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Tesla Deliveries, Jobs Report Headline Short Week: Investing Action Plan

Here’s your Investing Action Plan, what you need to know as an investor for the week ahead. Tesla (TSLA) and China EV rivals will release Q1 delivery figures over the weekend. General Motors (GM), Ford Motor (F) and other auto giants will release U.S. auto sales. It’ll be a busy week for economic data, but the jobs report will come out Friday, when U.S. markets will be closed for Good Friday.


Stocks To Watch

With the stock market rally now in a confirmed uptrend, investors should be looking to add exposure gradually. But don’t buy extended or get too concentrated. Analog Devices (ADI), Mobileye (MBLY), Meritage Homes (MTH), New Relic (NEWR) and Crocs (CROX) are five stocks flashing buy signals and not extended from their 50-day lines yet. ADI and MBLY are two chip plays reflecting that sector’s broad strength. Meritage, New Relic and Crocs reflect strength in the housing, software and footwear areas, respectively.

Jobs Report On Tap

A hefty batch of economic data in the coming week could shift the roughly 50-50 odds for one final Federal Reserve rate hike on May 3. Unless worries over bank health dictate policy, it could take clear evidence of a sharp economic slowdown to get the Fed to stand pat.

Perhaps the biggest single data release between now and then will be the March employment report. That comes out Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect a solid report, given the low level of weekly claims for jobless benefits. U.S. markets will be closed Friday. So there won’t be a Wall Street reaction to the jobs report until the following Monday.

Earlier in the week, the Labor Department’s February job openings and labor turnover survey is due out Tuesday at 10 a.m. The ISM manufacturing index, out Monday at 10 a.m., will show if the modest contraction in factory activity continued in March.

In contrast, the ISM service-sector activity gauge, slated for Wednesday at 10 a.m., showed strength the past two months. That came it softened in late 2022. Data from credit card firms suggest the possibility of a somewhat weaker reading for March.

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Tesla Deliveries Due

Tesla (TSLA) is preparing to release first-quarter 2023 delivery and production data in early April. Wall Street expects around 432,000 Tesla deliveries, according to FactSet. Based on previous releases, analysts project Tesla will report its data on April 2. If consensus analyst predictions hold true, deliveries would rise 39% vs. a year earlier. And they would climb from Q4’s 405,278. Tesla boosted sales with big price cuts around the world and the new U.S. tax credits. Tesla’s multiple price cuts in China triggered an EV price war there. Market watchers expect China EV giant BYD (BYDDF) and startups Li Auto (LI), Nio (NIO) and XPeng (XPEV) will report March and Q1 sales over the weekend as well. Tesla stock is setting up in a bottoming base. Li Auto is close to an early entry.

U.S. Auto Sales Seen Picking Up

U.S. auto sales likely increased in the first quarter on the back of rising vehicle inventories and fleet sales, offsetting elevated prices and high auto-loan rates. The overall Q1 sales annual pace likely reached 15 million units. That would be up more than 6% vs. a year earlier, analysts at Cox Automotive said. The Street projects General Motors (GM) will be the top Q1 seller. Analyst see sales rising 15.3% vs. Q1 2022 but down 5.1% vs. Q4 2022. Meanwhile, Ford (F) also likely grew sales, while Stellantis (STLA) and Toyota Motor (TM) are likely to see big sales declines. Tesla (TSLA) is set to be the top luxury seller, with its share topping 5% for the first time.

Food Giants Serve Up Earnings

Conagra Brands (CAG) earnings are expected to rise for the fourth quarter in a row. Consensus is for a 10% gain to 64 cents per share for the packaged food giant’s fiscal Q3 results Wednesday. Revenue is seen rising 5.7% to $3.08 billion. Food processor Lamb Weston (LW) reports Q3 results Thursday morning. Analysts expect earnings to rise for the fifth straight quarter, bolting 36% to 99 cents per share while revenue increases 16.5% to $1.16 billion. Shares are near the profit-taking zone for its flat base following its early December breakout.

In Brief

Lindsay (LNN) announces second-quarter financials before the market opens Tuesday. Analysts expect earnings to grow 16% to $1.53 per share with revenue dropping 3% to $193.7 million in Q2. The irrigation and infrastructure equipment manufacturer’s EPS soared 129% in Q1, but Wall Street sees earnings falling in the second half of the year.

MSC Industrial Direct (MSM) reports Q2 2023 earnings early Tuesday. Wall Street forecasts 5% EPS growth with sales climbing 8% to $934 million, according to FactSet. The company averaged EPS growth of 27% in fiscal year 2022, but analysts project that growth rate falling in fiscal year 2023, to on-average less than 1%.

Acuity Brands (AYI) second-quarter 2023 financials will be announced early Tuesday. Wall Street forecasts EPS up 6% to $2.73 with sales rising 5% to $958 million. Analysts project full-year earnings growing 7% to $13.78 per share.


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