Note: We will provide a condensed Weekly Roundup next Thursday focused on macro themes due to the shortened Easter holiday week in the markets. We will of course include any stock-specific information as warranted should any of our views change throughout the week.

Markets ended roughly flat this week as investors digested several macro pieces of data -- with the nonfarm payrolls report being the highlight -- as well as President Trump's decision to strike Syria on Thursday evening following a chemical attack in the country earlier in the week. Adding to the market highlights, investors remained focused on the president's meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, one that could set the tone for future relations with China.

Wednesday was the most intriguing trading day of the week, with an early morning spike (coming as the result of an upbeat ADP employment number that blew past consensus estimates -- more below) ultimately wiped away by the close, resulting in one of the largest intraday swings in some time. Afternoon trading was impacted by the FOMC's March meeting minutes, which touched on views that the markets may be overvalued compared to historical valuations (more below) and also revealed the Fed's interest in unwinding its massive balance sheet. Contributing to the afternoon decline, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan also announced that tax reform would take longer than the efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, which were ultimately unsuccessful.

Equities traded mostly sideways to close out the week, somewhat surprisingly, as markets saw seemingly little impact from a relatively weak jobs report as well as from the U.S. missile strike in Syria. Investors will be closely watching over the weekend and into next week what implications will come from the attack and how markets will be impacted moving forward. As for the surprisingly weak jobs report, the Fed will remain in focus given the expectations for two more rate hikes this year. Shortly, all may be overshadowed by the coming onslaught of first-quarter earnings, which could be the main aspect supporting stocks in an uncertain political environment.

For this week, Treasury yields sold off, continuing their downtrend and anticipating a weaker jobs number (although they rebounded throughout the day on Friday). The dollar was relatively flat against the euro for the majority of the week as investors digested Mario Draghi's comments on the continuation of the European Central Bank's stimulus program, but the greenback gained strength on Friday following the attack on Syria. Gold was also strong for the week as safe-haven assets rallied on the geopolitical uncertainty. Lastly, oil continued to find support and pushed higher on the prospects of improving fundamentals throughout the summer as well as potential disruptions resulting from the attack on Syria.

Fourth-quarter equivalent earnings have wound down and were relatively positive versus expectations, with 65.5% of companies reporting a positive EPS surprise. First-quarter earnings season will be ramping quickly in the coming weeks. Walgreens (WBA) was the only company within portfolio to report earnings this week.

Walgreens reported somewhat of a sloppy quarter on Wednesday. Revenue came in around $29.5 billion (down 2.4% from the previous year period, but up 2.2% on a constant-currency basis excluding the impact of the leap year in 2016), missing consensus of $30.17 billion, and earnings of $1.36 a share were in line with consensus expectations. The in-line EPS for the quarter maintains a streak of nine straight bottom-line beats or meets for quarterly reports, with the prior eight before today being beats. Digging deeper into the quarter, U.S. retail pharmacy results were slightly worse than expected, as prescription comp growth, which helped the company increase market share by 100 basis points, was offset by gross margin concessions, and continued strength in wellness and beauty was offset by continued weakness in consumable, general merchandise and personal care. Overall, front-end comps decreased by 0.8% year over year. Internationally, retail pharmacy results came roughly in line with expectations as constant-currency growth in comparable stores was down 0.9%, driven by strength in the front-end for the U.K., Ireland and Thailand, which contributed to 0.6% same-store sales growth, but offset by a 3.7% decline in comp prescription sales due to the reduction of pharmacy funding in the U.K. Pharmaceutical wholesale also came in roughly in line to negative, as constant-currency comps were up 5.2% -- strong but slightly under internal plans due to challenges in Europe.

On the economic front, all eyes were on the jobs report toward the end of the week, but that is not to say markets were not given some excitement leading up to the print.

Kicking off the week, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) released its March Manufacturing Index, with the PMI coming in at 57.2, just beating estimates for 57 but down slightly from last month's reading of 57.7. Recall that anything over 50 represents expansion while anything below 50 indicates a contraction. Importantly, March marked the 94th month in a row that the index has indicated an expansion in the overall economy and the seventh straight month in the manufacturing sector. All but one of the 18 industries tracked by the index reported growth.

Digging a little deeper, new orders came in at 64.5 versus last month's reading of 65.1, marking the seventh straight month of new-order growth. Employment was also strong, rising 4.7 points to 58.9 from 54.2, the sixth straight month of employment growth (later supported by the ADP private-sector report and the jobs report on Friday). Within the employment figures, we saw an accelerated pace of both hiring and also hours worked. Net exports were also up, growing to a reading of 59 from 55 last month, while imports decreased to 53.5 from 54. Recall that net exports are a key factor in GDP calculations (exports adding to GDP and imports subtracting from it), so any increase in net exports should be taken as positive news. Perhaps a sign of a new trend, the reading marked the largest increase in net exports since November 2013.

On Wednesday, the markets enjoyed a jolt in the morning from a strong private-sector payrolls report from ADP, showing an increase of 263,000 jobs, easily beating out estimates for an increase of 185,000. The strong number comes on the heels of a 245,000 jump in February, although the figure was revised down from 289,000 in the original report. March marked the largest monthly rise in employment according to the ADP report since December 2014. While ADP numbers are based on slightly different sources than the Labor Department's nonfarm payroll numbers (ADP does not include government jobs, for example), the two readings do have a general tendency to illustrate the same trend.

