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Apple Inc. (AAPL) & Three Predictions for This Week

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I went out on a limb last week, and now it’s time to see how that decision played out.

I predicted that People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) would close higher on the week. The regional banker had come up short on the bottom line in its two previous quarters, and the prior week closed with uninspiring earnings news out of the banking behemoths. People’s United managed to match expectations on an operating basis, but the market was skeptical of financial services institutions this week. People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) shares closed lower on the week. I was right.

I predicted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI). This has been a tricky call lately, so how did it play out this time? Well, the market was rocked hard this week, and secondary stocks led the way down. The Nasdaq fell 2.7% on the week. The Dow managed to close just 2.1% lower. I was wrong.

My final call was for  United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) to beat Wall Street’s quarterly profit target. The provider of equipment rentals with 836 outlets across the country has been beating Wall Street estimates consistently over the past year. Why should that end? Analysts were looking for a profit of $0.47 a share during the quarter, and it came through with adjusted net income of $0.58. I was right.

Two out of three? I can do better than that.

Let me once again whip out my trusty, dusty, and occasionally accurate crystal ball to make three calls that may play out over the next few trading days.

1. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will close higher on the week
I predicted two weeks ago that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would move higher, and it was the right call. Thankfully, I steered clear of repeating that call last week, as shares of the consumer tech giant plunged to a 52-week low.

Well, it’s time to side with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) again. Tuesday’s quarterly report won’t be pretty, but investors are already braced for the worst. They know that profitability will slip, margins will contract, and sales growth will continue to decelerate. However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also likely to offer some reasons for analysts and investors to not entirely dismiss the world’s most valuable technology company. The stock has gotten so cheap that only devastating news will slam the shares.

My call here is for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to movie higher on the week.

2. The Nasdaq Composite will beat the Dow this week
Tech has been a big winner in recent years, so betting on tech over stodgy blue chips has been a good bet for me more often than not.

I’m going to stick with this pick. Most of the names in the composite are just too cheap at this point. The market is ripe for the tech-stacked secondary stocks to continue to outpace the 30 megacaps that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

3. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) will beat Wall Street’s earnings estimates
Some stocks are just flat-out better than others.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) is the leading standalone retailer specializing in hardwood flooring. At a time when the housing market is showing signs of life, Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) is roaring. As home prices move higher, owners can upgrade their flooring to stylish hardwood planks without fearing that banks will take over their properties now that they’re no longer underwater.

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