Apple, Apple, Apple … Plus Alibaba, Fed Pick: Investing Action Plan

Apple, Apple, Apple … Plus Alibaba, Fed Pick: Investing Action Plan

Here’s your Investing Action Plan for Thursday: what you need to know as an investor for the coming day.

[ibd-display-video id=2479411 width=50 float=left autostart=true] Apple ( AAPL ) reports quarterly results after the close, but will be in the spotlight before the market opens, throughout the trading day and after regular trading ends. The iPhone maker could even overshadow the White House’s pick to lead the Federal Reserve,  after the administration has been telegraphing its preferences for days. Meanwhile, Alibaba ( BABA ), Activision Blizzard ( ATVI ) and several other highly rated companies will report, along with Starbucks ( SBUX ).

Apple

Estimates : EPS to rise 12% to $1.87, as revenue grows 9% to $51.17 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Stock : Shares closed down 1.3% at 166.89 on the stock market today , but are back in buy range after breaking out last week from a cup-with-handle base.

With the iPhone X expected to be supply-constrained for months, investors will parse Apple’s fiscal Q4 results and guidance for clues about demand for the iPhone X and this year’s other new handsets, the iPhone 8 series.

The flagship iPhone X officially goes on sale Friday following a week of preorders, and reviews of the $1,000 smartphone have been positive.

Alibaba

China’s e-commerce leader will report fiscal Q2 results before the market opens.

Estimates : EPS of $1.04, up 32%, on revenue of $7.78 billion, up 51%.

Stock : Shares rose 1.2% to 186.08, slightly extended after clearing a 177.10 entry of a rare ascending base .

The earnings arrive as Alibaba is gearing up for its largest sales event of the year, on Nov. 11, which Alibaba calls its “11.11 Global Shopping Festival,” previously known as Singles Day. Alibaba shares are up 94% this year.

Activision

The video game publisher reports Q3 financials after the close.

Estimates : EPS to rise 2% to 50 cents, as revenue grows 11% to $1.74 billion.

Stock : Shares edged down 0.2% to 65.33, but ended above session lows.

The report will come after Electronic Arts ( EA ) beat earnings views late Tuesday but guided holiday-quarter  sales below consensus expectations. Still, some analysts said EA was being conservative.

Starbucks

The coffee giant reports fiscal Q4 numbers after the close.

Estimates : EPS to drop 2% to 55 cents, on a 0.4% revenue uptick to $5.73 billion.

Stock : Shares tick up 0.5% to 55.13, trading choppily around its 50-day moving average and breaching its longer-term 200-day line in late July.

Starbucks, like nearly every other retailer, is contending with the consumer shift to shopping for things – even coffee – online. Look for updates on its mobile-order-and-pay system, loyalty-program membership, and growth in China.

Reports emerged earlier this week that rival Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) may be acquired by JAB Holding, which owns Keurig, Panera Bread, Peet’s Coffee, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Caribou Coffee.

IBD’S TAKE: Buying or holding a stock can be risky heading into an earnings report. Here’s an earnings options strategy that can help you cash in on post-earnings stock gains, while minimizing the risk from a weak quarter.

Fed Chair

The White House is expected to announce Thursday its pick to lead the central bank, a day after the Fed wraps up its policy meeting. Speculation has centered around current Fed Gov. Jerome Powell, who would represent some continuity as he is seen as an ally of Chair Janet Yellen. President Trump, who likes to point out how much the stock market has been rallying, may be hesitant to pick someone who would shake up monetary policy, leaving the more hawkish John Taylor as a long shot.

Other Earnings

Other highly rated companies are due to report Thursday. Sports-car icon Ferrari (RACE) is out before the open, and recently merged DowDupont (DWDP) is also early, while Universal Display (OLED) and Tableau (DATA) are after the close.

Shale bellwether EOG Resources (EOG), which has been dubbed the “Apple of oil” due to its reputation for technological innovation, also reports after the close.

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