U.S. stocks went into a tailspin over the past two trading sessions. After the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 800 points Wednesday, investors continued dumping shares and the index shed another 545 points on Thursday. The Dow's year-to-date gain is now a measly 1.35%. The S&P 500's year-to-date gain has been reduced to 2.05%. The Nasdaq sold off 1.25% Thursday, and led the selling Wednesday.
During moments like these, investors have to look for value. Here are some places to look.
Square Inc. (SQ) - Get Report didn't sell off entirely because of the broader tech selloff, but it's down 20% in the past two days nonetheless. Chief Financial Officer Sarah Friar said Wednesday she's leaving to become CEO of social networking service NextDoor. The stock fell 10%, and then another 10% Thursday. Friar's departure has nothing to do with any kind of turmoil in the company or expected failures. Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Report has that problem, as tons of executives have left. Square's situation is different.
But analysts have reiterated that Square is one of the better positioned companies in the payments space. This is "a knee-jerk reaction that you'll see when an executive has been considered the face of the company abruptly leaves," Moshe Katri, analyst at Wedbush Securities, told TheStreet. He added, "Add to that, there's a nervous stock market -- are these investors or funds coming out, or are these ETFs and algorithms working here?"
This could be a tailor made buy-the-dip moment.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) - Get Report beat third-quarter expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Citigroup Inc. (C) - Get Report also beat earnings estimates, while Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) - Get Report narrowly missed. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) - Get Report and First Republic Bank (FRC) - Get Report also reported earnings on Friday. It's important to look at the larger picture in bank stocks since the earnings will tell us a lot about where the economy stands and investors examine whether or not we're at the peak of the cycle.
The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates, which means that banks will see expanded net interest margins. That also means, however, that loan volumes might decrease. If the expansion in net interest margins doesn't offset any dip in loan demand on bank earnings, it could signify a slowing economy.
John Toohey, head of equities at USAA, said he thinks net interest margins will barely, if at all, expand as some banks may be putting cash flows from revenue on interest payments into higher-yielding savings accounts in an effort to attract depositors in an increasingly competitive banking industry.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs thinks a lot of banks are undervalued. Either way, bank earnings will be great economic indicators. Banks could be a good play as many of the stocks have been flat all year and could certainly benefit from higher interest rates.
Jim Cramer's Teach-In Is Saturday, Oct. 13
TheStreet will be hosting Jim Cramer's teach-in on Saturday, Oct. 13. Cannabis stocks and FAANG stocks, which have seen a pullback, will be a focus of the teach-in. If the FAANG stocks are truly worth valuations that imply high earnings multiples they could be a buying opportunity. Or maybe earnings potential is really contracting. Tune in to see what Cramer and other experts say as we live blog the event on Saturday.
Your can register for the event here.