3 Must Reads on the Market From TheStreet's Top Columnists

On Thursday, the markets were mixed as the Dow gained while the Nasdaq cooled after its record gains, led lower by tech names.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC that the U.S. has a deal with China handset maker ZTE (ZTCOY)  and that restrictions on ZTE for purchasing parts from U.S. companies would be lifted and they're being fined $1 billion.

Alphabet (GOOGL)  shares declined over 1% after it was reported that EU antitrust officials will fine the company about $10 billion for abusing its dominance through the Android mobile operating system

Here are three top takes from the columnists of Real Money and Real Money Pro, our premium sites for Wall Street professionals and active investors:

Jim Cramer: Thor Getting Hammered Is No Canary in a Coalmine

"Is it a canary in a coal mine?" asks TheStreet's Jim Cramer. "Man, I can't tell you how much I wish that we outlawed coal mines if only so we don't have to hear about canaries anymore, you know, the time honored way we on Wall Street try to spot something with a bird of a news story that dies ahead of the death of shareholders."

"Why do I not like it? Because of companies like Thor Industries (THO) , yep, Thor, the world's largest maker of recreational vehicles. Last night it announced a shortfall and, aside from the weather, it blamed higher cost steel and aluminum because of tariffs," Cramer continues.

"Canary in a coal mine! Except the real issue here is that management told us not long ago that the tariffs would NOT be a big deal and not to worry about them."

Why Qualcomm Is an Overlooked Beauty in the Rise of the Machines

Real Money columnist Stephen Guilfoyle says, "Qualcomm (QCOM) is behind most of the chips used by most cell phones. Qualcomm and Apple (AAPL)  have a legal beef between them regarding the licensing of chips being used in Apple's phones and tablets. Then there's the not-quite-clinched effort to acquire NXP Semiconductor (NXPI)  that comes in the wake of the now-failed attempt made by Broadcom (AVGO)  to acquire Qualcomm. Complexity. Awesome. NXPI was a good trade for us, by the way."

"Think the trade situation with China reaches a favorable outcome? Think the rhetoric continues to mellow? (They do want to buy $70 billion worth of stuff just to make nice.) If you think a deal is close that permits Chinese communications behemoth ZTE (ZTCOY) to save its business, then it also becomes likely that the QCOM/NXPI deal happens," Gulfoyle concludes.

Why Macy's Remains a Cut Above

"Analysts," says Real Money Pro columnist Ed Ponsi, "are falling back in love with Macy's (M)  . Evercore ISI just flipped its recommendation from short to long."

"What took them so long? Macy's has always been a cut above other brick-and-mortar retailers. This stock has tacked on over 35% since I wrote about it three months ago. Under new CEO Jeff Gannette, who speaks at The Deal's 2018 Corporate Governance Thursday, Macy's has improved almost every aspect of its business, from the look of its stores to its rewards program," adds Ponsi.

While some investors are using the current rally in Macy's to take profits, here are Ponsi's three reasons why he's staying long.

(Apple and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL or GOOGL? Learn more now.)

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4 Top Experts Tell You How to Play the Market. TheStreet's Scott Gamm recently sat down with top market watchers from Bank of America, Fisher Investments, Invesco and Wells Fargo. Click here and register to watch a free roundtable in which they lay out their best advice

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