There's no shortage of tricks and treats on Wall Street in October. It's going to be a busy month, and there will be plenty of stocks to keep an eye on this month.
We're now less than two weeks away from when Netflix reports fresh financials, and the leading premium streaming service is on top of the world. Many of the "shelter-in-place" stocks that thrived early in the pandemic have fallen out of favor, but Netflix hit another all-time high on Tuesday.
Expectations are understandably high heading into the Oct. 19 earnings report, but it wasn't necessarily Netflix's own doing. Its guidance back in July was calling for year-over-year revenue to decelerate to 16% growth for the third quarter, its weakest top-line increase since 2012.
Armed with 209.2 million paying subscribers worldwide at the end of June, the bar seems low enough for Netflix to clear in two weeks. With its stock hitting new highs this week, it doesn't have much of a choice.
The electric vehicle tastemaker already had an impressive start to October. It announced over the weekend that it cleared a record 241,300 vehicle deliveries in the third quarter, a 73% year-over-year surge at a time when other automakers saw a decline in sales. Analysts were only holding out for 221,000 shiny new Tesla cars hitting the market.
It's not just about gaining market share. Late last month we saw Tesla allow all drivers that have paid as much as $10,000 -- or are paying $199 per month -- for access to Full Self-Driving to apply for the beta program that will allow autonomous driving. Tesla has already pulled ahead of the pack with its proprietary Supercharger stations, and now it's about to take another big step in the high-margin niche of self-driving vehicles.
Tesla is always going to be a battleground stock. It is being valued differently than other auto stocks. Its ability to grow when car sales in general are retreating shows why it deserves a premium to its peers. The growing network of Tesla Supercharger kiosks and getting folks to pay as much as $10,000 for an over-the-air update are reasons why Tesla is raising the bar in terms of how much a company can profit from the sale of a single vehicle.
The media giant won't report quarterly results until next month, but there's a lot going on at Disney in October. Earlier this month it kicked off an 18-month celebration for Disney World turning 50. Its studio is behind the two highest-grossing films of 2021, and it has a busy slate of potentially promising films to close out the year starting later this month.
Disney+ continues to be a rising star on the streaming front, even if its momentum has slowed after a hot fiscal third quarter that ended in June. Later this month it's going to have no problem getting folks to pay at least $5,000 for a two-night stay at an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel experience.
Despite Disney's strong recovery from the pandemic swoon, the shares continue to trade slightly lower in 2021. A strong October could turn that year-to-date dip around for the iconic media stock.