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Ahead of the Tape

Last Build Date: Wed, 24 May 2017 00:34:09 EDT

Copyright: copyright © 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

The Loneliness of the Newspaper Stockpicker

Thu, 18 May 2017 17:33:05 EDT

The Wall Street Journal’s Ahead of the Tape column has been trying to predict markets, earnings and indicators for 15 years. It hasn’t always been easy.

Wal-Mart Gets Credit for E-Commerce

Wed, 17 May 2017 17:10:33 EDT

It has been an earnings season to forget for retailers. Wal-Mart Stores, the biggest of all, at least appears better-positioned than most.

Cisco's Future Is Looking More Secure

Tue, 16 May 2017 20:49:58 EDT

Cisco’s underperforming stock is due for a lift with the tech giant’s security business in focus as it reports earnings.

Amazon's IPO at 20: That Amazing Return You Didn't Earn

Mon, 15 May 2017 12:20:10 EDT

Amazon’s stock has surged in its 20 years of trading, but few investors stayed on the roller-coaster to get those gains.

Don't Be Fooled: Consumer Spending Is Just Fine Despite Department-Store Turmoil

Fri, 12 May 2017 11:50:22 EDT

Friday’s retail-sales report will likely show consumer spending rebounded swiftly in April following yet another difficult start to the year.

Why Shorts Are Betting on Big Markdowns in Department Stores

Wed, 10 May 2017 16:43:50 EDT

Short sellers have targeted department-store operators ahead of a slew of earnings this week.

Snap Earnings: The Moment of Truth

Wed, 10 May 2017 12:59:20 EDT

Snap’s first earnings report as a public company is likely to leave investors wanting more.

Disney Earnings: Why the News Won't Be All Bad at ESPN

Tue, 09 May 2017 08:35:33 EDT

Disney’s stock has underperformed over the past two years thanks to ESPN; why the stock could be due for a rebound.

U.S. Companies Strike an Earnings Gusher

Mon, 08 May 2017 02:05:02 EDT

Earnings season has offered plenty of reasons for investors to be optimistic. Even more good news is on the way.

Shake Shack's Fat Valuation Isn't Healthy

Wed, 03 May 2017 17:22:06 EDT

Shake Shack shares are down 5% so far this year and have fallen 26% since the closing price on the day it began trading in January 2015—among the worst performers of so-called fast-casual dining chains.

Instagram Saps Snap and Flatters Facebook

Wed, 03 May 2017 16:51:18 EDT

Facebook is now benefiting from sharpened focus on its photo-sharing app Instagram. That has catapulted the social network’s market value north of $440 billion, the fifth highest in the S&P 500.

Coach Browses the Sale Rack

Tue, 02 May 2017 17:18:22 EDT

As Coach’s turnaround takes shape, a buying spree might be next.

Apple Has More Room to Grow

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 12:04:27 EDT

Apple’s shares are expected to continue rallying ahead of the release of the highly anticipated new iPhone later this year.

First 100 Days: The Trump Trade's 'Ridiculous Standard'

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:17:31 EDT

Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office have produced a strong stock market but weak economic growth; he should get an incomplete for both

Can Under Armour Rebound?

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:49:40 EDT

Under Armour is the worst-performing S&P 500 stock so far this year. Thursday’s earnings might finally be the catalyst it needs to give shares a lift.

Get Ready for Another Grim Quarter for Twitter

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:37:29 EDT

The social-media site is expected to suffer declines in revenue, user engagement and advertising.

Time to Hit the Brakes on Caterpillar's Rally

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:27:47 EDT

Caterpillar’s stock appears to have outrun the company’s fundamentals ahead of Tuesday’s earnings report

A Moment of Truth for Alcoa-Arconic Split

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:01:31 EDT

Alcoa’s and Arconic’s big gains following last year’s split will be put to the test when both report earnings this week.

GE Is Overdue for Some Good News

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:57:44 EDT

GE’s earnings report Friday could be the needed catalyst to get the conglomerate’s shares going again.

It Is Time for Verizon to Make a Deal

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 16:54:00 EDT

Verizon’s growth is slowing and its stock is sputtering ahead of Thursday’s earnings report

On the Right Track, CSX Is Now One Pricey Bet

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:08:42 EDT

Investors are optimistic about CSX’s new CEO Hunter Harrison, but he faces a high bar following the stock’s sharp rally.

Investors Are Giving IBM Too Much Credit

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:51:33 EDT

IBM’s sharp rally, which caught many off guard, looks due for a breather.