The headline number can be further broken down into a "goods-producing" sector and a "service-providing" sector. The goods-producing sector accounted for 82,000 jobs out of the 263,000 while the service-providing sector made up the remaining 181,000. All subsectors within the goods-producing sector showed an increase in employment, with construction leading the way (49,000 jobs created), followed by manufacturing (30,000) and natural resources/mining (4,000). In the service-providing sector, job creation was led by professional/business job creation (57,000), followed by leisure/hospitality (55,000), trade/transportation/utilities (34,000), financial activity (25,000), education/health (13,000) and other services (6,000), while the information subsector was the only one to show a decline in jobs. More importantly, in the improving business environment with consumer confidence increasing, businesses appear ready to reinvest with hiring to help support future growth.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims for the week ending April 1 were 234,000, a sharp decrease of 25,000 claims from the prior week's revised numbers and 16,000 claims lower than the market's expectations. The drop was the largest since April 2015 and followed ADP's strong private payrolls report, fueling speculation of continued strength in the labor market. Importantly, the drop was the first time in the past month that claims came in below expectations (a positive sign for the market). As a reminder, the government updated jobless claims in the prior report, going back five years, as it does annually, to consider more accurate seasonal adjustments. The updates show that layoffs have remained extremely low but were a bit higher than previously reported, mostly when considering data from 2016. The overall trend continues to be strong, with claims having remained below 300,000 -- the threshold typically used to categorize a healthy jobs market -- for an astounding 82 straight weeks (compared with 109 under the older seasonal-adjustment process, according to the updated data), the longest streak since 1970. The four-week moving average for claims (used as a gauge to offset volatility in the weekly numbers) fell by 4,500 claims to 250,000 last week. Importantly, this data had no impact on Friday's jobs report given that it was out of the survey range. Claims did rise during the survey week for March's nonfarm payrolls report, however, perhaps somewhat mitigating expectations for the report.

The Labor Department reported that the economy added a paltry 98,000 jobs in March, lower than expectations for an increase of 180,000 and the lowest number of the year so far. With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates for only the third time since the recession at last month's policy meeting, investors had been looking for a stronger number, especially after the better-than-expected ADP private-sector payrolls report from earlier in the week.

Digging deeper into the report, the unemployment rate in March dipped again to 4.5%, down from February's 4.7% figure, where expectations were also set up for this report. This is the lowest level for unemployment since May 2007. The lower unemployment rate comes as the growth in the number of employed workers outpaced that of the labor force. For those skeptical of this measure of unemployment, a different, broad measure of unemployment and underemployment known as the U-6 -- which accounts for those working part time due to the inability to find full-time work -- was 8.9% in March (lowest since December 2007), down from 9.9% a year earlier and 9.2% in February.

As is typical with each new payrolls report, the previous months' jobs data were revised lower, putting a slightly less optimistic view that had characterized the beginning of the year. The February report was revised to 219,000 from 235,000, while the January report was revised to 216,000 from 238,000, for a net decrease of 38,000. Even with the revisions, numbers above 200,000 generally represent strong hiring and are above 2016's average of 187,000 jobs added per month. That being said, over the past three months, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month, below last year's overall average, which was also lower than the previous year.

In March, the labor participation rate remained flat at 63% from February, a reversal in fortune from the prior report, which seemed to indicate some additional slack in the labor market moving forward. For historical context, the participation rate has steadily trended lower since a peak in 2000 (reflecting an aging population), but there has been incremental optimism in recent months that stagnation and some signals of uptick may indicate that some workers are coming off the sidelines as confidence in the expanding economy increases. March's return to no growth in the participation rate may quell those expectations for now.

Taking a step back, some of the weakness in this report can be attributable to weather factors. While we do not like to blame the weather for impacts to business, sometimes there is enough evidence to at least suspect a resulting effect. For example, February was the second-warmest on record, perhaps causing some hiring that would be typical for March to be pulled forward. That being said, this is why we value the three-month trend, which helps smooth out any month-to-month volatility. In addition, however, the hiring in construction is telling: The industry added only 6,000 jobs in March after adding 59,000 in February and a similarly strong number in January. Winter Storm Stella in March likely had an impact on the ability to start and finish construction projects throughout the month, dampening the need for hiring.

We cannot, however, blame all the weakness on weather. Retailers shed 29,700 jobs in March, indicative of the recent store closings rampant across the industry. If it was not obvious enough before, this report confirms that retail is unequivocally weak, fighting a losing battle against the giant that is Amazon (AMZN) .

Wages were neither here nor there in the March report. Average hourly earnings in March rose 2.7% (68 cents) from a year earlier, softer than the 2.8% annual growth posted in February. Meanwhile, on a month-to-month basis, hourly earnings in March rose 0.2% (5 cents), roughly in line with the expectations. Rising pay is important as it is typically a sign that strong hiring is flowing through to the rest of the economy. Increasing inflation has been one of the Fed's mandates when looking to raise rates, so investors would like to see stronger growth in wages to support future hikes.

On the commodity front, crude oil showed an upward trend as prices broke above the $50 threshold after reaching several-month lows in recent weeks. While any large move in either direction is likely predicated on OPEC's next move at its meeting in Vienna toward the end of next month, incremental data have been somewhat positive, enough to support prices at levels higher than the recent lows.

The week started off on slightly fragile footing, breaking a streak of wins from the prior week after Libya production resumed, according to local officials on Monday. Supply disruptions globally have been key to propping up prices in the short term of late, especially in a country like Libya, which has been exempt from the OPEC production agreement (i.e., any disruption takes even more supply than initially expected from the market). The slight weakness on Monday was only natural after prices had risen on news of the outage last week.

The trend was more positive once we moved past Monday. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude stockpiles rose 1.6 million barrels to another record high, missing expectations for a slight draw in inventories after a more bullish inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday. The API's report showed a decrease of 1.8 million barrels in crude stockpiles and a draw of 618,000 barrels of gasoline supplies.

