Dividend.com analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.
Geopolitics, a national boycott and the resolution of a labor dispute at a large U.S. delivery company set the tone for Wall Street this week, as income investors slowly disengaged from another solid earnings cycle. With earnings season in the rearview mirror, market participants are bracing for a volatile end to the summer.
Compare this week’s Trends report with our August 3 edition here that looked at Wall Street earnings.
UPS Set the Bar High on Wages
United Parcel Service (UPS ) took the top spot on our weekly ranking with a 90% spike in viewership. The delivery and logistics company was in the headlines after reaching a labor agreement with a union representing more than 1,000 aircraft mechanics. Under the new deal, UPS’ aircraft mechanics became the nation’s highest paid by a wide margin.
Share prices continue to trade near six-month highs in the wake of a second-quarter earnings call that outlined new measures for boosting operating efficiency, free cash flow and future profitability. This was made possible by a $900 million improvement in working capital.
Overall, UPS is coming off a solid quarter that boasted higher package volumes, package revenue and profitability. The Atlanta-based company reported an annual profit of $1.49 billion, with adjusted earnings hitting $1.94 per share. Revenues jumped 9.6% year-over-year to $17.46 billion.
UPS is part of the Air Delivery & Freight Services industry. For a granular breakdown of dividend stocks by sector and industry, click here.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST ) witnessed a 38% rise in traffic last week, enough for second on our weekly list. The company, which recently emerged from a growth slowdown, saw July fiscal month sales surge 10.1% from a year ago.
The wholesaler has succeeded in bringing more shoppers through its doors even as other retailers have struggled to do so. The success of Costco’s strategy is reflected in its share price, which has gained more than 40% over the past 12 month. CSTC has hit multiple record highs over the past three months, with the most recent peak coming on August 8.
That said, CSTC may fall prey to short-selling in the near term as technicians take profit on a company with solid long-term prospects. A recent evaluation of the COT indicator, which outlines how large institutions are trading a stock, suggests the big guys are starting to offload CSTC shares.
Apple: The Center of Turkish Boycott
The fallout from Turkey’s currency crisis has been far-reaching and severe, with global bond markets fearing the spread of contagion after a free-falling lira hit new record lows. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came out fighting on Tuesday by announcing a national boycott of U.S. goods, targeting Apple (AAPL ) products specifically. That likely contributed to the 24% rise in Apple viewership this week.
“There is a cost for those who are plotting this operation,” Erdogan said in reference to the ‘explicit economic attack’ against his country. Although Erdogan didn’t specify when the boycott would begin or how it will be enforced, he encouraged Turks to rebuff iPhones for Samsung or locally made Venus Vestel smartphones instead.
There was little sign that Apple’s (AAPL ) share price was affected by the news, as the company’s total market capitalization continued to hold above $1 trillion. Apple first crossed that critical milestone on August 2 after another quarter of stellar earnings.
Apple is a member of the prestigious Dow Jones Industrial Average. To explore the dividends of the 30 Dow blue-chips, click here.
Musk’s Tweet Jolts Tesla Shareholders
Tesla Motors (TSLA ) caps off the weekly roundup with a 17% rise in viewership. The electric car manufacturer returned to the spotlight after Elon Musk expressed his desire to take the company private in a message that appeared on his Twitter account on August 7.
In a Monday blog post, Musk declared that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had expressed interest in funding a deal that would privatize the company. The clarification came amid reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was investigating the matter closely.
Musk’s company reported wider losses than expected in the most recent quarter, but share prices still rose on expectations of profitability in the second half of the year.
Interested in building a diversified dividend portfolio? Check our Dividend Education Section to familiarize yourself with various concepts and trends tied to dividend investing.
The Bottom Line
As Turkey’s economic fate hangs in the balance, income investors can expect volatility to make its presence felt in the final stretch of summer as markets shift to risk-off positions.
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