Oh yeah, then there's those companies, those pesky little things we trade pieces of every day. We often forget them within the context of raids on lawyers and noises out of China and angry tweets about Amazon (AMZN) , among other topics.
But we shouldn't. We shouldn't neglect why we are here, which is to divine who is doing better than we think and who isn't so we can pick stocks based on how the companies are doing, not sectors, not the S&P and certainly not politics, which I abhor but have been pulled in because of all of the uncertainty emanating from the White House.
Every morning I focus on Wall Street research just to try to get a handle on what might happen. Let me say from the outset that it isn't all right. One of the most important pieces I saw today was an admission from a very honest Goldman Sachs analyst saying she has been wrong in having a sell on Proofpoint (PFPT) , the company that does the best cybersecurity involving email. The sell was a bet that prices for email security per person had to drop. But they went the other way. Ten times the other way as email attacks were and are relentless. Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele has done such a great job executing that the Goldman analyst had to take it from a sell to a hold.
We got a critical hold-to-buy rating on Nvidia (NVDA) from Morgan Stanley, basically saying after this stock's stunning fall from the highs -- $254 down to $213 -- fears of as stunning decline in crypto mining using Nvdia graphics cards are now built in. Nvidia has been linked too much to crypo-currencies like Ethereum and not linked enough to data centers, machine learning, autonomous driving and gaming, all of which are in growth mode. We had CEO Jensen Huang on Mad Money recently talking about how much more there is to the story.
While we are at it, Morgan Stanley upgraded a very forlorn Seagate (STX) , saying the disc drive maker isn't in permanent decline but is actually doing quite well. A champion for a stock desperately in need of one.
Next week Netflix (NFLX) reports and we have a bevy of analyst price target increases based on what should be surprising international growth. Of course, now that it's being talked about it's hardly surprising. Still it's the real world. This FANG stock's a horse.
We've been saying that Ulta's (ULTA) bottoming and it sure is terrific to see some verification of the beauty palace's appeal when Piper issues a survey of teens that love the place more than ever.
One of the lowliest of the low Dow stocks, Exxon Mobile (XOM) actually caught an upgrade from Merrill Lynch acknowledging that this stock trades as if oil were dramatically lower than it is. XOM can lift a ton of stocks. Big shoulders that one.
Then there's plenty of chatter including a fantastic piece from Stifel talking about how Nike (NKE) just acquired an Israeli company to do 3D scanning. That's a breakthrough because Nike has been so committed to a personalized style to keep the business going. Nike, for all of its Chinese exposure, is one of the best performing stocks in the Dow.
Finally there's Paypal (PYPL) . It's been battered by Amazon competition. It's been laid low by talk of losing eBay business. But the fact is, according to Keybanc, its Venmo payment service is more loved by kids than ever.
There. No Michael Cohen raid. No China battles. No Amazon Tweets. No Federal Reserve. No Facebook (FB) travails. Just companies doing their thing, making money for themselves and for you, the shareholders. Amen.