The decline in gasoline inventories was similar in both reports, but each number missed expectations for a larger decline. Prices were initially much stronger on Wednesday morning after the more-positive API report and pulled back following the EIA's numbers. As a reminder, demand is expected to pick up around this time of year as we head into the summer driving months, and with gasoline stocks being a proxy for demand, investors look for large declines to demonstrate that the seasonal trend will continue.

The EIA also noted that U.S. production increased by 52,000 barrels per day to roughly 9.2 million, showing that U.S. companies continue to ramp production as global peers seek to curb output amid growing global supplies. Even so, with oil holding its ground, traders appear to be more positive, for now, on the supply dynamic after an unplanned production outage in the North Sea -- Britain's Buzzard field, which produces 180,000 barrels per day -- added fuel for the bargain hunters.

Oil was stronger on Thursday, bouncing off the downtrend that closed out Wednesday's session. Traders appeared to shift focus to improving fundamentals on the demand side as U.S. refiners pick up activity and Chinese imports pick up steam. Independent refiners in China, which is the dominant buyer of U.S. crude as of February, are expected to re-up activity after a period of annual maintenance. This, combined with incrementally more positive sentiment surrounding hopes for a production agreement extension, has the outlook for oil somewhat improving this quarter.

To close out the week, all eyes were on the Tomahawk missile strike in Syria on Thursday evening, a move that creates geopolitical risk and uncertainty, which can cause oil prices to trade higher in the immediate term due to expectations for potential supply disruptions. Syria has little impact on oil fundamentals, but its neighbors and allies control much of the production in the Middle East.

Within the portfolio this week, we added to our Magellan (MMP) and Southwest (LUV) positions early in the week, holding off for more favorable buying opportunities across the portfolio. We had recommended members purchase LUV when we were restricted and we followed up with a purchase of our own the next day. On MMP, we increasingly like the solid distribution in the wake of faltering Treasury yields.

On Thursday, we added to Snap-On (SNA) , Danaher (DHR) and Cimarex (XEC) , DHR and SNA being core holdings that we have been watching closely. Specifically on DHR, we have been waiting to buy this name for months after the stock rallied shortly after our initial purchase, and even though the buy this week was above our basis, we wanted members to take advantage of a down day in the name, something that has become few and far between. As for XEC, we have seen around the $117 level provide some support and we took advantage of the depressed price even while oil and the energy sector had strong days.

On Friday, we trimmed Apache (APA) and Schlumberger (SLB) , taking advantage of the uptrend in oil following the airstrike in Syria.

We also were gifted shares of DXC Technology (DXC) as part of our HP Enterprise (HPE) position.

Finally, we downgraded Newell (NWL) to Two, a reflection of our near-term concerns regarding retail end markets but not indicative of our continued longer-term bullishness as the company begins to benefit from recent divestitures and the Jarden acquisition.

Moving on to the broader market, as we mentioned, fourth-quarter earnings have wound down, and they were better than expected, proving to be somewhat positive compared to estimates. First-quarter earnings will be ramping shortly. Total fourth-quarter earnings growth was up roughly 5.8% year over year; of the 433 non-financials that reported, earnings growth was 5.8% versus expectations for an overall 5.7% increase throughout the season. Revenues were up 4.1% versus expectations throughout the season for a 4.08% increase; 65.5% of companies beat EPS expectations, 23% missed the mark and 11.5% were in line with consensus. On a year-over-year comparison basis, 71.8% beat the prior year's EPS results, 25.4% came up short and 2.8% were virtually in line. Information tech, financials and health care had the strongest performance versus estimates, whereas real estate, telecom and utilities posted the worst results in the S&P 500.

Next week, six companies in the S&P 500 will report earnings. Within the portfolio, Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) will report. Other key earnings reports for the market include: Layne Christenson (LAYN), Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK), Fastenal (FAST), Shaw Comms (SJR), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Taiwan Semi (TSM), Infosys (INFY), PNC (PNC), First Republic Bank (FRC) and First Horizon (FHN).

Economic Data (*all times ET)


Monday (4/10)

Tuesday (4/11)

NFIB Small Business Optimism (6:00)

Wednesday (4/12)

MBA Mortgage Applications (7:00)

Import Price Index MoM (8:30): -0.2% expected

Monthly Budget Statement (14:00)

Thursday (4/13)

Initial Jobless Claims (8:30):

Continuing Claims (8:30)

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (9:45)

U of Mich Sentiment (10:00): 97.2 expected

PPI Final Demand MoM (8:30): 0% expected

PPI Final Demand YoY (8:30): 2.4% expected

PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM (8:30): 0.2% expected

PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY (8:30): 1.8% expected

Friday (4/14) - Good Friday (markets closed)

CPI MoM (8:30): 0% expected

CPI YoY (8:30): 2.6% expected

CPI Ex Food and Energy MoM (8:30): 0.2% expected

Retail Sales Advance MoM (8:30): 0.1% expected

Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM (8:30): 0.3% expected

Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas MoM (8:30): 0.3% expected


Monday (4/10)

Tuesday (4/11)

China CPI MoM (21:30): 1.0% expected

China CPI YoY (21:30): 7.4% expected

Eurozone Agg Industrial Production SA MoM (5:00)

Eurozone Agg Industrial Production WDA YoY (5:00)

Eurozone Agg ZEW Survey Expectations (5:00)

Germany ZEW Survey Current Situation (5:00)

Germany ZEW Survey Expectations (5:00)

Japan Machine Tool Orders YoY (2:50)

