Five Stocks to Watch in May

U.S. stock markets ended the month of April up slightly from March, closing out the month with the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining -74 points on April 29th, and -195 points on April 30th. The Dow was off -64.4 points or -0.4 percent for the month to close at 17,840.52, while the S&P 500 closed at 2,085.51, up +17.62 or +0.8 percent. The tech heavy NASDAQ index closed at 4,941.42, up from 4,900.80, a gain of +40.62 or +0.8 percent.

Uncertainty over an interest rate hike by the Fed continued pressuring the market, as well as higher energy prices and a strong U.S. Dollar. Overall, however, the stock market looks poised to continue its rally in May. This month's stocks to watch include Apple Inc., Tesla, McDonalds, and Time Warner Cable.

McDonalds Corp. (MCD) – Just two months after becoming the company's Chief Executive Officer, Steve Easterbrook will unveil the company's plans to revive the company's dwindling business. Facing intense competition on several fronts, McDonald's has admitted it has failed to keep up with the public's changing tastes. The company has already begun cost saving tactics, announcing it would double store closures to 700 this year. The release of the company's restructuring plans will undoubtedly affect McDonald's stock price.

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) – At a social event held at the Tesla Design Studio in California last week, Elon Musk introduced the company's new line of utility energy and residential storage batteries. The company's new Powerwall 10kWh battery system for households will be priced at $3,500 with each additional kWh priced at $250 apiece. Lithium ion storage batteries are currently priced at $800 per kWh. Tesla's entry into the residential storage battery business is expected to increase the company's bottom line significantly and provide people with an off grid sustainable energy source. (AMZN) – In the company's latest first quarter earnings release, which beat analyst expectations, Amazon released the results of its Amazon Web Services division for the first time in nine years. The cloud computing division showed a profit of $265 million for the first quarter. At that rate, the division would be responsible for company profits in excess of $1 billion per year. Amazon stock was up sharply after the earnings release.

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) – After releasing earnings last week, Apple Inc. stock made a new all time high of 134.54, but traded higher in that morning's premarket. Apple reported an increase of +33 percent in iPhone sales and reported a net quarterly profit of $13.57 billion or $2.33 per share. The company just began shipping its newest product, the Apple Watch and increased its dividend by 11 percent.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) – After Comcast's (CMCSA) $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable fell through last month, the company became available for another buyer. According to the latest news, top executives from Charter Communications (CHTR) have contacted Time Warner Cable Inc. to discuss a possible merger. Charter reported a higher than expected quarterly loss on May 1st in part due to assets the company was going to purchase through the merger of Time Warner Cable with Comcast.

Published on May 4, 2015
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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