12/24/2022

12/25/22 Newsletter – Tech Stocks… Bah, Humbug!

What Does “Bah, Humbug!” mean? Actually?

In Charles Dickens’s 1843 story A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge exclaims “Bah! Humbug!” in reference to Christmas. 

As he famously hates the holiday, it’s easy to assume that “Humbug!” is just an expression used to convey dislike for something popular. 

In fact, thanks to the cultural impact of the Christmas classic, that’s often how humbug is used today. 

But Scrooge didn’t originate the term humbug—and he meant something more specific than “I hate Christmas!” when he uttered it.

Humbug first appeared in writing in a 1750 issue of The Student, or the Oxford and Cambridge Monthly Miscellany, where it was described as “a word very much in vogue with the people of taste and fashion … though it has not even the penumbra of a meaning.” 

In short, it seemed to have been trendy slang coined by the cool kids of the era, and its etymology remains unclear. 

That said, humbug was used widely enough that its definition, at least, is clear. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it referred to “a hoax; a jesting or befooling trick,” as well as any “thing which is not really what it pretends to be,” like a sham or fraud. 

Eventually, people started using it to mean nonsense in general.

When Scrooge repeatedly calls Christmas “humbug,” it’s because he believes the holiday fits the bill in more ways than one. 

He thinks Christmas tricks people into feeling cheerful and thankful when they have nothing to feel cheerful about or thankful for. 

“What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough,” he tells his nephew. 

Scrooge also believes that society uses Christmas as an excuse to wrangle money out of wealthy people like him: He refuses to donate to a Christmas collection for the poor, asserting that they should seek help from existing institutions that house and employ the underprivileged. 

Shortly after, Scrooge complains about having to pay his clerk, Bob Cratchit, for an entire day off. “A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!” he says.

Basically, Dickens’s irritable antihero considers Christmas a financial and emotional scam on a global scale—a humbug any way you slice it. 

Now that we have that history lesson out of the way…Let’s get on with the show…

A Quick Walk Down Wall Street

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street following a batch of mixed news on the economy.

The S&P 500 rose 0.6% Friday. The benchmark index still wound up with its third weekly loss in a row.

A key measure of inflation continued to slow, but it’s still far higher than anyone wants to see. 

Also, growth in consumer spending weakened last month by more than expected, but incomes were a bit stronger than expected. 

Markets are in a tricky spot where relatively solid economic data reduces the risk of a recession but also raises the threat of higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

On Friday:

The S&P 500 rose 22.43 points, or 0.6%, to 3,844.82.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 176.44 points, or 0.5%, to 33,203.93.

The Nasdaq rose 21.74 points, or 0.2%, to 10,497.86.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 6.85 points, or 0.4%, to 1,760.93.

For the week:

The S&P 500 is down 7.54 points, or 0.2%.

The Dow is up 283.47 points, or 0.9%.

The Nasdaq is down 207.55 points, or 1.9%.

The Russell 2000 is down 2.49 points, or 0.1%.

For the year:

The S&P 500 is down 921.36 points, or -19.3%.

The Dow is down 3,134.37 points, or -8.6%.

The Nasdaq is down 5,147.11 points, or -32.9%.

The Russell 2000 is down 484.38 points, or -21.6%.

Tech Stocks got Hammered in 2022… 

But (APCX) ran 215% in December alone!

To say the tech industry’s biggest players had a rough 2022 on Wall Street would be an understatement.

The bleeding hasn’t quite stopped as the year comes to a close. 

Poor digital ad sales, recession fears, and a slowdown in consumer spending on products like PCs hammered social media firms, chip makers, and even managed to eat into cloud growth.

All of that is to say, 2022 has been a year of bad and worse for tech stocks. 

To that end, we’ve put together a naughty list of some of the biggest tech companies to compare how their shares have performed year-to-date as of Christmas week.

Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down almost 20.00% but Big Tech took it on the chin…

Let’s take a quick look at some of the market’s favorite stocks and what the Wall Street pros think.

Apple (AAPL) Down over -25.00% YTD

Last week, on December 19th, JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee lowered the firm’s price target on Apple to $190 from $200 and kept an Overweight rating on the shares. The new price target still indicates a potential upside of around 44.00% for shares of Apple (AAPL).

Microsoft (MSFT) Down over -27.00% YTD

On December 20th, Credit Suisse analyst Sami Badri assumed coverage on Microsoft (MSFT) with an Outperform rating and a price target of $365.00. Badri’s price target indicates a potential upside of around 53.00% for shares of Microsoft (MSFT).

Qualcomm (QCOM) Down over -37.00% YTD

On December 19th, UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri lowered the price target on Qualcomm (QCOM) to $125.00 (from $155.00) while maintaining a Neutral rating. Arcuri’s price target indicates a potential upside of a mere 12.00% for shares of Qualcomm (QCOM)

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Down over -48.00% YTD

About a week and a half ago, on December 16th, UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley maintained a Buy rating on Amazon (AMZN) and set a price target of $165.00. Walmsley’s price target  indicates a potential upside of over 93.00% for shares of Amazon (AMZN).

