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Sunday Watchlist

Week of November 4, 2019

While there were some gloomy economic reports over the last week, there are bright spots.

For one, the U.S. just added 128,000 jobs in October, beating estimates for an addition of 75,000.  

Better, September payrolls were adjusted higher from 136,000 to 180,000.  

Food services added 48,000 for the month of October.  This industry has seen a surge in job creation, adding an average 38,000 jobs a month, as noted by CNBC.  “While those positions are generally associated with lower wages, they also can reflect consumer demand and the willingness to spend discretionary money.”

Professional and business services added 22,000 jobs.  Health care was up by 15,000. Social programs added 20,000.  Unfortunately, we did see job losses in manufacturing (-36,000), as part of the General Motors strike.  

As for wage growth, it was up 0.2% to $28.18.  The 12-month rate of hourly wage increases remained unchanged at 3%.  

In addition, U.S. GDP grew faster than expected in the third quarter, but did slow slightly on a decline in business investments.  For the quarter, GDP was up 1.9%. While that was down slightly from the 2% pace in the second quarter, it was still above forecasts for 1.6%. 

All thanks in part to consumer spending, and government expenditures.   

As we wait for the next batch of economic reports, here are some of the top stocks to watch.

Opportunity No. 1

Mattel (MAT)

Shares of Mattel are back in the headlines after great earnings and on news it’s putting its accounting investigation behind it.  It just earned 26 cents a share on sales of $1.48 billion. Analysts were looking for 19 cents on $1.44 billion in sales. The company also completed an independent investigation into accounting allegations, and is turning higher.

Opportunity No. 2

General Electric (GE)

Showing signs of life, the company posted strong earnings with adjusted EPS of 15 cents, as compared to forecasts for 11 cents.  Total revenue came in at $23.26 billion, as compared to forecasts for $22.93 billion.  

“Our results reflect another quarter of progress in the transformation of GE. We are encouraged by our strong backlog, organic growth, margin expansion, and positive cash trajectory amidst global macro uncertainty,” CEO Larry Culp, as quoted by Yahoo Finance.

Opportunity No. 3

Beyond Meat (BYND)

Even with great earnings, BYND sank this week on lockup expiration following IPO.

The company earned a profit of $4.1 million, or six cents a share on sales of $92 million, up substantially from a loss of $9.3 million on sales of $26.43 million year over year.  Analysts were looking for four cents on $82.2 million in sales. The company also increased its revenue forecast, now expecting full year sales of between $265 million and $275 million.  With plenty of growth ahead, BYND is a long-term favorite.