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Apple's New iPhones & an Early Holiday Shopping Preview

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On today’s episode of the Zacks Friday Finish Line, Associate Stock Strategist Ryan McQueeney and Editor Maddy Johnson recap Apple's latest iPhone reveal event and preview the holiday shopping season by looking at seasonal hiring trends and upcoming video games. Later, the hosts discuss AMD's crazy momentum.

Make sure to subscribe and leave the show a rating on Apple Podcasts!

All eyes were pointed toward Cupertino, California on Wednesday as Apple (AAPL - Free Report) held its annual pre-holiday gadget reveal event. As expected, the tech behemoth unveiled the “S” versions of its iPhone X, including the iPhone XS Max—featuring Apple's largest-ever phone display—and the more affordable iPhone XR.

Apple also announced the Watch Series 4, touting several new health and wellness features which seem to cement the device's status as a viable wearable fitness product. Left out of the announcements, however, were any updates on the Mac or iPad.

This event typically serves as a preview of Apple's slate for the holiday shopping season, which promises to be a busy one this year. Retailers are already starting to prepare, and as Maddy and Ryan note, this week saw announcements from Macy's (M - Free Report) and Target (TGT - Free Report) detailing the extent of their planned holiday hiring.

Macy's plans to bring on about 80,000 seasonal employees—the same goal it had last year—while Target will increase temporary hiring by 20% and hopes to assign nearly twice as many workers to fulfilling online orders.

Also generating buzz ahead of the holiday shopping season were video game publishers Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Free Report) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Free Report) . These stocks saw gains this week as analysts touted upcoming releases like Activision's Call of Duty and its Fortnite-like game mode as well as Take-Two's highly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2.

While discussing video game trends, Maddy and Ryan also highlighted the insane run of AMD (AMD - Free Report) . This popular chipmaker has made strides in capturing market share from the likes of Intel (INTC - Free Report) and Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) in the server and PC markets, but it is also becoming an interesting video game console play.

Indeed, as AMD saw another impressive wave of bullish analyst notes, some were quick to point out how the company has aligned itself with gaming console makers like Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) and Sony (SNE - Free Report) .

Want to hear more about AMD's momentum, or any of the stories listed above? Make sure to check out this week's episode of the Friday Finish Line!

As a reminder, if you feel that we missed something, or if you want us to cover a different story, shoot us an email at Make sure to check out all of our other audio content at, and remember to subscribe and leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts.

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