U.S. equities are trading with modest losses on Monday as the U.S.-China trade standoff looks set to take a turn for the worst. The latest is chatter that Beijing could retaliate with an export ban on rare earth metals into the United States, with President Xi Jinping visiting the facilities of JL MAG Rare-Earth in what looks like a scripted warning.
This follows the over-the-weekend signing of an executive order by President Trump that prohibits U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei without getting a special license first. This is adding to the impression that the trade fight isn’t going to be resolved anytime soon and could well be a drag on both economic and earnings growth going forward.
Investors, for their part, are seeking refuge in key defensive stocks that are holding up well in the volatile environment. Here are five large-cap stocks to consider:
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) shares are flirting with new record highs on Monday, continuing to pressure the $255-a-share level, capping a massive 46% rally off of the lows seen in late December. The company recently announced an extended partnership with Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) to provide drivers with immediate access to their earnings.
The company will next report results on July 30 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.82 per share on revenues of $4.1 billion. When the company last reported on April 30, earnings of $1.78 beat estimates by 12 cents on a 8.6% rise in revenues.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares are consolidating near recent highs around the $130-a-share threshold. Recent results have revealed growing momentum in its Office and cloud businesses. The company has been busily penning partnership agreements with the likes of Sony (NYSE:SNE) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) to pursue new strategic initiatives around technology like blockchain and AI.
The company will next report results on July 18 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.21 per share on revenues of $32.6 billion. When the company last reported on April 24, earnings of $1.14 beat estimates by 14 cents on a 14% rise in revenues.
Visa (NYSE:V) shares are also hovering near recent highs, attempting to break through the $165-a-share level, capping a near 40% rally off of the lows set in late December. The 50-day moving average has been providing consistent and steady support, setting up a breakout to new records. Coverage was recently resumed at Goldman with a Buy rating.
The company will next report results on July 24 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.33 per share on revenues of $5.7 billion. When the company last reported on April 24, earnings of $1.31 per share beat estimates by 7 cents on an 8.3% rise in revenues.
Disney (NYSE:DIS) shares are sitting in the middle of a two-month consolidation range that capped a 22% rally out of a long consolidation channel going all the way back to 2015. The big recent news was that the company assumed full operational control of over-the-top streaming provider Hulu — broadening the company’s efforts to challenge Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
The company will next report results on Aug. 7 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.7 per share on revenues of $21.5 billion. When the company last reported on May 8, earnings of $1.61 per share beat estimates by 4 cents on a 2.6% rise in revenues.
Pepsi (NASDAQ:PEP), like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), is enjoying a steady bid here as investors flock to defensive consumer staple names. The push to new record highs marks an exit from a three-year-long consolidation range centered near $110. The company was recently upgraded by analysts at Goldman, lifting their rating out of sell territory.
The company will next report results on July 9 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.5 per share on revenues of $16.3 billion. When the company last reported on April 17, earnings of 97 cents per share beat estimates by 4 cents on a 2.6% rise in revenues.
As of this writing, William Roth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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