AMD (AMD) Down over -53.00% YTD

Last month, on November 21st, Goldman Sachs analyst Toshiya Hari raised the price target on AMD (AMD) to $85.00 (from $74.00) while maintaining a Buy rating. Hari’s price target indicates a potential upside of 31.00% for shares of AMD (AMD)

Tesla (TSLA) Down over -60.00% YTD

This week, on December 23rd, Canaccord analyst George Gianarikas rated Tesla stock Buy. Setting a target price of $275 a share. Gianarikas’ price target indicates a potential upside of 123.00% for shares of Tesla (TSLA).

Meta Platforms (META) Down over 64.00% YTD

Also this week, on December 22, Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian lowered the price target on Meta Platforms Inc. ( META) to $145 (from $150) while maintaining an Outperform rating. After lowering the price target from $150 to $145, Sebastian’s target indicates potential upside of just around 22.00% for shares of Meta Platforms Inc. (META).

If you’ve owned any of the 7 tech stocks mentioned above in 2022, I feel your pain… 

And not to pour salt into your wounds, but AppTech Payments Corp. (APCX) ran over 215% in December alone. 

In fact, if you “check tape” and go back to the $.64 cent opening price on October 20th, (APCX) climbed over 380% before hitting its intraday high of $3.09 on December 23rd. 

Not bad, right? 

Got Wood? ( ARKK ETF is Down 65% YTD)

Not long ago considered a trailblazing investing guru, sentiment has entirely shifted around Cathie Wood over the past year and a half. 

Her ARK Invest fund’s ARK Innovation ETF is loaded with growth-oriented pandemic-era winners but as anyone following the stock market’s trajectory will know, the tables have turned on stocks of that ilk. 

And the result is that the ARKK ETF is now down by a huge 65% in 2022.

Taking the first spot and accounting for 9.36% of the ARKK ETF with a value of more than $605 million is that most pandemic-era of stocks, Zoom Video Communications.

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM) Down over -64.00% YTD

You don’t have to be an avid follower of the stock market to know the Zoom story. A niche video conferencing product at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the advent of global lockdowns, it quickly turned into a ubiquitous tool used by millions worldwide – from businesses to families to education bodies. As a result, the stock soared to incredible heights during 2020, but as has happened to so many, the comedown has been vicious. Shares sit 90% below the highs of October 2020 and have shed 64% this year.

That said, the company’s most recent report for the third fiscal quarter (October quarter) was a decent one. Revenue came in at $1.1 billion, representing a 4.8% year-over-year increase and meeting Street expectations. On the bottom-line, adj. EPS of $1.07 beat the analysts’ forecast of $0.83.

In a report issued on December 14, Rishi Jaluria from RBC Capital maintained a Buy rating on Zoom Video Communications, with a price target of $110.00. The company’s shares closed last Friday at $69.86, close to its 52-week low of $68.88.  Jaluria’s price target indicates potential upside of over 66.00% for shares of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM).

Just so we are clear here… Cathie Woods’ ARKK ETF is down 65% in 2022 and AppTech Payments Corp. (APCX) climbed over 380% since opening at $.64 cents on October 20th and hitting its intraday high of $3.09 on December 23rd. 

That’s a 380% move in just over 2 months.

What to Watch for Next Week

Don’t forget, the market is closed on Monday December 26th, Bah, Humbug!

But we’ll be keeping our eyes wide open next week.

On Thursday December 29th at 8:30AM ET the Initial Jobless Claims Report will hit..

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 216,000 in the week ending December 17th, below market expectations of 220,000 and extending signals of a stubbornly tight labor market, adding to hawkish projections for the Federal Reserve along with the upward revision to the US GDP. 

The seasonally unadjusted gauge fell by 4,064 to 247,867, with notable decreases in Ohio (-1,983), California (-1,588), and Indiana (-1,565). 

The 4-week moving average which removes week-to-week volatility fell by 6,250 to 221,750. 

Meanwhile, continuing claims inched lower by 6,000 to 1,672,000 thousand in the week ending December 3rd, the first weekly drop since October but remaining the second-highest results since February.

You need to keep your eye out for reports like this… 

Now Who Made New 52-Week Highs This Week?

Here are some notables as of Friday, December 23, 2022.

Taking the cake this week is Nine Energy Service (NINE) after climbing over 1,630% from its 52-week low. 

Coming in second place is Akero Therapeutics            (AKRO) moving up over 549% from its 52-week low.

And Verona Pharma (VRNA) came in third place after rising over 542% from its 52-week low.

If you’re interested in discovery stocks that have the potential for making 1,630%, 549%, or 542% moves like the top 3 stocks above, then you’re in luck…

Because we have been hard at work uncovering what could be the next big stock play for you.

In fact, we just identified our next stock play and we’ll be bringing it to you very shortly.

So clear your plate and get ready… 

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