Most traded stocks of the week

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Josh Warner
By :  ,  Market Analyst

Most traded stocks of the week

Below is a list of the 20 most traded stocks among StoneX Retail clients during the five trading sessions to the end of play on Thursday November 24. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have been excluded. Most traded stocks will not be published next week and will be updated on Friday December 9. 

1

Tesla

11

BP

2

Frasers Group

12

Vodafone

3

Next

13

Standard Chartered

4

Apple

14

easyJet

5

Burlington Stores

15

Lloyds Banking Group

6

Amazon

16

Barclays

7

NVIDIA

17

Manchester United

8

Meta

18

Bath & Body Works

9

Alibaba

19

Alphabet

10

Pfizer

20

HelloFresh

 

Tesla shares have continued to rebound since hitting two-year lows, with multiple analysts believing the selloff, which has wiped off almost $300 billion off the electric vehicle maker’s valuation in the last two months alone, has been overdone. Recent recalls, Covid-19 concerns in China and worries about how CEO Elon Musk is spending his time following his takeover of Twitter have all weighed on the stock. Citigroup upgraded Tesla to Neutral from Sell this week, with the broker stating that the near-term risk to reward profile has become more balanced following the steep selloff. Still, it said it would need greater confidence on average selling prices and margins to turn bullish on the electric vehicle maker. Morgan Stanley said Tesla is approaching its ‘bear case’ target price of $150 despite being the only electric vehicle maker it covers that is making a profit. ‘There must be some form of sentiment ‘circuit breaker’ around the Twitter situation to calm investor concerns about Tesla,’ said Morgan Stanley.

Apple has been under the spotlight this week following news of worker unrest at the largest iPhone factory in China, which has sparked fresh fears about supplies over the golden quarter for sales during the busy holiday shopping season. Videos have circulated this week of hundreds of workers protesting over pay and conditions but it is not clear what impact this is having on production. Sources told Reuters earlier this week output was unaffected but fresh reports today said 20,000 workers, mostly new recruits, have now left and that over 30% of production pencilled-in for November could be at risk. We have already seen waiting times for the Pro and Pro Max models in China push out into 2023, while some retailers in the US like Best Buy have said they have limited supplies to put on the shelves this season.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority launched an investigation into the dominance of Apple and Alphabet when it comes to internet browsers used on mobile phones after a consultation yielded responses that revealed there was ‘substantial support’ for a fuller investigation.

Meta shares have continued to push higher and are now up over 17% since bottoming-out at the start of this month. There was speculation that CEO Mark Zuckerberg could stand down next year but Andy Stone, the company’s policy communications director, said this was false. The company has started to cut jobs after doubling its workforce during the pandemic as it prepares for tougher times, with earnings having been under pressure for a year.

Amazon is in play as the Black Friday sales event kicks off today before extending over the weekend and being rounded-off by Cyber Monday. Amazon has already warned that sales in the fourth quarter will be the slowest on record for any holiday shopping season on record and the sales event could pack less of a punch than usual considering retailers have been forced to hold longer sales events with deeper discounts to shift excess inventory this year. For example, Amazon held a second Prime sales event in October for the first time ever this year.

NVIDIA is reported to have decided to open a logistics centre in Taiwan, according to reports from the Central News Agency that cited the country’s minister of economic affairs without providing a timeline.

Pfizer shares have risen this week as Covid-19 comes back under the spotlight now we are in the winter season. The chief medical officer of the European Medicines Agency said this week that we are still technically in a pandemic and there is still a lot of potential virus out there. That came as the EU bought 3.5 million five-day courses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 treatment named Paxlovid. The EU has warned that uptake of booster shots has been ‘rather disappointing’ and that new subvariants are on the rise.

Bath & Body Work has found higher ground in recent days and last closed at $40.40. UBS raised its price target on the retailer to $50 from $46 earlier this week. The company released results earlier this month when it raised its outlook and installed confidence that it is holding up in the tough environment.

Meanwhile, department store Burlington Stores popped to a six-month high following its results this week that were welcomed by analysts, prompting a wave of price target upgrades from brokers. Third quarter sales and earnings were disappointing but it said it is now eyeing $3.77 to $4.07 of adjusted EPS this year compared to its previous goal of $3.70 to $4.30. Still, investors welcomed comments from CEO Michael Sullivan that said the company can perform better as customers trade down in the current environment. The average target price now stands at $204.30, up from below $174 before the results.

