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S&P Joins the Party

Remember, the latest episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session will be available for viewing no later than this Wednesday, August 9th. Steve Reitmeister, Sheraz Mian, Dr. John Blank, David Bartosiak and Eric Dutram will cover the investment landscape from most every angle in this vital event. 

Don't miss your chance to hear: 

• Sheraz and John Agree to Disagree on whether there is a Trump Trade, or no such thing
• Steve's answers to your questions in Reity's Mailbag
• Tips for improving your portfolio
• And much more 

So be sure to mark your calendar then log on to and bookmark this page. 

The Dow has been embarrassing the other two major indices for weeks now with a 10-session winning streak and nine consecutive all-time highs. But today the S&P reached its own record with a small but meaningful advance to start the week. The NASDAQ actually had the biggest percentage gain on the day. 

Specifically, the S&P was only up 0.16% on Monday, but that still marked a peak of 2480.9 and leaves it less than 20 points from its next milestone of 2500. In less than a week, the Dow has not only closed above 22,000, but now 22100 as well. The index continued its streak to advance 0.12% to 22118.4. The NASDAQ had its own 10-session winning streak last month that ended on July 21; right now, it is the only index of the Big 3 that hasn’t hit a new high in August. But it was still up by a solid 0.51% to 6383.8. 

“The longest bull market in history is 12.3 years. We're 'just' 8.5 years into this one. But, as you know, I'm very confident that this bull market will ultimately go down in history as the longest bull market ever. That means lots more upside to come,” said Kevin in Options Trader

Most of today’s action came from three portfolios, as Black Box Trader swapped out five names, TAZR added three and Surprise Trader picked up two. In addition, Reitmeister Trading Alert added to an existing position. Read the highlights section below for a lot more on these trades. 

Today's Portfolio Highlights: 

TAZR Trader: With the market in a “risk on” mood and just waiting to move higher, Kevin decided to add a trio of names on Monday with 7% allocations each. First up, Inogen (INGN) is a maker of portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) that just reported its 15th straight quarter with better-than-expected revenue and earnings. This stock is a great example of a strong small-cap growth story, so investors should ignore unattractive valuations and, instead, concentrate on strong global demand and the possibility of INGN being a takeover target. 

The addition of Intercept Pharma (ICPT) is a bit different idea. The editor considers this company to be a more speculative “buy the fear” opportunity, since shares have slipped in the wake of a patient’s death in one of the trials for its treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It’s important to note that this person’s death likely had nothing to do with the trial. Now, ICPT has a fantastic risk/reward profile and remains a favorite of several huge bulls on Wall Street who see price targets well above $200. 

Finally, shares of Verint Systems (VRNT) recently slipped to 5-month lows, which caught the attention of a major brokerage firm. The company is a cyber security provider and developer, and Kevin has been watching it for a while now. The dip and the outside interest prompted the editor to take a position in this $2.3 billion Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company. Read the complete commentary for a lot more on these additions.

Surprise Trader: Earnings season shifts to the retail sector this week, so it makes sense that the latest two additions to the portfolio would be consumer-focused. Both of the names below are reporting tomorrow: 

• Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH): The stronger consumer means big things for the leisure space, especially a cruise line like NCLH. Eric likes the positive Earnings ESP for not only this quarter, but next quarter and the full year as well. The stock is also a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates and has a Zacks VGM Score of A. 

• J.C. Penney (JCP): The editor wants you to give JCP a chance! Despite being an “old-fashioned” retailer, the fundamentals for the company this quarter look pretty good. In addition, it has a nice streak of beats at earnings season, reported a surprise profit last quarter and has a “tremendous” Earnings ESP for tomorrow. 

Eric added these names with 10% allocations each. The full write-up has a lot more. 

Reitmeister Trading Alert: Last week’s plunge in MasTec (MTZ) shares didn’t make any sense to Steve...and today he knows why. The editor has seen several analyst notes recently that were impressed by the results, which means the tumble on Friday was likely high-frequency traders playing their games. It also means that there’s a stock worth $55 to $60 that’s currently trading at an extreme discount. The editor believes this is a dip worth buying and so he bought more shares of MTZ, bringing its allocation up to 7.2%. Read the complete commentary for more. 

Black Box Trader: The portfolio swapped out half of its positions on Monday, and one of the sold stocks was a double digit winner. We’re saying goodbye to: 

• Boeing (BA, +13.1%)
• Deere & Co. (DE, +1.2%)
• Cigna Corp (CI, +0.8%)
• Delta Air Lines (DAL)
• Vishay Intertechnology (VSH) 

The new buys that replaced these names are: 

• Aaron's (AAN)
• CBRE Group (CBG)
• Dana Inc. (DAN)
• Quanta Services (PWR)
• Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) 

Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service designed to take the emotion out of investing. 

Zacks Confidential: We’re past the heart of earnings season, so it’s the perfect time for an update. And when it’s time to find out how things are going, there’s only one person who Steve turns to…Sheraz Mian. In this week’s Zacks Confidential, Sheraz offers a detailed look at this earnings season (hint: it’s pretty good!), while also offering expectations for coming quarters and a couple of stock recommendations: Q2 Earnings Scorecard

All the Best,
Jim Giaquinto


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