Monday was a great day for the stock market thanks to comments from Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, which suggested that the economy still needed help to speed up job growth - meaning more stimulus in one form or another could be on its way.
Stocks to Watch This Week
Otherwise and on Monday after the market closed, for-profit education stock Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) announced a second-quarter net profit of $63.9 million verses a year-earlier net loss of $64 million. However and in pre-market trading, the Apollo Group (APOL) was sinking by close to 6% - probably given the fact that analysts have already had enough time to digest and chew up the company's results. Apparently, the Apollo Group (APOL) reported that its new enrollment could drop by a double digit percentage in the third quarter - a footnote that has analysts either taking a wait and see approach or heading for the exits. Hence, investors might want to keep an eye on for-profit education stocks and stock predictions for today and for the rest of the week.
Another stock that investors might want to watch is homebuilding stock Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) which has just reported before the market opened today that fiscal first quarter profit fell 45% over the same period last when it was boosted by a legal settlement. However, Lennar Corporation (LEN) was rising more than 3% in pre-market trading as the company reported that orders for new homes had jumped 33% from a year earlier - meaning investors might want to keep an eye on it and other homebuilding stocks (along with and stock predictions) while keeping in mind that the housing downturn is far from over with.
However, all eyes are now on the Supreme Court this week as Monday was the first three days of arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare which will require all Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. Hence and on Monday, the following big health care and health insurance stocks were posting strong gains:
- Aetna (NYSE:AET) +3.07%
- AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) +2.49%
- CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI) +2.47%
- Humana (NYSE:HUM) +2.42%
- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) +2.68%
- WellPoint (WLP) +2.92%
If the Supreme Court were to strike down this provision, these health care and health insurance stocks could just as easily beat a retreat back to where they started. On the other hand and even if the provision is ultimately struck down, the Obama administration and the insurance industry has a number of Plan Bs - including shifting the fight to the state level where there are more alternatives and flexibility. Either way, most stock predictions have the health insurance industry coming out as a winner.
As for economic news, investors might want to take notice of this morning's Conference Board Consumer Confidence report for the month of March and how it may impact retail stocks along with the Thursday's third quarter GDP estimate from the Department of Commerce. Given its an election year, it will be interesting to see how these reports are spun and re-spun by both politicians and the media alike.
Stock Market Watch: Conclusion
This week has all the makings of being a very interesting week for the stock market and certain sectors of the economy in particular. This means that investors and traders alike will probably want to consult their Next Candle stock forecasts throughout this week while keeping an eye on the news headlines for developments that could impact these stock predictions.NOTE: THIS PIECE WAS JUST POSTED ON OUR BLOG AT nextcandle.com/blog/2012/03/stock-market...