CHRIS VERSACE: Good morning, Action Alerts Plus members, and congratulations to all those graduates at Virginia Tech. As you can probably tell, I'm on the road. But I'm back with a few of the stocks outside of the portfolio and what they tell us about some of our active positions. But before all of that, since we last spoke, we got yet another read on the state of inflation with the release of April's CPI and PPI.

Now, while the April PPI out this morning showed some progress, with the core reading hitting 3.2% versus the expected reading of 3.3% and down from March's 3.4% figure, core CPI for April was little changed compared to the last few months, coming in at 5.5% year-over-year. That keeps the range rather tight between 5.5% and 5.7% so far this year. This tells us that we're making little progress on the core CPI front.

And yes, as I shared in the Alert with you, some may be reading into the fact that the headline CPI figure cracked 5% on a year-over-year basis for the first time in about two years. But the real story is that core CPI, which is what the Fed is focusing on, and as we've seen in the data, hasn't really budged. However, we have to remember that there's this other wild card that we've been talking about, which is tightening credit. And as we discussed following the April sleuths report earlier this week, we have yet to see the full impact of post-bank failure credit tightening conditions yet to appear.

Putting it all together, odds are the Fed will want to see more data before making another move with the Fed funds rate come June. But members, it still boggles our minds that there are some folks out there who still see rate cuts ahead after that April core CPI print. Now, let's shift back over to stocks starting with Blink Charging and EVgo. Both companies reported significant revenue growth of 121% and 228%, respectively, for their latest quarterly results. But both also fell modestly short of consensus expectations for the March quarter.

However, bookings for both continue to rise, confirming what we've been talking with you about, which is that private spending continues to roll and we are starting to see the flow of public spending dollars for EV charging stations. One area that we'll be increasingly watching as a leading indicator for EV charging market will be utility infrastructure building activity. All-in-all, the reports from Blink Charging an EVgo set the stage for what should be a good quarter from ChargePoint. But let's remember, we are far more focused on the level of EV charging buildout activity later this year and in 2024, again, as those public and private spending dollars continue to flow at an increasing rate.

So we're more focused on that than we are in the next two to three months. And with ChargePoint shares below our last few buy levels, we see it as a good pickup for members at current price points. But again, let's remember, this is a position that we will be holding for some time. Now, let's move over to GlobalFoundries and semiconductors. While GlobalFoundries is calling for the March quarter to be its bottom, the rebound it has been expecting is now thought to be far slower than previously thought. That largely reflects its SMART mobile device business and reiterates what we've heard from the likes of Qualcomm, Skyworks, and others.

But with an eye toward our Marvell shares, GlobalFoundries sees its communications, infrastructure, and data center market having a much stronger second half of the year. This reinforces our thoughts on Marvell shares that we're looking to add to. And in terms of our recent addition of applied materials, GlobalFoundries expects to spend less on new equipment in the near-term, given excess greater capacity in the coming quarters than it previously thought.

However, GlobalFoundries offered some constructive thoughts, sharing its customers are already concerned about capacity constraints in the future, particularly in geographies where they want that capacity. This reaffirms our strategy to patiently build up our exposure to applied materials as we get closer to the inflection point for the US and eurozone Chips Act and related spending. And I also have an eye on the shares of Utz, a read on the snacking industry.

During the earnings call, I'll be looking for comments on further pricing leverage versus input costs and what that may say about PepsiCo's snacking margins in the coming quarters, as well as potential upside to our $200 price target for PepsiCo shares. Now, let's end on a name that many of you asked about yesterday, Axon Enterprises. Following the post-earnings plunge in the share price and boosting our price target, as I noted when we bought the shares of Axon around 193 yesterday, we are looking at the evolving margin profile of the company and how that will lead to more favorable cash flow and EPS generation as Axon Cloud becomes an even larger part of the revenue mix in the coming quarters. The key here is that as more body cameras and other devices are sold in the US and in other markets, the pull through will be had to Axon Cloud.

Now, the positive in my view to yesterday's drop in the stock is that it simply is going to improve the investor base to folks like us that have a much better understanding of the Axon story and where it is headed versus momentum traders that look to capitalize on the sharp move in the shares compared to our $120 entry point back in October. Today, we are seeing others rally around the shares, including the likes of JP Morgan that are out telling investors to buy the dip in Axon. And we suspect others will be joining that ranks as well.

From our perspective, if you haven't yet scooped up the shares like we did yesterday, below the $210 level is a good pickup. Closer to $200 is even better. Thanks for watching today's rundown. JD Durkin will be back tomorrow with some technical perspective from AAP team member Bob Lang.