Need to Know: Wall Street is underestimating how much Apple will make off 5G, says Jefferies

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With just a few days left in the third quarter, the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -1.13%  is looking at a return of 1.3%, which would be its weakest quarter since December 2016.

That’s a bit behind a 1.7% return for the S&P 500 in the same period. Quarterly losses for Amazon AMZN, -0.83%  , Netflix NFLX, -0.09%  and Facebook FB, -1.67%  probably haven’t helped the index. One Netflix bull came out with a pretty bearish assessment of the video streamer Tuesday.

Opinion: Amazon, Netflix and Apple shares are no longer beloved by the average investor

However, Apple AAPL, -0.49%  — is up 10% for the quarter so far at $218, and 38% year-to-date, likely getting some help from the iPhone 11 rollout. But Tim Cook’s company is under-appreciated says our call of the day from Jefferies analysts.

Equity analysts Kyle McNealy and George Notter have just come out with a recommendation for investors to buy Apple, and a target for shares to rise to $260. They say Wall Street fails to appreciate how much the company stands to benefit from fifth generation cellular network technology, which basically promises faster data connection for consumers.

“In our view, current expectations for Apple’s first 5G iPhone lineup are too low. They underestimate Apple’s competitive position for 5G devices,” they said.

They expect better iPhone sales than Wall Street, where current consensus forecasts call for 190 million iPhone units sold in fiscal year 2021 — seen as a big year for 5G devices. That’s 9% below the 6-year unit shipment average for iPhone product cycles, said the analysts, who expect sales of 208 million for 2021.

They list a few reasons for their optimism: Most Apple customers will need a 5G upgraded device; the industry marketing push behind 5G will be huge with more product differentiation versus prior cycles; world-wide smartphone penetration will get higher and Apple has also expanded its own mid-range offerings.

Read: Loss-averse investment managers help you cut risk by diversifying away from index funds

The market

The Dow DJIA, -0.26%   , S&P SPX, -0.53%    and Nasdaq COMP, -1.13%   are moving higher on trade-talk hopes. Oil US:CLV19 and gold GCZ19, -0.21% are down, while the dollar DXY, -0.01% is flat.

Read: Why a sideways stock market could indicate the highs are yet to come

European stocks SXXP, +0.47% are mixed, while Asia ADOW, -0.68% had a similar session. Drawing some attention, the People’s Bank of China governor talked down rate cuts.

Read: Why discord at the top is threatening the ECB’s capacity to act

The chart

Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading, has been tracking the percentage of days the S&P 500 SPX, -0.53%  has closed in positive territory — 58% so far in 2019. That helps explain the 19% year-to-date gain we’ve seen for the index.

Using that percentage-of-days metric, the S&P is now on pace for the fourth best performance over more than 30 years, where the average is 54%. “To find a year with a higher percentage of days positive, one needs to go back to 1995’s 62% and 1989s 60%,” he says.

The quote

“I don’t see kids landing in the ICU, super sick, lungs whited-out very often. And to see four of them at once, I’d say something is happening.” — That was Dixie Harris, a pulmonologist at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, speaking to The Wall Street Journal about the teen vaping crisis.

The buzz

Facebook FB, -1.67%  is buying a startup that will let humans control computers with their brains.

In its second attempt at a Hong Kong public listing, Budweiser’s BUD, -0.59% ABI, +0.25%  Asia unit has raised about $5 billion.

Read: Justice Department investigating auto-makers over California emissions agreement

More on the vaping fallout. Prosecutors are reportedly now investigating Juul Labs, which has declined to comment. Watch shares of Altria MO, -1.30%  , which has a $13 billion stake in the company.

In a blow to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the country’s highest court rules that his recent Brexit-related suspension of Parliament was illegal and that it must reconvene at once.

Watch out for results from Nike NKE, +0.15%

The economy

Home-price growth slowed to a crawl, says Case-Shiller survey. A consumer confidence survey is still to come.

Read: Latest global economic data does nothing for investors “animal spirits”

The tweet
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