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Beat the Market the Zacks Way: NetEase, HCA, Intuit, Illinois Tool Works in Focus

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The three most widely followed indexes closed a winning week, providing some relief from the market's brutal sell-off this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq went up by 3.3% last week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 gained 2% and 2.4%, respectively.

Stocks did better primarily on the back of better-than-expected second-quarter earnings reports. Falling yields in the bond market also helped ease the pressure on stocks, as expectations for rate hikes by the Fed have sent yields soaring for the better part of this year.

However, a tech-slump on Friday eroded away a significant part of the gains made last week. Investors will keep an eager watch on the Fed meeting later this week, where a 75 basis point interest hike is expected.

Regardless of market conditions, we, here at Zacks, provide investors with unbiased guidance on how to beat the market.  

Zacks Research guided investors last week with its time-tested methodologies as usual. Given the prevailing market uncertainty, you may want to look at our feats to prepare better for your next action.

Here are some of our key achievements from last week:

NetEase, Inc. Stock Soared Following Zacks Rank Upgrade

Shares of NetEase, Inc. (NTES - Free Report) gained 10% since it was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on July 16. The rating upgrade was primarily driven by anticipation of its much-awaited release of the Diablo Immortal mobile game in China, slated for July 25. The game was initially launched in leading gaming markets a month back.

For NTES, the consensus EPS estimate of $4.60 for the current year has been revised up 5.3% over the past two months.

Rising earnings estimates and the consequent Zacks Rank upgrade for NTES imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors have started showing their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.

The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +24.8% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>

Check NetEase, Inc.’s historical EPS and Sales here>>>

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Zacks Focus List Model Portfolio Stock HCA Healthcare, Inc. Surged   

Shares of HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA - Free Report) , which belongs to the Zacks Focus List, have shot up 17.7% over the past week. The Zacks Focus List is a model portfolio of 50 hand-picked stocks that possess the right fundamental ingredients to outperform the market over the next 12 months. These 50 stocks are picked from a long list of stocks with the highest Zacks Rank.

HCA Healthcare, Inc. was added to the Focus List on January 7, 2019, at $123.39 per share. The stock has gained 63.7% since then to close the last trading session at $202.03.

Since its inception on February 1, 1996, the Focus List portfolio has delivered an annualized return of +12.9%.

Unlock all of our powerful research, tools and analysis, including the Focus List, Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research Reports, Zacks Earnings ESP Filter, Premium Screener and more, as part of Zacks Premium. Gain full access now >>

Zacks ECAP Stock Intuit Delivers Solid Returns

Intuit Inc. (INTU - Free Report) , a component of our Earnings Certain Admiral Portfolio (ECAP), surged 10.6% last week. ECAP is a model portfolio of 30 concentrated, ultra-defensive, long-term Buy and Hold stocks.  

With little to no turnover and annual rebalance periodicity, the ECAP seeks to minimize capital loss by holding shares of companies whose earnings streams exhibit a proven 20+ year track record of surviving recessionary periods with minimal impact on aggregate earnings growth relative to the overall S&P 500.

In terms of last week’s returns, Paychex, Inc. (PAYX - Free Report) and Ball Corporation (BALL - Free Report) followed Intuit with 6.5% and 6.4% gains, respectively.

The ECAP and many other model portfolios are available as part of Zacks Advisor Tools, a cloud-based solution to access Zacks award-winning stock, mutual fund and ETF research. Click here to schedule a demo.

Zacks ECDP Stock Illinois Tool Works Witnesses Decent Growth

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW - Free Report) , which is part of our Earnings Certain Dividend Portfolio (ECDP), jumped 6.1% last week. The inclination of investors to gravitate toward quality dividend stocks for securing a steady income stream amid the heightened market volatility contributed to this performance. Check Illinois Tool Works' dividend history here>>>

With an extremely low Beta and a history of minimum earnings variability over the last 20+ years, this 25-stock portfolio helps significantly mitigate risk. The ECDP has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL - Free Report) .

Click here to access this portfolio on Zacks Advisor Tools