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Spring Bounces Stocks with Outside Appeal: Global Week Ahead

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Spring news is often subtle. Much like tulips flowering, you just happen to notice it one day.

Over the weekend, a U.S. roofing company and a U.S. garden supply company entered the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks. That is a confirmation. Spring has flowered in the Northern Hemisphere, once again.

In this Global Week Ahead, big trading news most likely comes from the April FOMC press conference. This will be held on Wednesday. Janet Yellen and Company is not likely to raise policy rates. Press questions illuminate the path ahead.  

The Bank of Japan follows up on Thursday with its monetary calls. Consensus thinks there’s a better chance of trading news out of Japan’s BoJ, given its weak yen (trading around 111) and recent negative rate announcement, than there is out of the USA’s FOMC.

I can’t disagree with that.

The S&P 500 has gotten itself back to 2100. That’s the technical level the S&P 500 saw last summer. With forward S&P 500 EPS valuations this rich, some new fundamental or monetary catalyst must emerge -- in a positive or negative direction -- to get the broad U.S. stock market off this level.

In lieu of that catalyst, traders’ focus on oil prices should continue to hold sway. Monday showed up with Europe’s major share indices pulling back on a softer crude price. Asia’s major indices were soft, too.

Global markets don’t get fresh China macro data this week. Stronger fundamental data from the Mainland China economy is the best bullish macro candidate I can think of. Plenty of excitement about firming China growth has been published recently. New China PMI data hits on May 3rd.

Bears likely own a fruitless bout of excitement over a weak-ish U.S. Q1 GDP number. Preliminary U.S. GDP data comes out on Thursday. At +0.5% q/q, weak Q1 U.S. GDP growth speaks to a seasonal winter pattern. The same pattern showed up in recent years. All weak winter quarter growth says is spring quarter growth will be fuller.

On Tuesday, Mexico’s proxy annualized GDP growth should get upgraded from +2.3% to 2.95% y/y. That tells us the full story. The North American aggregate demand tone is firm.

Here are three fresh Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks to look at:

(1) Beacon Roofing (BECN), a $2.6 billion market cap building product stock look good this week. The stock also has a Zacks VGM composite long-term rank of B.

(2) Central Garden (CENT), a $760 million small-cap stock looks great.  Its products are in a “spring ahead” Consumer Discretionary category. The stock gets a Zacks VGM score of A too.

(3) Hannover Reucker (HVRRY), a $14.2 billion market cap stock, is back in the Zacks #1 Ranks.  This is a big insurance broker/reinsurer based in Germany. The Zacks VGM score is B.

Here are the most important Global Week Ahead macro fundamentals—

On Monday
, Spain’s PPI clocked in at -5.4% y/y. This was worse than the prior -4.2% y/y data.

The German IFO Business Climate index was 106.6, in line with the prior 106.7.  The IFO Current Conditions was 113.2, worse than the prior 113.8, but still strong. The IFO Expectations was 100.4, better than the prior 100.  All in all, these were decent forward-looking outlook numbers for Germany.

Brazil’s FGV Business Confidence rose to 77.8 from 75.1 and Brazil’s capacity utilization rate got to 74.3 from 73.7. That may surprise you!

On Tuesday, U.S. Durable Goods orders (ex-transport) should be up +0.5% m/m, after a weak -1% m/m number last month.

U.S. consumer confidence should be 95.6, a little worse than the prior 96.2. The U.S. S&P Case-Shiller home price index should be up +5.5%, lower than the prior +5.75% y/y data. That says home prices may be cooling nationally, just a bit.

Mexico’s proxy GDP should rise to 2.95% from 2.33%.

On Wednesday, Germany’s retail sales should fall back to a +2% y/y rate from +5.4% y/y prior.

Swedish manufacturing confidence could rise to 113.7 from 112.5.

The 1st estimate for the United Kingdom’s GDP should be +0.4% q/q, which creates a +2.0% y/y number.

The US FOMC holds a meeting and the Fed Funds rate is not expected to move off the 0.50% level.

Mexico’s unemployment rate should be down to 3.9% in not seasonally adjusted terms, from 4.15% previously.

Japan’s unemployment rate looks to hold steady at 3.3%. Japan’s industrial production may sink -1.5% y/y, worse than the prior -1.2% y/y data. Japan’s retail sales should fall -1.3% y/y from a +0.5% y/y number.

Brazil’s policy SELIC rate should be maintained at 14.25%.

On Thursday, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) should keep its overnight rate at -0.1%. Governor Kuroda will hold a press conference.

The U.K.’s Nationwide housing price index should be +5.0% y/y, cooling from +5.7% y/y.

Germany’s unemployment rate should remain unchanged at 6.2%.

Eurozone economic sentiment should be 103.5, better than the prior 103.

Finance Minister Osborne speaks to Parliament’s Treasury Committee.

U.S. initial claims look extremely low at 247K.

U.S. GDP should be +0.5% q/q in a winter reading, on the first pass at this data.

On Friday, France’s preliminary GDP should be +1.0% y/y. Consumer spending should be +2.1% y/y, up from a prior +1.8% y/y number.

Spain’s preliminary GDP should be +3.5% y/y.

Mexico’s preliminary GDP should be +2.2%, worse than the prior +2.5%.

The Swiss unemployment rate should remain unchanged at 4.8%.

The Eurozone’s preliminary GDP should be +1.5% y/y, about the same as the prior +1.6% y/y number.

Brazil’s unemployment rate should be 10.5%.

The U.S. Chicago PMI should be 53 and the University of Michigan Sentiment index should be 90.2.

U.K. sovereign debt is to be rated by S&P.
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