last 39 years, when stocks performed this well the rest of the year showed gains 87% of the time with an average rise of 14%.

Even long-time market skeptics like GMO’s Jeremy Grantham says markets could be headed for a “melt-up” scenario. In a letter to investors, he wonders if we are entering the final, most ebullient phase of this long bull move.

Jason Geopfert at SentimenTrader notes that the gains are part of a globally synchronized market with “extreme momentum” on display. The weekly Relative Strength Index across six major worldwide stock indices is now at the highest level in history. Counterintuitively, such extreme readings have in the past been associated with further gains. The type of “melt-up” move Grantham warns of.

investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-300×121.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-65×26.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-200×81.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-400×161.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-116×47.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-100×40.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-124×50.jpg 124w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-78×31.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dta010918-170×69.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 674px) 100vw, 674px” />

But this comes in the context of a near-record number of days the stock market has gone without a normal 5% correction, as shown above. For world stocks, this is the longest streak without a 5% correction in history. And it comes as multiple Wall Street brokerage year-end targets have been hit just days into the new year.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

Compare Brokers

Mondays Vital Data: Apple, Micron and General Electric

U.S. stock futures are headed lower this morning, as Wall Street digests the possibility of more interest rate hikes in 2018. On Friday, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester hinted to Reuters at the possibility of four rate hikes this year. On Saturday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams backed the current pace of three hikes due to economic lift from the tax plan.

More from the Fed will arrive today. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is due to speak at the Rotary Club of Atlanta this afternoon. Additionally, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren will participate in a panel to discuss whether Fed should stick to a 2% inflation target.

While futures were headed higher early this morning, they have since reversed course. At last check, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 0.06%, S&P 500 futures are off 0.15% and Nasdaq-100 futures have fallen 0.13%.

Turning to the options pits, Friday’s volume remained brisk. Overall, about 20.5 million calls and 16.4 million puts changed hands. The CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio rose to 0.58. The 10-day moving average held at 0.56.

Taking a closer look at Friday’s options activity, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) attracted heavy call volume heading into what proved to be a rather rough weekend for the company. Meanwhile, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) options received a sentiment boost after a bullish note on memory chip demand from Keybank. Finally, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), last year’s ultimate dog of the Dow, has emerged as one of 2018’s top 10 favorites.

Monday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc (AAPL), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) and General Electric Company (GE)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-300×138.png 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-65×30.png 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-200×92.png 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-400×184.png 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-116×53.png 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-100×46.png 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-109×50.png 109w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-78×36.png 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/01-08-2017-Top-Ten-Options-170×78.png 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 547px) 100vw, 547px” />

Apple Inc (AAPL)

Apple stock options were extremely call heavy on Friday. Volume topped out at 543,000 contracts, with calls snapping up an above average 69% of the day’s take. The net effect was to drive AAPL’s January 2018 put/call open interest ratio lower from a reading near 1.16 to today’s perch at 1.12.

Sentiment was up after the company said that it would quickly patch any semiconductor vulnerabilities. Chip stocks were hit hard after revelations of exploits affecting Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) processors.

Today, however, could be a different story. Apple was hit with fresh concerns over worker conditions in China following the suicide of a Foxconn worker at an iPhone production plant this weekend. Additionally, investors are calling for Apple to investigate the potential harm of iPhone and tablet-like devices on children.

AAPL stock is down fractionally in pre-market trading.

Micron Technology, Inc. (MU)

Micron stock remained volatile on Friday, despite a bullish research note from analysts at Keybanc. According to Keybanc, news in the DRAM and NAND markets is “neutral to good.” Specifically, DRAM supply is tight and should help support prices, while NAND is headed for “oversupply.” However, NAND oversupply should work its way out of the system later this year, returning pricing power to Micron.

Options traders appeared to take profits following the recent run higher, however. Volume on Friday rose to 305,000 contracts, with calls accounting for 65% of the day’s take.

The resulting January 2018 put/call OI ratio rose to 0.65 from last week’s reading of 0.62. The activity hints that options traders may be taking profits after MU rallied more than 11% last week.