Japan Machine Orders MoM (19:50): 4.0% expected

Japan Machine Orders YoY (19:50): 2.5% expected

Japan PPI YoY (19:50): 1.4% expected

UK CPI MoM (4:30): 2.2% expected

UK CPI YoY (4:30): 2.2% expected

UK CPI Core YoY (4:30): 1.8% expected

UK PPI Output NSA MoM (4:30): 0.2% expected

UK PPI Output NSA YoY (4:30): 3.4% expected

UK RPI MoM (4:30): 0.3% expected

UK RPI YoY (4:30): 3.1% expected

UK Retail Price Index (4:30): 269.1 expected

Wednesday (4/12)

Japan Money Stock M2 YoY (19:50): 4.2% expected

Japan Money Stock M3 YoY (19:50): 3.7% expected

UK Jobless Claims Change (4:30)

UK ILO Unemployment Rate 3Mths (4:30): 4.7% expected

UK Claimant Count Rate (4:30)

Thursday (4/13)

Germany CPI MoM (2:00)

Germany CPI YoY (2:00)

Germany EU Harmonized MoM (2:00)

Germany EU Harmonized YoY (2:00)

Friday (4/14)

Japan Industrial Production MoM (00:30)

Japan Industrial Production YoY (00:30)

Japan Capacity Utilization MoM (00:30) 

New folks, welcome aboard! You're reading the Weekly Roundup of the charitable trust that Jim talks about regularly on Mad Money and in his new bestseller, Get Rich Carefully. Jim put $3 million of his own money into this charitable trust so that you, the subscriber, can learn how he and the Action Alerts PLUS staff make decisions about a diversified portfolio and make money. You'll see every position in every stock, and we'll send you alerts BEFORE every trade. And best of all, all profits go to charity -- we've donated $1.8 million to date. 

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Here's the quick guide to the rating system, too: Ones are stocks we would buy right now, Twos are stocks that we'd buy on a pullback, Threes are stocks we would sell on strength and Fours are stocks we want to unload as soon as our trading restrictions allow.


Allergan (AGN) ; $238.85; 550 shares; 4.83%; Sector: Health care): Shares traded slightly lower this week even as the company received some encouraging news on its Botox drug, which may have some applications in major depressive disorder (MDD). A Phase II study showed that Botox demonstrated numerically superior efficacy in treating depression compared to a placebo. The results were slightly mixed, showing statistical significance at weeks three and nine in the primary endpoint, but failing to show significance at week six. Even so, AGN will be moving forward with a Phase III study, and we believe its expertise with the drug makes management well-versed in deciding whether to explore potential opportunities in other areas. While the study may not ramp until 2018, the potential only adds to the abundant shots on goal that Allergan owns within its vastly underappreciated pipeline. We reiterate our $270 target.

Apache (APA) ; $52.64 2,000 shares; 3.87%; Sector: Energy): Shares outperformed the market this week and traded higher while oil prices built off the momentum of last week's rally. We trimmed our position slightly on Friday following the missile strike on Syria Thursday evening, a move that caused an upshot in oil prices. We want to make it clear that we still like this name, but we see an opportunity to trade in the near term. We typically do not like to trade around a name in the short term, but we believe this one-time event has artificially inflated oil prices in the short term and we want to be able to purchase additional shares of APA at lower levels should we get the opportunity. We felt as if we would not be able to do so with our prior weighting, which was heavily over 4% of the portfolio. We have itched to buy APA near the $50 level, but have been unable to in recent days due to our large weighting, but this trade creates additional room. We reiterate our $70 target.

Cimarex (XEC) ; $118.22; 825 shares; 3.59%; Sector: Energy): Shares lagged the energy sector, which saw a boost from stronger oil prices. We took advantage of the dip and added slightly to the position around the $117 level, which has provided support in recent weeks. We still view the name as a good buy for those who are underweight the sector/name. We like the company's operational efficiency in the Permian, exposure that allows it to make money even at lower oil prices. With production expecting to ramp through 2018, we like the longer-term story. We reiterate our $150 target.

Comcast (CMCSA) ; $38.03; 2,000 shares; 2.80%; Sector: Consumer Discretionary): Shares outperformed this week, with the stock finally breaking above a trading range established after the initial run following the company's strong earnings report in late January. The strength was largely due to an investor meeting the company held to announce a new Xfinity mobile offering. Comcast will release the wireless phone service later this year, with availability on Apple (AAPL) iPhones and Samsung devices, as well as others. The mobile service is a result of the company striking an earlier deal to utilize Verizon's (VZ) network as a mobile network virtual operator (MVNO). We spoke about Comcast's plans to move into this space in a Weekly Roundup from last year here. Essentially, Comcast will pay Verizon to provide mobile access for its Xfinity mobile customers. To minimize the cost (Comcast pays Verizon for the data used), however, Comcast will utilize its large network of Wi-Fi hotspots to provide service. Comcast's service will automatically favor these 16 million hotspots when available as opposed to Verizon's network. On the call with analysts, Comcast executives noted that the service is expected to be cash flow positive, at least at a limited scale. The company has been preparing for this rollout for some time, surveying the market and testing with employees before the announcement -- we appreciate this disciplined approach. In the end, the new offering expands Comcast's already massive ecosystem of service offerings, further building loyalty from customers. We do not want to speculate too much until the service is officially brought to market, but we continue to like CMCSA's diversified business model (this adds another piece) and respect the company's scale. Investors sure seem to be pleased with the announcement, which appears to be just one of the positives underpinning the thesis moving forward. We reiterate our $43 target.

