The middle of each year is often a reference point in terms of market movement.
Half of the year has already passed, and a good record of the performance of the global economy for a six-month period is now clear to see, including data relating to economic policy, financial markets and the performance of the shares of publicly listed companies on major stock exchanges.
Of course, historical data is not an indicator of what is to come, but it is of great interest to analyse the first half of this year and look ahead at what may be imminent in the stock market.
This month is the first month of the second half of 2023, and these are the possible movements of some interesting stocks during the course of July.
1: Tesla (TSLA)
Rather like its blustery, avant-garde and high-profile owner Elon Musk, Tesla is a big-hitter as well as a disruptor. The combination of non-conformity, Silicon Valley-derived on-trend desirability among the tech crowd, and gung-ho approach to the business of the company's founder and CEO make it one of the more volatile big-cap stocks.
Tesla suffered quite badly during the course of last year as its stock values slumped tremendously over a long period of time, giving the impression that the newness had worn off and that Tesla had made its point, with many mainstream well-established car manufacturers making their own electric cars and providing the modern direction as well as automotive heritage that car buyers seek.
Add the 'crypto winter' to the mix, in which many popular cryptocurrencies depreciated and remained stagnant in value just after Tesla had been the first publicly listed company in the world to become a 'crypto whale' with absolutely no pushback from shareholders regarding risk, and there was a pessimistic approach to stock.
Since then, Tesla has rebounded and declined over and over. Just within the space of one week, Tesla stock price went down from $283.73 last Wednesday to $269.05 by Tuesday, July 11 at 12.00 New York time. At the end of the trading day on Tuesday, it began to rise again rapidly but still remains within the $270 range.
Tesla stock has become volatile once again, despite a now very established array of competition and therefore is one to watch during July.
2: Microsoft (MSFT)
There are those who make a big public noise when a small victory is achieved, and there are those who don't.
Microsoft is one that doesn't, as the company is very much concerned with big victories.
Microsoft pioneered the move into the digital world for businesses and individuals as long ago as the 1980s, therefore does not need to prove itself by revelling in every item of news surrounding its products or services, which are ubiquitous in every office or home around the world.
However, this month, Microsoft won a big victory, which may allow it to create a huge gaming semi-monopoly.
The proposed M&A deal between Microsoft and North American multinational gaming giant Activision Blizzard has been the subject of intervention by the US government's competition authorities, who considered a merger between the two firms to constitute a pseudo-monopoly and therefore be unfair to competition. It would have been the largest gaming business in the world and, according to US authorities, create unfair market conditions for other game manufacturers whose products are aimed at the Sony Playstation or Nintendo devices.
Microsoft would not have entered such a potential deal without considering this, however, and yesterday a move in Microsoft's favour took place with the company winning a court case against the US Federal Trade Commission and now is about to take the British equivalent, the Competition and Markets Authority back to the negotiating table.
The US authorities disagree with the firm British line that this merger is anti-competitive, but the British authorities stand firm, so Microsoft's legal team has its work cut out.
The win in the US is a victory of considerable magnitude and now brings the proposed $68 billion deal back into the frame.
Microsoft shares have not rallied, and not much of an upward direction has been forthcoming, but July's courtroom battles are worth watching.
3: Netflix (NFLX)
Netflix stock reached its highest point in six months at the end of June this year, marking the end of a steady upward climb during the entire first half of 2023.
During the early part of this month, there have been some sudden downturns, but the stock resumed very quickly, meaning that during July, the steady upward direction has been maintained.
Netflix has thus far been famous for movie and TV series streaming; however, it is looking to move into the televised sports arena, and if British satellite TV company Sky is any yardstick, sports contracts are very lucrative. Sports sponsorship is a very big ticket, and Sky TV subscription is expensive because Sky has for many years held almost exclusive rights to certain highly popular sporting events.
Netflix is preparing to live stream its first sports event later this year and could make announcements to that effect very soon.
4: Meta (META)
There is a school of thought that Facebook, which is now known as Meta, is somewhat old hat. The company spearheaded the mass market move into social media and is now almost 20 years old.
It remains one of Silicon Valley's 'big tech' companies and does far more than just allow people to view social posts or conduct conversations, or be in touch with old friends.
Facebook operates a highly profitable digital performance marketing solution for businesses to get their products to a relevant audience and is also involved in the cloud hosting and data business.
Facebook's stock is at the highest point that it has been in over one year and continues to rise.
Analysts this month are predicting further rises due to Facebook's intention to make massive inroads into the text-based social media sector currently dominated by Twitter.
Facebook has launched 'Threads', which appears to be a direct rival to Twitter, and Elon Musk, Twitter's owner, retorted that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder & CEO, gained ‘100 million signups on his new app', referring to Threads.
Elon Musk continued 'He owned another app with 1.6 billion users and forced them to register. What a visionary.
The spat between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg around the launch of 'Threads' has been the subject of high-profile media attention, but figures are figures and Facebook (Meta) shares continue to rise in value. What will happen in July? Watch this space.
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