It wasn’t a day for big moves in U.S. stocks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed ahead 0.06% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished off 0.15%, for example.
Nobody wants to get every far ahead of the trend–whichever direction it’s pointing to.
So, for example, Kroger (KR) reported first quarter earnings and revenue way above Wall Street expectations. Revenue climbed 11.5% year over year and earnings per share of $1.22 was easily ahead of Wall Street estimates for $1.12 and last year’s 72 cents for the first quarter. The gains were the result of the company being almost perfectly positioned for the coronavirus economy. But the stock closed down 3.05% today. Apparently investors think that with the pandemic waning, this is about as good as it gets for Kroger.
But investors and traders bought and sold today as if they were still very unwilling to go out on a limb and back any optimism about the re-opening economy with dollars. Starbucks (SBUX), a clear re-opening beneficiary in market thinking last week was off 1.02% today. Park operator Six Flags Entertainment (SIX), another re-opening favorite from last week, slipped 0.81% today. The stock traded at $27.01 on June 8 and closed at $23.40 today, June 18. American Airlines (AAL), had rallied on re-opening hopes to hit $20.31 on June 8. The shares dropped 2.89% today to close at $16.49.
On the other hand, the market wasn’t ready to give up completely–perhaps irrationally–on its re-opening optimism. Cruise operator Carnival (CCL) reported a second quarter loss of $3.30, worse than the Wall Street projection of a $1.83 loss. The company said that conditions ahead were so uncertain that it wouldn’t issue any guidance. And yet, the stock closed down just 1.41% for the day.
Some shares that had been strong recently like Veeva Systems (VEEV) slid as traders seem to give them a breather. Other recent leaders edged up slightly with NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) gaining 0.38% and Infineon (IFNNY) rising 0.24% as if traders and investors didn’t quite want to take profits yet.
A few stocks that had been very strong recently continued very strong with Microsoft (MSFT) adding 1.07% and Twilio (TWLO) gaining yet another 1.95%.
I’d say this looks like a market very uncertain of what the next days or weeks might bring.
NXP Semiconductors and Veeva Systems are members of my Volatility Portfolio. In that same portfolio I own Puts on Starbucks. I wish I still owned Twilio. I do own Infineon in my Jubak Picks Portfolio.
In my personal portfolios I own shares of Veeva Systems, Infineon, Twilio, and NXP Semiconductors. I also own puts on American Airlines.