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Stocks  | August 1, 2019

U.S. equities are holding near the unchanged line on Wednesday as traders await the decision from Federal Reserve policymakers.

An interest rate cut? Surely, it’s all but fully baked in. By how much? A modest 0.25% cut, the first since 2008, is likely. Yet hope springs eternal for a deeper 0.50% cut.

But all this isn’t happening in a vacuum, as the Q2 earnings season rolls on and Wall Street tries to not act disappointed by the early end to the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks. Thus, individual stock price action is uneven with all the focus going to a handful of names posting solid results.

Here are five stocks worth a look:

Apple (AAPL)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are lurching higher, up more than 4% to blast above its May highs to return to levels not seen since last summer, after reporting better-than-expected results after the close on Tuesday. Earnings of $2.18 per share beat estimates by eight cents on a 1% rise in revenues despite a 12% drop in iPhone revenues. All eyes are on the iPhone 11 refresh due later this year.

Investors focused instead on growing momentum in areas like services,  wearables, home devices, which posted top-line growth of 13% and 48%, respectively. The company will next report results on October 29 after the close. Watch for the new iPhone in September.

Amgen (AMGN)

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGEN), maker of a variety of treatments including Enbrel for plaque psoriasis and Neulasta, a protein treatment for cancer patients, is enjoying a share price surge towards its 200-day moving average after reporting results after the close on Tuesday. An extension from here could end the multi-month downtrend that has been in play since last October.

Management reported earnings of $3.97 per share, 39 cents ahead of estimates despite a 3.1% decline in revenues to $5.87 billion — which was slightly above expectations. The company purchased $2.3 billion worth of stock during the quarter, leaving $4.7 billion in its current authorization. The company will next report results on October 29 after the close.

Pfizer (PFE)

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is rebounding from a post-earnings pullback that tested support from its mid-April low. This is just the latest pullback in a sideways consolidation pattern going back to September.

The company reported earnings of 80 cents per share on Monday, five cents below estimates, on a 1.5% drop in revenues. This brought out a series of analyst downgrades, with both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley cutting their rating.

The company will next report results on October 29 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 63 cents per share on revenues of $12.5 billion.

Baker Hughes (BHGE)

Shares of Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHGE) are breaking out above their 200-day moving average, potentially ending a downtrend pattern going back to late 2016. Watch for a run at the mid-2018 range near $32, which would be worth a gain of more than 20% from here.

The company reported results before the open this morning, with earnings of 20 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny. Revenues jumped 8% from the prior year period. The company remains in turnaround mode as GE (NYSE:GE) exits its stake in the company.

Electronic Arts (EA)

Shares of video game maker Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) are jumping back up and over their 50-day and 200-day moving averages, having another go at ending a downtrend pattern that has been in place since last summer. This after reporting results on Tuesday with earnings of $4.75 per share missing estimates on a 0.8% drop in revenues. Still, analysts including those at Cowen responded positively given the ongoing success of its Madden and FIFA franchises.

The company will next report results on October 29 after the close. Management issued strong forward guidance heading into the holiday shopping season.

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