Danaher (DHR) ; $86.07; 800 shares; 2.53%; Sector: Life Sciences): Shares traded higher this week, outperforming the broader market on little news. We have been itching to add to this name for several months after initiating on the name back in January (read here). We decided to pull the trigger this week as the stock showed some unusual weakness, finally allowing us an opportunity to bulk up on the position. We only added 200 shares as we did not want to be overeager with the stock trading strongly above our basis, but we continue to see an opportunity in this name that is finally starting to profit off its recent separation of Fortive (FTV) . We applaud this management's DBS (Danaher business system) operating model, which is driving efficiencies and margin improvement. We reiterate our $94 target.

DXC Technology (DXC) ; $75.87; 171 shares; 0.48%; Sector: Tech Services): Shares were created this week as a result of the spin merger between HPE Enterprise Services and Computer Sciences. We provided a deep dive into the new company and its future prospects here, which we encourage members to read. The stock surged following the opening of trading on Monday as investors got familiar with the story told by CEO Mike Lawrie at last week's investor meeting. We note that trading can tend to be volatile when spinoffs occur. We prefer to closely follow the name for now, but we like the story and we are buyers for the long term, and given our small weighting in the name, we have the luxury to scale into a large position at a measured pace. Given the dynamics surrounding the merger, we would likely prefer to have time to get comfortable with trading in the name, but we are ready to pull the trigger if we feel there is an opportunity. Ideally, we would wait until around $66 to add shares, the levels at which CSC traded prior to the analyst day, but we understand we may not get that opportunity next week when we are unrestricted. We are initiating an $81 target in DXC to start, reflecting roughly 10x calendar 2018 EPS, which we view as appropriately conservative to account for the uncertainties embedded in the integration of HPE ES and transformation to a digital services provider. Although we are watching the trading in the name initially, we rate the stock One given the prospects for long-term benefits from the transformation.

Facebook (FB) ; $140.78; 1,000 shares; 5.18%; Sector: Technology): Shares traded slightly lower this week, crossing above $143 before pulling back slightly to close out the week. We continue to like FB for the long term, unsurprising as the stock remains our largest portfolio position. We are interested to see the market reaction to the upcoming earnings report as the company has been consistent in its commentary that 2017 will be both an investment year and one that goes up against extremely tough compares from the prior year. While investors initially sold the name on this commentary in previous earnings calls, the stock has predictably rebounded to reach new highs. We are optimistic that the market has digested these comments, but we also recognize that the market tends to be irrational in the short term, so the upcoming earnings report could still be faced with unreasonably high expectations. For the long term, FB owns its core platform, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus, most of which are at the beginning stages of monetization while the core platform has ramped up product initiatives of late to add new revenue streams (think: video). We reiterate our $160 target and will review following earnings.

General Electric (GE) ; $29.99; 2,350; 2.59%; Sector: Industrials): GE outperformed the broader market this week, trading slightly higher and at points crossing the $30 level. The stock likely benefited from its solid 3.2% yield amid a declining interest rate environment. Recall that we have kept GE shares at One despite being disappointed in the company, as we value the dividend payout for those looking for a steady income stream. We remain confident in the long-term potential of Predix -- the company's pioneering digital industrial software -- but we recognize that this will take time for a) investors to appreciate and b) digital to grow into a larger part of the business given the sheer size of GE and its ongoing cost-cutting initiatives and divestitures of non-core assets. We reiterate our $35 target and maintain our One rating for those who are unexposed, although we are content with the size of our position here.

Alphabet (GOOGL) ; $842.10; 150 shares; 4.64%; Sector: Technology): Shares traded roughly in line with the market this week as the company continues to work to fix advertising issues and as YouTube TV launched in five markets. The stock was stronger toward the beginning of the week before showing some weakness on Thursday. As for the advertising controversy, we provided an update earlier in the week for members here. In the end, GOOGL management has worked to find the issue and put in safeguards to minimize any future impact. Partners have already started coming back to the platform, highlighting the power of Alphabet's marketing reach. We have always said we invest in companies and their management teams. Google has the right leadership required to power the company to the next level of growth. We are impressed by the way Google has responded to this controversy and we would not bet against them moving forward. We reiterate our $1,000 target.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ; $18.28; 2,000 shares; 1.34%; Sector: Tech hardware): Shares traded higher this week when adjusting for the spin-merge that created DXC Technology. The spin has already created significant value for previous shareholders of HPE. Following the split, we provided our updated view on HPE in this broader note. Overall, we believe the shares are due for a re-rating higher as visibility increases toward the end of the year, but we would not be surprised to see the stock remain range-bound until we get closer to the Software spinoff. We also point out that near-term trading may also be influenced by the spin-merge as the investor base shifts and solidifies. This is pending the upcoming quarter, however, as we believe the company has appropriately lowered expectations, perhaps leaving room for upside should management deliver on its execution plans and/or see upside from recent acquisitions. We also provided a technical view later in the week here. We believe the shares offer long-term value for those willing to wait out the disarray in the near term (all depending on your personal risk preferences). We reiterate our $21 target, which we changed to reflect the spin-merge this week.

KeyCorp (KEY) ; $17.44; 800 shares; 0.51%; Sector: Financials): Shares were weaker this week as the bond market was stronger, pushing Treasury yields lower. We added to our position last week and continue to look for opportunities to add shares, but we were patient this week as we would not be surprised to see yields show continued weakness in the immediate term. We watched the name closely on Friday for a chance to add, but were not given the opportunity. We continue to view shares as an attractive buy here, but simply would prefer for levels closer to our cost basis. We reiterate our $20 target.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) ; $54.54; 900 shares; 1.80%; Sector: Industrials): Shares traded roughly in line with the market this week, outperforming on Friday thanks to strong traffic numbers. We added to the position earlier in the week after having recommended members do so the day before, even though we were restricted (read here). On the traffic numbers, revenue passengers carried increased 3.2% year over year in March and revenue passenger miles increased 3.9% in the 12-month period. While available seat miles increased 4.5% (a measure of capacity), the numbers are encouraging as demand picks up and the airline prepares to accommodate. Southwest confirmed that revenue per available seat is expected to decrease 2%-3% in the first quarter, in line with management's prior updated guidance. We reiterate our $63 target and continue to look for opportunities to add.

Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) ; $77.20; 1,000 shares; 2.84%; Sector: Energy): MMP outperformed the market this week as the energy sector trended upward for most of the week and as Treasury yields trended lower. We added to the position on a down day, taking advantage of the chance to bulk up on the position, something we have been patiently doing since we initiated on the name late last year. A name like MMP offers visible distribution (4.5% yield with solid coverage), which is increasingly valuable in an uncertain environment where Treasury yields have faced pressure. The stock was trading slightly lower than our last purchase, offering a good opportunity to build our stake. We will continue to build if we see any further weakness. We reiterate our $89 target.

Schlumberger (SLB) ; $78.33; 1,100 shares; 3.17%; Sector: Energy): SLB outperformed the market on little news this week but benefited from strength in oil prices. We took advantage of the strength to trim our position slightly on Friday, protecting gains and opening additional room to add to the position should oil see a drop after an initial rally on the airstrike in Syria. While geopolitical risks often cause oil prices to rise due to the resulting uncertainties regarding supply disruptions, we would not be surprised to see the move be short-lived, perhaps offering better opportunities to buy into this core holding. We keep our One rating as we continue to view the name as a core holding for the long term, but we simply saw an unusual short-term trading opportunity in the name. We reiterate our $93 target.

Snap-On (SNA) ; $164.38; 575 shares; 3.47%; Sector: Industrials): Shares traded lower this week as several sectors in the "Trump trade" have stalled. We took the opportunity to add to this core holding on the weakness, lowering our basis. The stock trended higher to close out the week following our recommendation (read here). We believe there may be some lingering concerns from the latest quarter, where the stock gave back gains to record highs, but this may provide an opportunity to exceed expectations. We reiterate our $190 target.

Western Digital (WDC) ; $85.17; 1,100 shares; 3.44%; Sector: Technology Hardware): Shares traded higher this week despite a sharp selloff on Monday. While the news did not significantly impact the stock, WDC announced the release of its new WD Purple 10TB HDD. The drive is designed with home and small surveillance systems in mind; as hi-def (4K) video becomes the new industry standard, consumers require drives large enough to store the massive amounts of data that result from higher-resolution videos. More importantly, as we have mentioned in previous Alerts (read here), the supply-and-demand dynamics driving the industry as a whole remain intact as companies continue to see strong demand for NAND-based flash memory continuing throughout 2017. Confirming this, a research note released from Pacific Crest on Friday points to the fact that Samsung plans to increase 3D NAND production at its Pyeongtaek, South Korea, facility to meet demand needs and sees industry NAND growth rising 30%. Regarding Toshiba's sale of its NAND business, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has been reported to have withdrawn its bid, lessening the competition for the highly valued unit. We want to remind members that the Japanese government is likely to oppose bids from competitors such as SK Hynix, Foxconn and any other bidders that it deems may pose a national security risk due to their country of origin. While we want to refrain from speculating too much, these recent developments increase the likelihood of WDC or another American or Japanese company coming out as the winning bidder. We reiterate or $92 target on WDC.


Apple (AAPL) ; $143.34; 820 shares; 4.32%; Sector: Technology): Shares traded roughly flat this week as investors battled with balancing the stock's incredible rally this year with the safe growth offered by the company's strong brand. We downgraded the name last week as a result of the rally, but this is not reflective of our long-term view on the stock. As we noted in a Forum post this week (read here), "We are bullish on the Services stream, the upcoming iPhone 8 cycle, the opportunity in India and China, as well as the capital allocation opportunities (coming dividend increase is likely on the potential for repatriation), but we would not necessarily recommend buying right here. We would prefer to see at least a slight period of weakness before upgrading back to One." AAPL sits in a sweet spot of offering tangible catalysts in an uncertain market environment, so we cannot be sure whether shares will show any prolonged weakness. The upcoming earnings season will be telling as many of the benefits baked into the shares are for later in the year (iPhone) or even further out (continued growth in Services and repatriation/tax reform) -- we, and investors, will be paying attention to guidance and forward-looking commentary. We reiterate our $150 target for now.

Adobe (ADBE) ; $130.22; 550 shares; 2.63%; Sector: Technology): Shares traded roughly flat this week on little news. Coming off the heels of the company's marketing cloud summit, Oppenheimer released a note on Thursday pointing to healthy demand for marketing applications. As companies increasingly look for new and innovative ways to target ad campaigns, management teams must increasingly rely on analytics software, something ADBE has made a point of investing in and integrating into its now more-streamlined offering (under the ADBE Experience, which we discussed here). While we are keeping ADBE at Two, reflecting its over 25% run since the beginning of the year, we recommend buying on any prolonged weakness for those who find themselves underexposed to this digital marketing industry leader. We reiterate our $150 target

American Electric Power (AEP) ; $67.32; 500 shares; 1.24%; Sector: Utilities): Shares traded higher this week, benefiting in a declining interest rate environment. AEP's 3.5% yield, which is protected by growing earnings, offers a compelling option for those looking for steady income. That being said, we trimmed half our position last week (read here)as we believe the stock has neared a peak valuation and shares have consistently shown resistance in the upper $60s. In addition, we would prefer to allocate funds toward Magellan (MMP) , where the 4.5% yield is more intriguing and we see more upside for shares. With shares still trading under our last recommended sale (in the link above) we have held on to the name thus far, but we would still look to trim if the stock showed additional strength in the coming weeks on any further weakness in Treasury yields. We reiterate our $70 target.

