Most-popular US shares in Q1

by Graeme Evans from interactive investor |

Graeme Evans names the most-bought US stocks on the interactive investor platform this year. 

A rejuvenated Wall Street offered rich pickings for investors in the first quarter of 2019, with tech giants Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) among the leading targets for interactive investor clients.

The trio, who were in the top five of our most-bought US stocks on the interactive investor trading platform in the period, have rewarded investors handsomely - which is more than can be said for Elon Musk's Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

The electric car maker was the second most popular US stock on our platform in the quarter - and the most bought in March - as investors eyed opportunities amid recent share price volatility. That strategy looks to have backfired for the timebeing after poor sales figures from Tesla last night showed a record quarterly drop in car deliveries.

Shares dropped 10% today as Wall Street digested a figure of 63,000 deliveries in the quarter, compared with 90,000 for the previous quarter and analysts' expectations of around 76,000. One pocket of encouragement for investors might be that figures for Model 3 electric vehicles were better than expected.

10 most-popular US stocks in Q1
5 Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
6 Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)
7 Twilio (NYSE:TWLO)
8 Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)
9 Boeing (NYSE:BA)
10 Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD)

Source: interactive investor

Apple also disappointed investors in early January amid fears that it is running out of road in which to maintain its remarkable run of iPhone success. This was fuelled by slowing sales in China and signs that customers are not upgrading their handsets as often as previously.

While Apple's first revenues warning in more than a decade caused its shares to slump to $142 in early January, this presented a buying opportunity for many ii clients. The stock was the top pick in January and for the first quarter as a whole, with this faith rewarded following a recovery in Apple shares to $195. UBS has a price target of $215, which would propel the market valuation back above the $1 trillion level it achieved for the first time last August.

Source: TradingView Past performance is not a guide to future performance

Among the FANG stocks, clients have not given up on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) despite ongoing privacy concerns and fears of greater regulation. The social network, which is consistently among our top 10 most-bought stocks, has risen by more than 30% so far this year.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has enjoyed a similar run, although ii clients must think that the valuation is looking stretched after the streaming giant was only 17th in our list of most bought stocks for March. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is another FANG stock, but the Google owner isn't attracting buying interest.

Perhaps investors are saving themselves for the rush of unicorn IPOs due in the coming months. These tech start-ups worth more than $1 billion are set to include Uber, Airbnb and WeWork.

In more traditional industries, investors are interested again in The Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) after shares sunk to an all-time low when it cut its dividend by 36% and announced a $15 billion impairment. With a low valuation and 5% yield, this attracted ii clients to the stock in February.

The troubles at Boeing (NYSE:BA) have also drawn bargain hunters, with the aircraft manufacturer the third most bought stock in March and the ninth in the quarter overall. This compares with it being 39th most-bought in February, which was before the grounding of its 737 Max planes.

Source: TradingView Past performance is not a guide to future performance

Among lesser known stocks, interactive investor clients have spotted the potential of Twilio (NYSE:TWLO), which is our seventh most bought stock in the quarter. Shares in the cloud communications specialist have risen five-fold since February 2018 and are up about 50% so far in 2019.

There's also a whiff of cannabis about some ii portfolios, judging by the appearance of medical marijuana firms Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) at 14 and 15 in our Q1 list.

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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