General Electric Company (GE)

After finishing 2017 as the worst performing member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, GE stock has emerged as one of the potential top performers of 2018. General Electric has made the top 10 list of several notable top-ranked stock newsletters, including George Putnam’s, The Turnaround Letter.

GE stock is already up more than 6% in 2018, enjoying a solid first week for the year. Options traders have also taken up the bullish call. Volume on Friday rose to 272,000 contracts, or more than 1.5 times GE’s daily average. Calls gobbled up 72% of the day’s take.

Short-term options traders have grown heavily bullish on GE stock heading into the first expiration of 2018. Specifically, the January put/call OI ratio has fallen to a reading of 0.43, with calls more than doubling puts among front-month options.

Finally, there could be more gains to come. GE closed above its 50-day moving average on Friday and could be set to challenge resistance at $19 this week. A breakout above resistance at $19 could be a significant short-term boon for GE bulls.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett was long General Electric Company (GE) stock.

Compare Brokers

Is Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock a Screaming Buy Thanks to Intel?

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) had a rather disappointing year in 2017. AMD stock fell more than 9% over those 12 months. Long-term investors shouldn’t be too deterred though, assuming they caught the near-300% rally in 2016. And after the down year, AMD stock taken off, already climbing almost 16% in the early days of 2018

Depending on how serious a flaw there is with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), it could open a window for AMD and that would allow the recent momentum in AMD stock to continue. So what’s the skinny?

Essentially, there was a security flaw in Intel chips. The bugs, known as Meltdown and Spectre, effect everything from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones to Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and its Google Chrome browser. The issue also had an impact on Google Android devices, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and even the data center services for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).

For AMD’s part, the company said that there’s a “near zero risk” for its chips as a result of Intel’s security flaw. From an investment standpoint, shares of INTC have been falling while AMD has been rallying on the theory that, going forward, AMD chips will be the more attractive option.

Not a Zero Sum Industry

As much as I want that to be the case for AMD, I don’t know that it will be the end result. Although admittedly, this certainly doesn’t hurt Advanced Micro Devices stock. Patches are being put in place by MSFT, AMZN, GOOGL, AAPL and INTC. Many have already been put into action and the companies say customers remain safe at the moment despite the vulnerability, so long as they update their products. The concern for AMD stock is whether this news justifies a 16% rally in the stock.

Should it not impact INTC’s long-standing relationships or hurt sales, then there won’t be any real impact on AMD’s business. It’s even possible that it will push buyers away from INTC and over to Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) rather than AMD. This isn’t a zero-sum industry, nor is this a zero-sum event.

We’ll see how it turns out.

Coming Soon: A Viable Business

We don’t know how much of an impact this INTC news will have on AMD stock. We don’t know if it will have any impact at all. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t reason to like Advanced Micro Devices stock nevertheless.

Granted, with shares now trading about a dime below $12, AMD was more attractive a month ago near $10. That has been the theme, though. Buy on sharp pullbacks and sell on rallies. Until AMD stock breaks out (more on that in a minute) we have to stick with the trading ranges we have.

But AMD stock is more than just a trading vehicle. For investors who can look beyond the next one to three months, there’s a really viable business here. The company remains well-positioned in key growth markets. Ranging from video games to graphic chips, vehicles and the cloud. While many view Nvidia as the top chip, AMD isn’t a bad alternative.

Besides, business is coming along as well. After years of losses, Advanced Micro is looking to turn a profit in 2017. While analysts forecast just 13 cents per share in earnings for fiscal year 2017, that’s up almost 200% year-over-year. They further expect 177% growth in 2018. Revenue growth of 23% in 2017 is forecast to slow to just 12.3% in 2018.

The positive here is that profitability is expanding much faster than revenue, meaning margins are moving in the right direction. If AMD can turn cash flow positive, I think shares can really start to gain some upside momentum. That should be the case as revenues churn higher and profitability explodes.

It helps that between the three — NVDA, AMD and INTC — Advanced has the lowest sales-based valuation.

