JD DURKIN: Good morning, Action Alerts PLUS subscribers. Chris Versace and I are back, as we are on every Monday morning, to get ready for a busy week ahead, but as always, we do want to first start with a look back at the week that was. Chris, thank you for being here. Looking back, what was the most consequential story of last week, you think?
CHRIS VERSACE: So, if we look back at last week, you know, there was a lot of earnings, a lot of economic data, so, really, a lot to talk about, but if there was one thing that kind of kicked off a potential inflection point in the market, it's going to be that Fitch downgrade of US credit. I think that really was arguably a little behind the curve, as we discussed in our alert with members, but it really seemed to kind of catch the market a little off guard, kind of a head scratcher, if you will, and I think there's going to be a lot more attention focused to that, especially if we see any follow-through from Moody's or S&P.
I don't think we will, but given where we are, you know, in a seasonally weaker time of the year for the market, kind of the wind-down of earnings season, questions over the pace of inflation, and, you know, that soft landing narrative, this is the one thing that really kind of stood out to me as, you know, the market was not expecting it, and I think, as always, we always want to watch, like I say, for follow-through to see what might be next on this front.
JD DURKIN: Absolutely. Chris, in terms of portfolio management, give us a recap, for any members who may have missed an alert or two. What was top of mind from the last week?
CHRIS VERSACE: Well, like I said, busy week last week. You know, we kind of came into the week picking up some additional shares of Axon. Remember, we watched Motorola Solutions, because it reports ahead of Axon, and it said that, yes, federal, state, local spending for public safety equipment remains strong. Company put up a wonderful backlog number, which helps build visibility. We used the pullback on Axon over the last few weeks, paired with those comments, to pick up some Axon shares.
And then, exiting the week, you know, we've had a tremendous run in the shares of Cboe, and we finally took that last piece of the position off the table, locking in about a 27% gain for the portfolio. We also had a number of different price target increases last week, Vulcan Materials, Apple, Amazon, and, of course, Trinity Capital.
JD DURKIN: Axon, Axoff.
CHRIS VERSACE: Correct. Correct.
JD DURKIN: Sorry, but I figured you'd appreciate that. Chris, is there anything that you would change or do differently with the benefit of a redo button? I love that question.
CHRIS VERSACE: You know, that little quick time machine jaunt, five days back, perhaps, always interesting to think about. I would say, with last week, if there was one thing that I kind of wish, maybe, we had done, it was, after Trinity Capital reported its earnings, and we boosted our price target, the company went out and they priced a secondary offering. Proceeds are going to be used to shore up and reposition the debt on their balance sheet. Smart move, in my opinion, but the reception to it, the shares fell from around the $15, $15.50 level, down to about $14, $14.50, $14.25, depending on what time we were looking at them.
And what we said to members is, wow, closer to $14, this would be a good incremental pickup. We didn't do it. I think we might get that chance this week. But if there was one thing that I kind of wish, ah, if we had only done it, that might have been it.
JD DURKIN: All right, fair enough. Moving ahead to this week, what is topping your radar for either the rest of today or the rest of the days to come, Chris?
CHRIS VERSACE: Well, we don't have as many companies reporting this week. We've got a slower slate of economic data, so it's going to be a lot of mosaic updating, if you will, you know, revisiting our investment tapestry, as we like to say, collecting a lot more data points to shore up what we think is going to unfold for the back half of the year. So, that's going to be predominantly what we're doing, but the two things that we really have to pay attention to are going to be the back-to-back inflation reports that we're going to get late in the week.
Of course, that means focusing in on core CPI, and, of course, core PPI, looking to see if the better-than-expected progress we saw in that data for June continues in July, and, of course, that will have implications for what the market and what we think the Fed might do later in September.
JD DURKIN: I know you just spoke about the fact that maybe it's not as busy an earnings slate the next few days as we had last week, but still, maybe, some names to follow in our portfolio holdings. What is on the calendar from an earnings perspective that you're following, Chris, that maybe our members might want to pay attention to in the next few days as well?
CHRIS VERSACE: So, inside the portfolio, it's really pretty cut and dry this week. It's really going to be Axon Enterprises, and, of course, you know, we talked about near the top, we just added to that position. We're going to want to hear the company talk about, you know, pretty much reiterate what Motorola Solutions said, which is, yes, the backdrop for public safety spending remains strong, our backlog continues to increase, but also, inside of their report, we're going to want to see the continued shift in their business mix to the higher-margin recurring revenue nature of their cloud-based offerings.
The other thing that we could hear them talk about is how they might leverage AI in those solutions. So, it could be a very interesting and potentially surprising to the upside earnings report.
JD DURKIN: All right, and, finally, which reports outside of the portfolio might you be paying pretty close attention to?
CHRIS VERSACE: So, this is where the mosaic building, the tapestry reweaving, if you will, kind of comes into play. And so there are a number of ones out. Like, for example, this morning, Tyson Foods came out. They were talking about declines in chicken and pork prices that could be a positive for our shares of Chipotle, but beef prices, they were up year over year. We want to understand, what does that mean going ahead, not only for Chipotle, but for bullpen resident McDonald's?
We've also got the Skyworks reporting. We're going to want to revisit what they have to say, on the heels of Qualcomm last week, Qorvo, last week, as well. We've also got Utz snack brands reporting. We're going to want to dial into that, given our position in PepsiCo.
And, of course, we've also got Interparfums on tap, ticker symbol IPAR. They're a perfume company, but what they say about the consumer, particularly in the US, we'll want to think about that, as it relates to our shares of Coty. And that's a handful of names, but there's going to be more, JD, make no mistake.
JD DURKIN: Absolutely. All right, the great Chris Versace. Chris, thank you, as always.
CHRIS VERSACE: Thank you, JD.
JD DURKIN: All right, folks, that's going to do it for today. Thank you so much to all of you for taking the time to watch on this Monday morning. We'll see you again soon.