Tell us a mega cap stock that has 50% upside in the near term. Not so easy. That is what makes the current discussion of Boeing so compelling. The stock has been hurt by the 737 MAX fallout after the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. Yet, overall, the trend for Boeing and other aeronautics companies is strong. Jefferies analyst Greg Konrad finds the stock so compelling, he believes there is 50% upside. More than 65% of analysts covering the stock rate it a buy.
FINSUM: It seems like there is a pretty clear path to put the 737 MAX issues in the rear view mirror and get the stock back on track. Could be a good opportunistic buy.
As analysts and the market try to sort out how the new division in Congress will play out in markets, one beneficiary is becoming increasingly clear. Aerospace analyst Ron Epstein of Merrill Lynch had this to say the day before last week’s election, “The change to Democratic control of the House is the best scenario for defense spending. It points to upside in the defense budget. Gridlock keeps budgets intact, and defense is a bipartisan issue”. That argument is a bedrock of the new view that defense stocks are likely going to surge in the new Congressional environment. Epstein points out that aerospace companies are simultaneously seeing commercial and defense businesses growing strongly.
FINSUM: Earnings seem like they will stay in very good shape for the defense sector, and because budget changes look unlikely, the whole industry seems to be in for smooth sailing.
If you are looking for the canary in the coal mine for the current market turbulence, look no further than a handful of stocks that should show investors where things are headed. Especially for the Dow. The index’s gains this year have largely come from three stocks: Apple, Boeing, and UnitedHealth Group. 16 stocks in the 30-stock index have losses this year, but because of the quirky way the Dow is calculated, some smaller market capitalization companies have much more weight than larger ones (weighting is done by share price not market cap). Accordingly, this trio has outsized importance to the index, and if they fall, the Dow is likely to get badly hurt.
FINSUM: The Dow is quite funky, but this story points out just how vulnerable the whole index looks right now.
Okay, there is a trade war going on. But even still, industrial stocks look too cheap, at least according to Barron’s. The Industrial Select SPDR is up less than 2% this year, way behind the broader market because of fears the sector will get hammered by a trade war. Compounding that is the worry that the sector is past the peak of its cycle. However, the sector is still posting strong growth and good earnings. Stocks like Boeing and Caterpillar had big gains last year, but have weakened considerably recently. Recent earnings, though, were good, showing that core machinery sales continued the 15% annual growth they have been showing for several quarters. In seems the worst could be behind the sector.
FINSUM: It is too early to say whether the sector is out of the woods, but we would say that a 2% gain this year is not exactly what we would think of as the pre-condition for calling something very cheap.