Escalating tensions with North Korea and earnings weighed on markets this week.
By Jeremy Glaser | 08-11-17 | 05:00 AM | Email Article

Stocks pulled back this week from record levels after jitters over escalating tensions with North Korea, and a handful of disappointing earnings reports weighed on investors.

Jeremy Glaser is the Markets Editor for Morningstar.com.

Although we can't know what the near term will bring for stocks, Christine Benz outlined five steps investors can take in jittery markets. One of the key takeaways is that investors need to recognize how much of their success is in their hands, no matter what the market does. 

The bumps this week are a good reminder that now is a good time to double-check your financial plan.

 Disney made headlines this week with news it was scrapping its contract with  Netflix and would be launching two direct to consumer streaming services by 2019. The firm also posted mixed quarterly results that sent shares lower. Analyst Neil Macker thinks the sell-off has created an attractive entry point.

 Priceline also disappointed the market this week. Analyst Dan Wasiolek plans to lift his fair value estimate for the firm as slightly lower than expected bookings were offset by better gross margins. He writes:

"In our view, Priceline remains well-positioned for long-term growth within the attractive online travel industry that we expect to grow around high single digits annually on average over the next several years. We see Priceline shares as slightly undervalued, and wouldn't require a large margin of safety to view shares as attractive."

There will be plenty more retail earnings news next week, but  Kohl's and  Macy's reported some signs of improvement in sales, although both are still in negative territory. Both stocks sold off, but analyst Bridget Weishaar doesn't think investors should dive in. She says of Kohl's:

"We continue to think that there is a limit to the returns that can be driven by company strategy and view a return to top-line growth and margin improvement as difficult to come by with traffic trends remaining negative both for the company and the industry and shifts to e-commerce causing secular pressure to operating margin. Therefore, we see little change to our $42 fair value estimate which is based on a 1% average annual revenue decline over the next five years (in line with second-quarter performance) and adjusted operating margin declining from 7% in 2016 to the low-6% range in 2021 given mix shifts to e-commerce. We think these risks are well understood by the market and see shares as fairly valued."

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Jeremy Glaser has a position in the following securities mentioned above: DIS Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.
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