🍬 This Stock Is Looking Sweeter

Plus, Amazon's cost-cutting plans got leaked

Happy Friday afternoon to everyone on The Street. Here's a snapshot of where markets ended the trading session, plus tomorrow's trade idea delivered to you today.

We’re approaching the final day of the month, which means it’s almost time for The Last Cast Letter. For those of you who don’t know, we write a monthly newsletter focused on fascinating trends in the real estate space. This newsletter is also a way for you to participate in direct real estate investments.

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  • 🟨 | US Stock Markets Were Closed for Good Friday. The S&P 500 added 10.2% for the quarter, marking its best first-quarter gain since 2019, when it rallied 13.1%. The Dow made 5.6% gains during the same period, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the quarter up 9.1%.

  • 📈 | This Week’s Notable Gainer: Tesla saw its shares rise 5% this week. Despite news of increased competition in the Chinese EV market, investors became bullish on the stock after a report that Tesla is negotiating with the Italian government to secure a production site to build electric trucks and vans.

  • 📉 | This Week’s Notable Decliner: Shares of AMC Entertainment shed 11% this week after the company disclosed in an SEC filing that it might sell $250 million worth of stock to offset its poor box office revenue during Q1 2024.

  • 🍬 | Tomorrow's Trade: This Stock Is Looking Sweeter. Scroll down for more.


🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ Bullish (37)

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Bearish (45)

Quarterly Heat Maps

S&P 500 Heatmap. Credit: Finviz

All stocks on US exchanges. Credit: Finviz

Global ADR snapshot. Credit: Finviz


RH (+17%) Retailer RH popped this week despite an earnings miss as investors focused more on the company’s product transformation (Investopedia)

MRK (+7%) Shares of Merck rose for the week after the company received FDA approval for Winrevair, its new drug for treating fatal lung disease (MW)

GME (-9%) Gamestop saw a sell-off this week as its fourth-quarter results showed significant underperformance in its software segment (Investing.com)

SMCI (+6%) Super Micro Computer held onto gains it made Monday after JPMorgan gave it a price target of $1,150, implying an 18% upside (CNBC)

UPS (-6%) Shares of UPS tumbled this week as the company warned its current quarter will be the “toughest” of 2024 (Motley Fool)

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Fortune: Powell warned this month that commercial real estate woes will lead to bank failures, saying, “This is a problem that we’ll be working on for years.”

The Block: In a Senate hearing, Elizabeth Warren claimed crypto is helping rogue states, terrorists, and criminal organizations at an unprecedented scale.

CNBC: Yesterday, gold prices hit a record high and logged their best month in over three years, propelled by U.S. interest rate cut expectations.

NYT: General Motors said it has stopped sharing details about customer driving behavior with two data brokers that create risk profiles for the insurance industry.

YF: Initial unemployment filings for the week ending March 16 came in lower than expected at 210,000 versus the 211,000 expected by Dow Jones estimates.


kisses satisfying GIF

Rising Costs

In response to sky-high cocoa prices, Hershey’s (HSY) stock is down over 22% over the last year. The chocolate maker has seen its profit margin dwindle as the price of cocoa has more than tripled. 

Cocoa is more expensive than copper right now. Supply issues in Africa driven by wildfires and drought have wreaked havoc on the industry. 

But analysts are confident that the price of cocoa will begin to come down. It could be a great time to add chocolate bars to your cart.

Time For a Turnaround

Experts point to the fact that commodities prices have a habit of going to extremes, both up and down. They also tend to reverse quickly. 

Citigroup (C) analyst Aakash Doshi is confident that the cocoa industry will enter a bear market towards the end of this year.

Despite the rise in the cost of cocoa and ensuing price increases, Hershey’s managed to increase sales by over 7% in 2023. The company expects revenues to grow another 2.5% in 2024.

A Solid Bar of Chocolate

Hershey’s stock is trading at around 20.2 times 12-month earnings expectations, far less than its five-year average. It typically trades at a premium to the S&P and other indexes due to its history of strong earnings. But right now, it can be bought at a discount. 

The stock is currently yielding 2.8%, and the company has increased its dividend each year for the past 48 years. 

Cocoa prices are temporary, but Hershey’s has proved itself a long-standing company. If analysts are correct about a pullback in cocoa prices towards the end of this year, it could be a great time for investors to buy a solid stock at a good price.

Are you bullish or bearish on Hershey’s (HSY)?

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Looking to learn more about real estate market trends and private investment opportunities? One-click subscribe to the Last Cast Letter from the same team that brings you The Street Sheet.


Bloomberg: iPhone shipments in China fell about 33% in February from a year earlier, extending a slump in demand in its most important overseas market.

TBT: Not just an Apple problem… The Chinese smartphone market also contracted by nearly a third in February, showing a decline in discretionary consumer spending.

AP: The Biden administration will provide a $1.5 billion loan to restart a Michigan nuclear power plant, marking the first US nuclear plant reopening.

BI: A leaked document shows that Amazon expects to save $1.3 billion by slashing office vacancies, terminating leases early, and other moves.

BI: The new Florida social media bill allows parents to sue social media companies for $10K for not promptly deleting accounts of those under 14.

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