United Continental Will Get Some Much-Needed Good News

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 11:33:17 EDT

Earnings should be healthy at the airline, but investors will be watching bookings and the outlook.

Retail Sales: It Isn't the Weather This Time

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 11:33:37 EDT

Weak consumer spending growth can be blamed on slower auto sales and higher savings, but could weigh on the economy.

Inflation Is Back, But Don't Worry

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:39:50 EDT

Inflation is up but expectations are showing consumers aren’t expecting a much bigger rise, which is good news for the economy.

WhyBanks Could Regain Momentum

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:31:53 EDT

Expectations have been lowered for major banks’ first-quarter earnings, but 2017 should still be good year for the sector.

Small Caps Are Losing the Earnings Race

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 21:53:01 EDT

After a strong rally, the Russell 2000 has lagged behind this year, a trend that looks set to continue.

Nothing to Fear but the Lack of Fear in Markets

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 09:09:41 EDT

Investors have taken recent geopolitical events in stride, but that won’t last forever.

March Jobs Report Could Be Under the Weather

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 13:09:16 EDT

Economists warn that Friday’s jobs report will likely be skewed by winter storm Stella.

Constellation Brands: This Trump Trade Has More Upside Ahead

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:39:38 EDT

Shares of Constellation Brands have suffered from President Donald Trump’s posturing toward Mexico, but the selloff looks overdone

Why Contrarians Won't Clean Up in Bed Bath & Beyond

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:14:59 EDT

Bed Bath & Beyond’s shares are trading near their lowest level since September 2010 and analysts don’t see an end to the slump.

This Volatility Warning Has a Different Ring to It Today

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:29:10 EDT

Extreme volatility hasn’t played out like James Dimon predicted a year ago, but low volatility is creating a whole bunch of new concerns.

Manufacturing's Recovery Is a Double-Edged Sword

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 18:43:11 EDT

Stronger manufacturing activity bodes well for economic growth but isn’t necessarily great for stock investors

Sentiment vs. Reality: The Economy Is Telling Two Different Stories

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 01:27:26 EDT

The difference between what people say about the economy and actual economic performance is at a record.

Investors Don't Have Too Much of a Good Thing

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:16:06 EDT

There are plenty of warning signs in today’s market, but earnings growth isn’t one of them.

Time for Lululemon to Get Off the Mat

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:38:43 EDT

Lululemon’s historically rich valuation finally looks compelling enough ahead of Wednesday’s earnings results.

Carnival Shareholders Are Having Fun Now, Too

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:34:03 EDT

Carnival shares are at records, having fully recovered from last year’s Zika-related concerns, and appear to have more upside if bookings hold up and international growth remains strong.

Why the 'Trump Slump' Still Stings for Mom-and-Pop Investors

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:52:47 EDT

In a market that has churned higher since the election without much getting in the way, investors shouldn’t be fazed by the first sign of volatility. The problem is, they usually are.

Companies Are Finally Splashing the Cash

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:54:48 EDT

Friday’s durable-goods report should show business investment remains on an upswing.

GameStop's Weak Holiday Season Might Just Be the Beginning

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:24:18 EDT

Videogame retailer’s difficult holiday season likely isn’t an anomaly, which should keep pressuring its stock price

Why Winnebago Can Keep Riding the RV Boom

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:15:41 EDT

Americans are buying motor homes at a record pace, making Winnebago one of the big beneficiaries of this recent surge. The favorable conditions and a reasonable price/earnings multiple heading into Wednesday’s quarterly results suggest the good times should roll on.

Nike Faces a Tougher Bracket

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:08:40 EDT

Nike’s dominant yet reduced exposure at the NCAA Tournament represents the quandary it faces on a global scale. The sportswear company and its affiliated Jordan Brand outfit 40 of the 68 teams in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, making them by far the most visible logos on shoes and jerseys. But that number is down from 41 last year and 48 in 2015.

Surprise: Good Economic News Isn't Always Great News for Investors

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:12:22 EDT

Good news keeps coming for the U.S. economy. For contrarian investors, this isn’t exactly great news.

Tiffany Sparkles but Not for Long

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:23:44 EDT

The luxury retailer’s shares are up 12% since the departure of its chief executive was announced, but the rebound doesn’t look like it will last.

First Snap, Now Canada Goose: Warning Signs for Trendy IPOs

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:18:26 EDT

An IPO’s performance is dictated as much by fundamentals as it is by the overall market cycle.