Trading AMD Stock

chart of AMD stock priceinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-768×574.png 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-40×30.png 40w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-200×150.png 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-400×300.png 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-116×87.png 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-100×75.png 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-167×125.png 167w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-67×50.png 67w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-78×58.png 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-800×598.png 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD-160×120.png 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMD.png 900w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />
Click to Enlarge

Since we don’t know the full impact of INTC, AMD stock could have limited upside in the short term. The 200-day moving average near $12.40 is acting as resistance. Should it give way, $13 and above becomes the new target. But given the recent rally and current resistance, investors should be more prudent.

Either wait for a breakout and close over the 200-day moving average or look for a pullback down toward $11. I am hoping for the latter, as I’d like a lower cost basis on a longer-term position.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Compare Brokers

Dow Jones Surges Past 25,000 for the First Time

The New Year’s surge continued on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing over the 25,000 level for the first time. There was no particular catalyst for the rise, merely a continuation of a no-volatility, no-drama uptrend that was the hallmark of the market action in 2017. This comes just one day after the Nasdaq Composite nabbed the 7,000 threshold.

One possible reason was the stronger-than-expected ADP payroll report, raising spirits ahead of Friday’s non-farm jobs report.

In the end, the Dow Jones 0.6%, the S&P 500 gained 0.4%, the Nasdaq gained 0.2% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.2%. Treasury bonds were weaker, the dollar continued its recent weakness, gold gained for the 10th consecutive session and crude oil added 0.6% on an inventory draw (largest since August).

Financials led the way with a 0.9% gain, while real estate investment trusts were the laggards, down 1.8%. Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE:DPZ) gained 2.9% on an upgrade from Oppenheimer on expectations for strong sales growth. Snap Inc (NASDAQ:SNAP) fell 4.7% on an downgrade from analysts at Cowen, citing mixed results from a buyer survey. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) fell another 1.8% amid ongoing fears about reports of a processor-based security vulnerability.

Dow Jones Surges Past 25,000 for the First Time investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-100×61.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-82×50.jpg 82w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

Breadth was positive, with advancers outpacing decliners by a 1.5 to 1 ratio, while volume was relatively heavy, at 106% of the NYSE’s 30-day average.

Conclusion

investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-100×61.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-82×50.jpg 82w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

The Dow Jones’ latest 1,000 point gain comes just 23 calendar days after the move above 24,000 on Nov. 1, the fastest large number jump ever. On a percentage basis, it’s the fourth fastest gain.

The flip side of this is the absolute lack of volatility, with the CBOE Volatility Index falling to an 8 handle for the second day in a row — something that has never happened before.

Remember, however, that a rise in inflation driven by wages is the lynch-pin that threatens to undermine this dynamic. David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff is looking for hourly wages to accelerate in the payroll data released tomorrow. Moreover, the persistent rise in energy prices — driven by harsh winter conditions — means that crude oil will start being a lift on overall inflation levels in a way that hasn’t been seen in years.

All together, that means that the Federal Reserve’s pace of 2018 rate hikes could be more aggressive than is widely assumed.

Today’s Trading Landscape:

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.

For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

Compare Brokers

Stocks Continue to Rise as VIX Hits Record Low

Stocks continued their 2018 rally on Wednesday, pushing to new highs despite the release of the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes pointing to some policy confusion by officials. Some were worried about low inflation, while others worried about overly easy policy raising financial stability risks (that is, creating price bubbles).

Other news included reports of a processor design flaw on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) chips, something the company dismissed late in the day as an industry-wide problem.

In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, the S&P 500 gained 0.6%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.2%. Treasury bonds rallied, the dollar snapped a seven-day losing streak, gold gained 0.2% and crude oil added 2.1% amid a focus on protests in Iran to hit a 2.5-year high.

Stocks Continue to Rise as VIX Hits Record Low investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-100×61.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-82×50.jpg 82w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/compq010318-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

Breadth was positive, with advancers outpacing decliners by a 1.5 to 1 ratio. Energy stocks led the way with a 1.5% gain, while telecom stocks were the laggards, down 2.2% overall. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) gained 5.2% on reports of that INTC processor bug. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) added 2.8% on an upgrade from analysts at RBC on valuation tailwinds.

On the downside, Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) fell 3.8% on an downgrade at Longbow Research citing weak channel checks.

