Stocks on Wall Street closed sharply higher on Friday to end their longest weekly losing streak in decades, as signs of peaking inflation and waning concerns about overly aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve put investors in a buying mood.
The benchmark S&P 500 index gained 6.5%, its best week since November 2020. The blue-chip Dow was up 6.2%, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ was the outperformer, climbing 6.8%.
S&P 500, NASDAQ, And Dow Chart
The big event for markets in the holiday-shortened week ahead will be Friday’s U.S. employment report, which is expected to show solid job gains, but a slow-down from April’s strong growth.
U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
The four-day trading week ahead will also feature a handful of earnings from companies including Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Chewy (NYSE:CHWY), Crowdstrike Holdings (NASDAQ:CRWD), and HP (NYSE:HPQ), as the Q1 reporting season has all but wound down.
Regardless of which direction the market goes, below we highlight one stock likely to be in demand and another which could see further downside.
Remember though, our timeframe is just for the upcoming week.
Stock To Buy: GameStop
Shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME)—which are coming off their best week in two months—could see further buying activity in the days ahead as one of the biggest video game retailers in the U.S. prepares to release its latest financial results after the market closes on Wednesday, June 1.
Consensus estimates call for the Grapevine, Texas-based company to report a loss of $1.22 per share, compared to a loss per share of $0.45 in the year-ago period, mostly due to rising costs related to its turnaround effort as well as ongoing supply chain issues.
Led by Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen, GameStop has been ramping up spending to position itself for the digital era by pivoting its slowing brick-and-mortar business towards e-commerce.
That includes launching a redesigned app, attracting new members to its rewards program, as well as hiring executives with experience in e-commerce, operations, and blockchain gaming.
Revenue is expected to have risen around 3% year-over-year to $1.316 billion, according to InvestingPro+.
GME Earnings Estimates
Beyond the top-and-bottom line numbers, investors will be keen to hear commentary from GameStop executives regarding the company’s transformation and what new products it plans to introduce to boost its digital presence.
The company launched its marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) last week as well as a digital wallet to accompany its NFT trading platform as a way to move past its legacy video game business.
Based on moves in the options market, traders are pricing in a sizable post-earnings swing for GME shares following the report, with a possible implied move of about 20% in either direction.
GME Daily Chart
GME shares, which were at the heart of the epic ‘meme stock’ trading frenzy in 2021, ended Friday’s session at $137.21. At current levels, the video game retailer has a market cap of $10.4 billion.
The popular meme stock has climbed roughly 77% since falling to a 52-week low of $77.58 on Mar. 14. Despite the recent bounce, GME is still down 7.5% year-to-date and is roughly 72% below its record peak of $483.00 reached in late January 2021.
Stock To Dump: Lululemon Athletica
Lululemon Athletica’s (NASDAQ:LULU) stock, which sank to its lowest level since May 2020 last week, is expected to suffer another challenging week as investors brace for disappointing profit and sales growth when the leisurewear retailer announces first quarter earnings on Thursday, June 2 after the closing bell.
According to InvestingPro+, consensus calls for Q1 earnings per share of $1.43, improving 23.2% from EPS of $1.16 in the year-ago period, but slowing from profit growth of 30.6% in the preceding quarter.
Sales for the period are expected to rise roughly 25% year-over-year to $1.546 billion, down from revenue growth of 23% in the prior quarter.
LULU Earnings Estimates
Perhaps of greater importance, Lululemon’s outlook for the rest of the year will be in focus as the athletic apparel company deals with lingering macroeconomic headwinds, such as supply constraints, elevated inflationary pressures, and rising fuel and freight costs.
Commentary from executives regarding the health of the U.S. consumer will also be scrutinized as shoppers spend less on discretionary items, such as yoga gear and sportswear, amid rising gas and food prices.
Options traders are pricing in a large move for LULU shares following the results, with a possible implied move of about 9.4% in either direction.
LULU Daily Chart
Lululemon fell to a two-year low of $251.51 on May 25, before staging a mild recovery to close at $293.65 by end of trade Friday. At current valuations, the Canadian athletic apparel maker has a market cap of roughly $37.6 billion.
Year-to-date, LULU shares are down 25%, underperforming the broader market over the same timeframe. It currently sits about 40% below its all-time peak of $485.83 touched in November 2021.
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