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Trump vs. The Fed and PayPal, Intuitive Surgical Earnings Previews

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On today’s episode of Free Lunch, Ryan McQueeney discusses the Fed’s decision to remain hawkish amid criticism from President Trump. He also recaps earnings results from Travelers, Blackstone, and Philip Morris. Later, he is joined by Dave Bartosiak to preview upcoming reports from PayPal and Intuitive Surgical.

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Free Lunch is presented by Zacks Investment Research. It is streamed live, four times per week, and features breaking news and analysis from Zacks strategists. Free Lunch is available on YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, Ustream, and more.

U.S. stocks were down in morning trading Thursday as Wall Street digested the minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting. A majority of the central bank expressed support for continued rate increases and the eventual goal of restrictive monetary policy, putting us on pace for hikes through at least the end of next year.

This sentiment puts the Fed on a collision course with President Donald Trump, who has criticized Chairman Jerome Powell and others in recent weeks for hiking rates. The Fed appears to have its own prerogative, however, so it will be interesting to watch the war of words develop.

Elsewhere, Q3 earnings reports continue to file in, with fresh data from the likes of Travelers Companies (TRV - Free Report) , Blackstone Group (BX - Free Report) , and Philip Morris (PM - Free Report) snagging headlines on Thursday morning.

Investor reaction was mixed, but results were mostly positive. Travelers reported a solid double beat, Blackstone notched AUM growth of nearly 20%, and Philip Morris generated a much-needed rally after cruising past estimates.

On the first half of today’s show, Ryan recaps all of these earnings reports. He also discusses the potential clash between Trump and the Fed. Make sure to check it out!

Later, Ryan is joined by Dave Bartosiak, a Zacks Strategist and earnings season guru, to chat about the soon-to-be-released reports of PayPal (PYPL - Free Report) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Free Report) .

First, however, Dave provides his own perspective on the Fed’s rate hike schedule and clash with Trump, saying that, despite the market’s reaction today, we really did not learn anything new or unpredictable from the minutes.

Moving on to the earnings, Dave uses the Zacks Price, Consensus, & EPS Surprise charts to show why both PYPL and ISRG are in a similar position ahead of their reports. These stocks have seen their earnings outlooks improve consistently throughout 2018, but shares have not quite responded with positive momentum recently.

As Dave explains, this divergence between earnings trends and price performance provides investors with the perfect opportunity to buy for a long-term hold ahead of the report. Check out the episode to hear more about this strategy!

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