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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JP Morgan Chase, Boeing and Target

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 6, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include JP Morgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) , Boeing (BA - Free Report) and Target (TGT - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Watch the Earnings Train on the Tracks: Global Week Ahead

In this Global Week Ahead, another 90 fourth quarter (Q4) S&P 500 earnings results hit the tape. The names include GMWalt Disney and Kellogg.

Earnings growth — the stock market’s main locomotive — has been pulling its share price load, easier than ever.

The first half of S&P 500 companies has reported excellent results. 75% of firms that have released results reported positive earnings surprises. 80% have reported positive sales surprises.

Big U.S. firms have been racking up earnings beats ever since a major cut of their corporate tax rate — down to 21% — at a time when the global economy had begun to heat up.

The blended EPS growth rate for Q4 stands at +13.4%. All 11 S&P 500 sectors have reported earnings growth, led by Energy. The blended sales growth rate rests at +7.5%.

Due to strengthening “synchronized global growth,” Q4-2017 reports have been impressive across the revenue expansion ledger. Info Tech is the most global of all sectors. Rising oil and commodity prices played out as a key driver for the Energy and & Materials sectors. Higher global interest rates helped Financials.

“Bulls” can also take pride in Q1-2018 earnings revisions to outlooks. Overall S&P 500 earnings show the largest increase in bottom-up EPS estimates — over the first month of a quarter — since tracking quarterly bottom-up EPS estimates began in Q2-2002.

What of valuation benchmarks? The forward 12-month P/E — after last week’s sell-off — sits at 18.0. The 5-year average is 16.0.

Still, “Bears” can start winning, as bond rates rise higher, under market pressure from steeply mounting Federal debt sales. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. government is “set to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, an 84% jump from last year.”

Yikes! That’s another steam locomotive on the risk market tracks. But it is headed in the wrong direction for stocks.

There is plenty of technical share price downside here. For technical support levels to watch, the 50-day S&P 500 moving average is around 2,700; and the 200-day is 2,500.

Yes. There is a strong earnings season train on the U.S. economy tracks. But it is not steaming alone anymore. Higher bond rates are able to derail stocks.

We have got to watch this… to see if it becomes a train wreck.

Zacks #1 Rank (STRONG BUY) Stocks--

Below I list three bellwether S&P 500 stocks. Note the difference in long-term Zacks VGM (Value-Growth-Momentum) scores. I emphasized Value scores.

JP Morgan Chase: With a share price of $114 and a market cap of $396 billion, this is a big component in U.S. financials. The Zacks long-term VGM score is F, with an F in Value.

Boeing: Yes, you read that right. The share price is now $350 on this $207 market cap stock. The Zacks long-term VGM score is D, with an F for Value.

Target: Lo and behold, a lowly U.S. major retailer to watch. This is a $73 a share stock and the market cap is $39 billion. The long-term Zacks VGM score? That’s scoring an A, with an A for Value.

Key global macro—

By Thursday, the U.S. needs to find a way to avoiding a government shutdown. This is increasingly complicated. With each turn at bat, the debt ceiling is becoming increasingly binding, as the nation’s debt piles on the roof from the tax cut.

After last week’s FOMC meeting, the Fed governor speaker blackout is lifted. This week, two voting FOMC members speak (Dudley, Williams). Three alternate members also speak (Evans, Bullard, George). And so do three non-voting officials (Kaplan, Harker, Kashkari).

There are follow-on monetary policy decisions out of Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and the U.K. to watch out for. Thursday is a big day here.

On Monday, the Eurozone composite PMI index comes out. The prior was 58.6. The services PMI comes out too. That prior was 57.0.

Eurozone retail sales comes out. The prior was +2.8% y/y.

The Markit Brazil PMI composite comes out. The prior was 48.8. The forecast is for 48.5. A break of 50 here would be big news.

The lesser-known ISM non-manufacturing index comes out. The prior and the forecast are for 56.0.

On Tuesday, Australia’s central bank, the RBA, comes out with its policy overnight rate. The 1.5% rate in play is not going to change.

On Wednesday, Brazil’s central bank should move its policy rate, the SELIC rate, from 7.0% to 6.75%.

Taiwan’s export and import data come out. The exports were growing +14.8% y/y, and the imports +12.2% y/y.

India’s monetary policy rate, the repo rate, is not supposed to move off 6.0%.

On Thursday, Greece’s unemployment rate comes out. It has gotten down to 20.7% now.

The U.K. monetary policy committee issues a new Bank Rate. The prior was 0.50%.

U.S. initial claims should stay near last week’s low of 230K.

Mexico’s monetary policy rate, the overnight rate, may go from 7.25% to 7.5%, as they attempt to quash inflation there.

On Friday, Russia’s central bank may go from 7.75% to 7.5%.

Canada’s unemployment rate may fluctuate from 5.7% to 5.8%.

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