Turning to the Fed meeting minutes — closely watched ahead of the next rate setting meeting starting on Jan. 31 — they featured significant consternation about whether to slow or speed up the current pace of rate hikes. For now, with consumer price inflation still rather tepid, the policy doves carry the day.

But that’s set to change, with a makeup of voters turning hawkish in 2018, chairman Yellen on her way out and a rise in producer price inflation, a tightening labor market and a weaker dollar all set to push prices higher. Add in the recent strength in crude oil, driven by protests in Iran and the falling greenback and 2018 is set to break the “Goldilocks” conditions markets have enjoyed according to Societe Generale.

Fed officials also dismissed the flattening of the Treasury yield curve — a possible pre-recession signal — as a normal condition for this point in the business cycle.

Conclusion

Stocks Continue to Rise as VIX Hits Record Low todayinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-100×61.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-82×50.jpg 82w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/vix10318-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

The CBOE Volatility Index tested to an 8 handle for only the sixth time in its history, revealing just how calm conditions are. Before 2017, the VIX only fell this low one other time: In 1993.

Cryptocurrencies continued their roaring performance as well, with Ripple up 30% as the overall crypto market capitalization pushes to $726 billion; up from less than $200 billion back in October.

But things could soon be set to change according to Societe Generale, which doubled down on their bearish 2018 outlook today by highlighting the risks of higher inflation resulting in faster central bank policy tightening and further dollar weakening — which would result in a self-feeding dynamic via higher energy and import prices.

Today’s Trading Landscape:

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.

For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

Compare Brokers

Dow Jones Surges Past 25,000 for the First Time

The New Year’s surge continued on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing over the 25,000 level for the first time. There was no particular catalyst for the rise, merely a continuation of a no-volatility, no-drama uptrend that was the hallmark of the market action in 2017. This comes just one day after the Nasdaq Composite nabbed the 7,000 threshold.

One possible reason was the stronger-than-expected ADP payroll report, raising spirits ahead of Friday’s non-farm jobs report.

In the end, the Dow Jones 0.6%, the S&P 500 gained 0.4%, the Nasdaq gained 0.2% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.2%. Treasury bonds were weaker, the dollar continued its recent weakness, gold gained for the 10th consecutive session and crude oil added 0.6% on an inventory draw (largest since August).

Financials led the way with a 0.9% gain, while real estate investment trusts were the laggards, down 1.8%. Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE:DPZ) gained 2.9% on an upgrade from Oppenheimer on expectations for strong sales growth. Snap Inc (NASDAQ:SNAP) fell 4.7% on an downgrade from analysts at Cowen, citing mixed results from a buyer survey. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) fell another 1.8% amid ongoing fears about reports of a processor-based security vulnerability.

Dow Jones Surges Past 25,000 for the First Time investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-100×61.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-82×50.jpg 82w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wtic010418-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

Breadth was positive, with advancers outpacing decliners by a 1.5 to 1 ratio, while volume was relatively heavy, at 106% of the NYSE’s 30-day average.

Conclusion

investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-300×183.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-768×470.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-1024×626.jpg 1024w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-49×30.jpg 49w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-200×122.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-400×245.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-116×71.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-100×61.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-82×50.jpg 82w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-78×48.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-800×489.jpg 800w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/indu010418-170×104.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />

The Dow Jones’ latest 1,000 point gain comes just 23 calendar days after the move above 24,000 on Nov. 1, the fastest large number jump ever. On a percentage basis, it’s the fourth fastest gain.

The flip side of this is the absolute lack of volatility, with the CBOE Volatility Index falling to an 8 handle for the second day in a row — something that has never happened before.

Remember, however, that a rise in inflation driven by wages is the lynch-pin that threatens to undermine this dynamic. David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff is looking for hourly wages to accelerate in the payroll data released tomorrow. Moreover, the persistent rise in energy prices — driven by harsh winter conditions — means that crude oil will start being a lift on overall inflation levels in a way that hasn’t been seen in years.

All together, that means that the Federal Reserve’s pace of 2018 rate hikes could be more aggressive than is widely assumed.

Today’s Trading Landscape:

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.

