On today’s episode of Free Lunch here at Zacks, Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into the market’s wild August as the U.S. and China trade war continues to heat up. The episode also takes a look at some GDP growth estimates and consumer confidence, which appear strong. We then delve into Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) and news of a potential merger between Philip Morris International (PM - Free Report) and Altria (MO - Free Report) , before ending with why HubSpot (HUBS - Free Report) is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock.
All three major U.S. indexes climbed in morning trading Tuesday, only to slip in the afternoon as the market’s crazy August continues. Tuesday’s brief positivity came after President Trump took a more optimistic tone on the U.S. and China trade war at this weekend’s G-7 summit. This, of course, came after stocks tumbled to end the week on the back of escalating threats from the world’s two largest economies.
The S&P 500 has fallen at least 2.5% on three separate days in August. This is the first time the index has done this since September 2011. Despite the back and forth, the S&P 500 is still up over 13% in 2019. U.S. recession fears have grown recently as well. But the Atlanta Fed’s model currently calls for Q3 GDP growth to come in at 2.3%, which would top Q2’s 2.1% climb.
On top of that, The Conference Board released its Consumer Confidence Index Tuesday morning. The numbers showed that U.S. consumers remain positive despite a global economic slowdown and trade war worries, which has taken its toll on U.S. natural gas producers.
Meanwhile, an Oklahoma judge ruled Monday that Johnson & Johnson had to pay $572 million for contributing to the opioid-addiction crisis. Yet, shares of JNJ popped Tuesday. News also broke this morning that Philip Morris International is in merger talks with Altria that would reunite the two tobacco powers more than 10 years after they split.
This episode of Free Lunch then closes with a look at why inbound-marketing software firm HubSpot is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock. The firm is part of the broader customer relationship management industry that includes the likes of Salesforce (CRM - Free Report) . Shares of HUBS just reached a new 52-week intraday trading high Tuesday and its growth prospects appear strong.
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