Weekend reads: Are these red flags for Tesla, Apple and Netflix? – MarketWatch

The long bull market for U.S. stocks has been led by companies that have grown rapidly with product and service transformations.

But with the ratio of stock prices to expected earnings at much higher levels than a year ago, there are concerns about three of the highfliers: Tesla TSLA, +10.30%, Apple AAPL, -0.14% and Netflix NFLX, +1.33%.

Netflix has changed the way it counts subscribers, which is critically important to investors who have been basing decisions on those numbers rather than revenue and earnings growth.

Jeremy Owens explains the meaning of Netflixs reporting change.

Shares of Tesla are up 37% so far this year, after hitting a record on Jan. 23. CEO Elon Musk has surprised investors by getting the companys Shanghai plant operating within a year, helping the company increase annual car deliveries by 50% during 2019.

But Teslas soaring action in 2020 is extremely unusual for an industrial company, according to Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who advises investors to be cautious with the stock.

Another warning: Ralph Nader admonishes that the rapid increase in Teslas share price is a signal of a coming implosion of the bull market.

For many years, Apples shares traded at low valuations to those of other large tech companies, and even to the entire S&P 500 index SPX, +0.31%. Apple can now be lumped in with other tech highfliers, which means more potential risk for investors.

Heres one side: The S&P 500 now trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 21.8, based on weighted aggregate consensus earnings-per-share estimates among analysts polled by FactSet. Thats the highest forward P/E for the benchmark index since June 2002, aside from a brief period early in 2018.

So if you think the market is trading too high, value stocks are a better proposition for safety. Michael Brush explains how to find them.

Heres another view: Tom Plumb, the manager of the five-star-rated Plumb Balanced Fund PLBBX, +0.39% believes large-cap growth stocks will continue to lead the U.S. market higher, and explains this argument with simple math.

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Weekend reads: Are these red flags for Tesla, Apple and Netflix? - MarketWatch

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