For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

Compare Brokers

Micron Technology Q1 Earnings: The Chip Boom Continues

Large cap memory stockMicron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) reportedfiscal Q1 2018 earnings after the Tuesday market close with results beating expectationsbenefited from a chip boom fuelled by demand from personal computer, server and smartphone makers.

Revenues rose 71% to$6.80 billion and were also11% higher compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, reflecting increased demand for our mobile, server and SSD products. GAAP net income was $2.678 billion versus net income of $2.368 billion for Q4 2017 and net income of $180 million.Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra commented:

“Micron’s strong results were driven by double-digit sequential revenue growth in mobile, server and SSD applications, with expanded gross margins and improved profitability.

“We are making solid progress on our strategic priorities to drive cost competitiveness, deploy high value solutions and strengthen our balance sheet. We believe these actions will position Micron to benefit from the broad demand trends ahead of us.”

A technical chart for Micron Technology shows shares peaking in November and then dropping off a bit since then:

A long term performance chart shows shares of Micron Technology peaking in late 2014 andbottoming in 2016 before taking off again to above previous all time highs whilepotential performance benchmarks likeIntel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ: WDC) and the Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA: SMH) have all given positive performances:

Finally, here is a quick recap of large cap Micron Technologys recent earnings history along with EPS estimate trends from the Yahoo! Finance analyst estimates page going into the current earnings report:

Earnings History11/29/20162/27/20175/30/20178/30/2017
EPS Est. 0.28 0.86 1.51 1.84
EPS Actual 0.32 0.9 1.62 2.02
Difference 0.04 0.04 0.11 0.18
Surprise % 14.30% 4.70% 7.30% 9.80%
EPS TrendCurrent Qtr. (Nov 2017)Next Qtr. (Feb 2018)Current Year (2018)Next Year (2019)
Current Estimate 2.21 2.03 7.96 6.82
7 Days Ago 2.19 2 7.89 6.77
30 Days Ago 2.18 1.96 7.72 6.83
60 Days Ago 2.17 1.92 7.61 6.7
90 Days Ago 1.82 1.57 6.35 5.35

Micron Technology Q1 Earnings: The Chip Boom Continues

Large cap memory stockMicron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) reportedfiscal Q1 2018 earnings after the Tuesday market close with results beating expectationsbenefited from a chip boom fuelled by demand from personal computer, server and smartphone makers.

Revenues rose 71% to$6.80 billion and were also11% higher compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, reflecting increased demand for our mobile, server and SSD products. GAAP net income was $2.678 billion versus net income of $2.368 billion for Q4 2017 and net income of $180 million.Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra commented:

“Micron’s strong results were driven by double-digit sequential revenue growth in mobile, server and SSD applications, with expanded gross margins and improved profitability.

“We are making solid progress on our strategic priorities to drive cost competitiveness, deploy high value solutions and strengthen our balance sheet. We believe these actions will position Micron to benefit from the broad demand trends ahead of us.”

A technical chart for Micron Technology shows shares peaking in November and then dropping off a bit since then:

A long term performance chart shows shares of Micron Technology peaking in late 2014 andbottoming in 2016 before taking off again to above previous all time highs whilepotential performance benchmarks likeIntel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ: WDC) and the Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA: SMH) have all given positive performances:

Finally, here is a quick recap of large cap Micron Technologys recent earnings history along with EPS estimate trends from the Yahoo! Finance analyst estimates page going into the current earnings report:

Earnings History11/29/20162/27/20175/30/20178/30/2017
EPS Est. 0.28 0.86 1.51 1.84
EPS Actual 0.32 0.9 1.62 2.02
Difference 0.04 0.04 0.11 0.18
Surprise % 14.30% 4.70% 7.30% 9.80%
EPS TrendCurrent Qtr. (Nov 2017)Next Qtr. (Feb 2018)Current Year (2018)Next Year (2019)
Current Estimate 2.21 2.03 7.96 6.82
7 Days Ago 2.19 2 7.89 6.77
30 Days Ago 2.18 1.96 7.72 6.83
60 Days Ago 2.17 1.92 7.61 6.7
90 Days Ago 1.82 1.57 6.35 5.35