Why You Should Put Microsoft, 3M, CAT On Your Watch List Now: S&P 500 Futures

Futures for the S&P 500 index were little changed late Monday. Microsoft (MSFT), Caterpillar (CAT), Intel (INTC), 3M (MMM) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) are top-performing Dow industrial components that are consolidating bullishly, but do not offer buy points currently.

XAutoplay: On | Off Microsoft, Caterpillar, Intel and UnitedHealth all have Composite Ratings of at least 90. UnitedHealth offered mixed 2018 guidance late Monday.

S&P 500 index futures were just above break-even vs. fair value. Dow and Nasdaq 100 futures fell a fraction.


Microsoft has been trading tightly for the past several weeks, since gapping higher on Oct. 27 following its latest earnings report. That suggests it could be three-weeks-tight pattern. But Microsoft has not been a volatile stock, so short-term tight action is nothing special. Wait for a proper flat base or other bullish consolidation to form, with a likely potential buy point of 86.30.

Microsoft rose 0.7% to 83.87 in Monday’s stock market trading.


Caterpillar also has been consolidating in a narrow range since gapping out to a record high on Oct. 24 on its blowout earnings. The heavy construction and mining equipment giant could be working on a flat base, with a likely entry of 140.54. Caterpillar dipped 20 cents to 137.19 on Monday.


Intel fell 0.6% to 44.49 on Monday. The chip giant has been pulling back modestly since hitting a record 47.30 on Nov. 3 following strong earnings in late October and a breakout at the start of last month. Intel is finally diversifying from the PC market, with solid growth in chips for the data center market. Its Mobileye acquisition gives it a big foothold in autonomous driving systems, including several key alliances.


UnitedHealth hit 213.83 on Nov. 3 after moving higher following its late October earnings report. On Monday, shares briefly rose to a record 214.25, but closed down 11 cents to 212.40, below the high of the left side of its proto-consolidation. That means UnitedHealth could still carve out a flat base based on the Nov. 3 high.

Shares dipped to about 209 late Monday after the health insurer updated 2018 guidance. It sees ernings per share of $ 10.55-$ 10.85 with revenue at $ 223 billion to $ 225 billion. Analysts expected EPS of $ 10.80 and revenue of $ 218.65 billion.


The diversified industrial giant hit a record 238.90 on Oct. 24 following its strong earnings and guidance. 3M has been consolidating since then, rising 1.1% to 234 on Monday.


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