Alibaba and other Chinese stocks have remained volatile. They had found support from hopes that China could begin to put the economy before its zero-tolerant approach toward Covid-19, but a resurgence in cases has tempered those reopening hopes. Reuters reported that Alibaba and Ant Group are both set to be fined, the latter by over $1 billion, in the second quarter of 2023, although some analysts said this could pave the way for it to draw a line under a lengthy regulatory review and help it acquire an al-important financial holding company licence.

Manchester United, which is listed on the NYSE, has become popular this week after its current owners said they are willing to sell the club, sparking speculation and rumours about who could purchase one of the most successful football clubs in the world. Reports suggest there could be potential interest from an array of suitors, from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to Apple.

UK banks have remained popular this week. RBC released a research note that said it was becoming more positive on the sector, which it says remains ‘relatively cheap’. This saw the broker make a double-upgrade for Lloyds Banking Group to Outperform, stating it should start to be rewarded for its tight cost control and superior asset quality. Notably, NatWest was downgraded to Sector Perform. It said Lloyds, HSBC and Virgin Money will be increasingly driven by their ability to control costs now that the interest rate trade has played out, while attention at Barclays and NatWest will shift toward jaws progression – adding the latter group has greater potential for rewards.

BP shares are in play as markets try to digest how the latest market developments will impact oil prices. The demand outlook has deteriorated somewhat recently, partly thanks to the revival of Covid-19 fears in China, while the EU’s consideration of introducing a price cap on Russian crude and the upcoming OPEC meeting next month is stirring discussion about supply. Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence said this means volatility is likely to remain elevated for oil prices going forward. Meanwhile, the Unite Union has announced that its members will strike for two days next month and that this will impact BP’s offshore oilfields and processing plants.

Vodafone was hit by a double downgrade from Credit Suisse this week to Underperform after the telecoms giant recently cut its cashflow forecast and lowered its earnings guidance. ‘We previously saw scope for a buyback following the Vantage stake sale, but with slower delivering and Vodafone bond yields up 300bp, we expect the company to take a more conservative approach to target leverage,’ the Swiss bank said. We also heard news this week that sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority is poised to buy a 20% stake in Vodafone Egypt for over $1 billion, according to Bloomberg Asharq. That would give the unit a valuation of $5 billion, which is above the $4.4 billion valuation under the deal to transfer Vodafone’s interests in the business to its South African subsidiary named Vodacom.

Frasers Group shares have found higher ground this week to hit their highest level since mid-August. The retailer, which has been busy snapping-up failing brands in recent years, completed its acquisition of Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes. That will see it take on all five stores, including its flagship location at Number 1 Savile Row, according to the BBC.

Clothing and homeware retailer Next was hit by a downgrade to Hold from Buy this week by Panmure, which is concerned that the company, alongside others like Boohoo, are suffering from inventory problems that could worsen since sales softened in late October. It said the Black Friday weekend will distort sales in the sector and that this ‘distress is likely to become more apparent towards the end of this month and into December’. RBC provided more positive news after raising its price target to 6,000p from 5,600p.

easyJet shares are on the radar ahead of annual results out next week. The low-cost airline has already provided an update that has said it will post Ebit profits compared to losses last year as the recovery from the pandemic continues, although it will remain in the red at the bottom-line, partly because of operational issues and elevated levels of cancellations which improved in the fourth quarter. The airline has said it expects capacity to be some 30% higher in 2023 than 2022, although this will still only equal around 83% of what it was operating before the pandemic hit. Markets currently believe easyJet can return to profit in 2023 even as revenue growth moderates thanks to tougher comparatives, although the second half is expected to be much stronger than the first.

European recipe box service HelloFresh started to be covered by Goldman Sachs this week, with the broker initiating the stock with a Buy rating and a EUR44 price target. Goldman Sachs said HelloFresh has addressed key questions about profitability, cash generation and its balance sheet and now needs to show it can deliver sustainable growth from the elevated levels of demand we saw during the pandemic. It said the risk-reward profile is attractive at current levels.

 

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