Arconic (ARNC) ; $26.41; 3,000 shares; 2.91%; Sector: Industrials): Unsurprisingly, the stock had another volatile week. Shares seem intent on trading in the direction of the market on any given day, but with outsized gains or losses. We are not surprised to see this dynamic given the ongoing proxy battle between Elliott Management and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. The battle heated up again yesterday when the board of directors issued a letter urging shareholders to vote for the company's nominees instead of following Elliott's advice. We have said we will continue to wait to vote until we can acquire as much information about each side as possible. The shareholder meeting will be in mid-May. In terms of the stock, our inclination remains to trim on strength, especially for those members who are overweight the name or who need cash (we have been trimming in recent weeks). Trading will likely remain volatile as this proxy battle continues and we are wary of the approach for the upcoming quarter, given that the stock move has likely priced in higher expectations for operational improvements that we are unsure can be attained in such a short time period. We reiterate our $31 target but will continue to keep members updated as the vote at the annual meeting in May gets closer.

Citigroup (C) ; $59.43; 1,750 shares; 3.82%; Sector: Financials): Shares were slightly lower this week as the banks were broadly weaker on declining yields and a disappointing jobs report. That being said, C has held up well as investors recognize the large potential for capital return increases under a loosening regulatory environment. In addition, any buyback Citi's management executes (and we believe they are executing on any prolonged weakness) is accretive to earnings given that the bank continues to trade under tangible book value. As the regulatory environment improves and capital requirements are lowered, Citi will be able to redeploy even more funds to benefit shareholders. We will keep our Two rating for now and we are interested in adding around the middle $50s.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) ; $32.96; 3,000 shares; 3.63%; Sector: Technology): Shares were pressured this week as Arista (ANET) received favorable commentary in the patent case against CSCO. Essentially, an International Trade Commission staff attorney believes Arista's workarounds on CSCO's networking technology no longer serve as a violation. This could potentially lead to Arista being able to import its finished networking goods into the country, although this is not the final word by any means. Arista has only provided proposed workarounds and there will be another official ruling in June. Cisco intends to argue its case at the upcoming proceeding to show that ANET's changes are insignificant. Aside from this, we take a broader view on CSCO and continue to like the dividend payout coupled with the shift to higher margin services and software. We are becoming increasingly compelled to upgrade the name to One, although we will keep our Two rating for now. We reiterate our $35 target, but we see potential upside to $40 if some positives should fall into place, including cash repatriation and tax reform.

Dow Chemical (DOW) ; $63.19; 1,475 shares; 3.43%; Sector: Chemicals): Shares traded slightly lower this week, performing in line with the overall market. Recall that last week shares saw a boost after receiving approval from the European Commission (EC) for the pending merger with DuPont (DD) -- contingent upon DuPont divesting from its agrochemicals business due to competition concerns. While we still await approval from other regulatory bodies, we remain confident that they will follow the EC's lead. We see the merger completing sometime around September, at which point we will turn our focus to the breakup of Dow/DuPont into three separate value-add entities. We continue to hold Dow and reiterate our $70 target, which we increased from $67 last week following the positive news coming out of the European Commission.

Newell Brands (NWL) ; $46.22; 1,900 shares; 3.23%; Sector: Consumer Discretionary): Shares underperformed the market this week, impacted by the weakness across the retail sector. Recall from the company's last earnings report that organic growth has been weighed down by issues with mall traffic and retail partners. You can read our note here. We would not be surprised to continue to see this weakness spill over into the first quarter, whose results NWL will report on May 8. EPS is widely expected to be impacted in the quarter by the dilutive impact of the Jarden business acquisition in the prior year, but core sales growth will likely be tamed due to the struggling retail environment. As such, we are downgraded the name to Two. This is not reflective of our long-term view, but more so a short-term recognition of the pressures facing NWL's end markets. We have been patient not to buy additional shares while the stock has remained range-bound, but we would re-evaluate on any weakness (if there is any) following the upcoming quarter. Longer-term, we expect the company's operating momentum to build as the company laps easier comparisons and benefits from recent divestitures of non-core businesses. Increasing cost synergies and savings from the Jarden acquisition should also begin to flow through. We reiterate our $60 target but remain on the sidelines in the short term prior to earnings.

PepsiCo (PEP) ; $111.62; 800 shares; 3.28%; Sector: Consumer Staples): Shares traded flat to lower this week, performing in line with the overall market. Earlier this week, PEP saw backlash over its controversial Kendall Jenner ad causing a selloff in the stock midweek that flattened out heading into Friday. On Wednesday, PEP eventually pulled the ad, apologizing for any insensitive portrayal of controversies facing the country. While the ad slip-up is unfortunate, we do not see it having any long-term impact on the stock as PEP promptly addressed the issue. We continue to view it as the most attractive large-cap growth story in the consumer-staples beverage and snack space, although we are on the sidelines for now due to the recent rally to record highs. We previously trimmed some of our position due to its large weighting in the portfolio, the rally since the beginning of the year, and our desire to de-risk given the recent implementation of the Philadelphia soda tax, but we are happy holding at these levels and collecting the 2.7% dividend. Although the yield becomes slightly less attractive as expectations for higher interest rates increases, we continue to see the company as an important holding as it offers a way to increase diversification, preventing investors from becoming too heavily weighted in tech and the industrials. We reiterate our $115 target and would be buyers should the stock see any weakness toward our cost basis in the low $100 area.

NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) ; $104.55; 650 shares; 2.50%; Sector: Information Technology): Shares traded higher this week, outperforming the overall market. We have not changed our outlook on NXPI as shares remain stuck in the low $100 area but would be looking to trim our position should shares move above $105 as the additional upside to $110 -- the Qualcomm (QCOM) deal price -- would be limited and we would rather increase our cash position to hedge against market uncertainty (which has only increased due to Thursday night's unexpected strikes on Syria), and fuel any purchases of new or current holdings. Investors view NXPI as a safe bet on market down days or days of uncertainty as the pending Qualcomm deal will help the shares of NXPI gravitate higher toward the $110-a-share deal price. As for the QCOM deal, the tender offer was extended until early May, a typical course of action while the companies await all required regulatory approvals and close to full participation from shareholders. We will continue to keep an eye out for any updates on the pending acquisition. We reiterate our $110 target.

Starbucks (SBUX) ; $58.02; 1,400 shares; 2.99%; Sector: Consumer Discretionary): Shares traded slightly lower this week on little company-specific news. That being said, the stock, as well as the entire casual restaurant space, was impacted by the acquisition of Panera Bread (PNRA) by JAB Holdings. Given that JAB owns several coffee brands, some may speculate that PNRA could integrate these coffee offerings into its bakery-cafes, perhaps increasing competition for Starbucks. We believe Starbucks has developed over the years an incredibly strong brand that has engendered immense loyalty among its customers. In addition, we expect the stock to perform well over the back half of the year when the company faces easier compares and management begins to implement fixes to the mobile order & pay "mosh pit" issue. We spoke about some of the initiatives SBUX has tested in our note last week here. We have maintained our Two rating until we hear updated commentary from the company on the outlook for the rest of the year, likely on the upcoming earnings call. We reiterate our $65 target.

T.J. Maxx (TJX) ; $76.09; 1,400 shares; 3.92%; Sector: Consumer Discretionary): Shares were volatile as retail suffered through another difficult week. A rebound came on Thursday after the week started out on a downtrend following renewed concerns over a potential border tax policy and store closings across retail. Helping the retail sector on Thursday, Costco (COST) and L Brands (LB) each reported strong same-store sales, showing that the consumer could potentially be stronger than expected heading into the spring and summer and that certain business models can succeed. In addition, Constellation Brands' (STZ) strong quarter has put water on the fire of the bears in that stock who had been betting on a border adjustment tax. We continue to believe TJX's resilient business model allows it to navigate through the difficult retail environment, benefiting when its peers falter as management can use its market position to buy excess inventory and provide high-quality brands for affordable prices to customers. With the stay-at-home theme seemingly growing each day, TJX's business model is one of few that can entice consumers to get up off the couch and into the store. TJX offers quality product, but customers must physically be in the store to get the most out of the shopping experience. That being said, we recognize the overall pressure in the sector, and we may be enticed to trim additional shares on further strength as a way to a) raise more cash after our recent string of purchases, and b) simply de-risk the portfolio from this embattled sector. We reiterate our $85 target.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) ; $82.33; 900 shares; 2.72%; Sector: Health Care): Shares underperformed the market this week after a disappointing earnings report. Recall that we have been steadfast in our advice to hold off from purchasing shares until the stock dropped closer to $80. We believe the stock has room to run with or without the approval of the merger, but a decision either way is paramount for the shares to get out of the rut. In order to make room for additional purchases at lower levels, we have been strategically minimizing our exposure to WBA in recent trades. As for the most important updates within the report -- guidance and a discussion of the Rite Aid (RAD) merger -- management's commentary was roughly in line with what the market was expecting. The company reaffirmed full-year 2017 guidance for EPS of $4.90 to $5.08, virtually matching consensus at the midpoint. Management also noted that it continues to be actively engaged in discussions with the Federal Trade Commission regarding the pending RAD merger -- the company believes the recently extended deadline to the end of July offers enough time to hammer out the details. On the positive side, the company's free cash flow conversion remained strong, coming in at 174%, helping fuel a newly authorized $1 billion share repurchase authorization in full-year 2017 (expires Dec. 31, 2017). Importantly, we believe this buyback is indicative of the company's belief that shares remain undervalued due to pressure from the prolonged merger approval process. In addition, this could be further support for management's willingness to announce a larger buyback if any breakdown occurs regarding the RAD acquisition. WBA shares will likely remain range-bound until a decision is announced on the merger. We see some positives (prescription growth, retail focus areas like health and wellness, and recent pharmacy partnerships like Prime), but we recognize that investors want to see the RAD acquisition in the rear-view. We continue to encourage members to watch the stock closely as any levels near $80 are an attractive buying point, in our view. We reiterate our $90 target.

Wells Fargo (WFC) ; $54.84; 1,900 shares; 3.83%; Sector: Financials): Shares traded lower this week as investors reacted to a declining interest rate environment and a weak jobs report that may raise questions as to the pace of rate hikes moving forward. On the other side, WFC received a boost earlier in the week when analysts at KBW upgraded the name to a Buy. The bank is moving past its cross-sell scandal and has settled (in principle) to compensate those affected by the unethical practices. Meanwhile, WFC has instituted several safeguards to help prevent any such event in the future. We have maintained our Two rating as we await additional information surrounding the rate hike outlook for the rest of the year, but we believe Wells will perform well in an improving economy due to its consumer focus and we maintain our $60 target.

Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long AAPL, AGN, APA, XEC, CMCSA, DHR, DXC, FB, GE, GOOGL, HPE, LUV, KEY, MMG, NWL, SNA, WDC, ADBE, AEP, ARNC, C, CSCO, DOW, PEP, NXPI, SLB, SBUX, TJX, WBA and WFC.