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Nasdaq Bear Market: 5 Phenomenal Growth Stocks You’ll Regret Not Buying on the Dip

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Nasdaq Bear Market: 5 Phenomenal Growth Stocks You'll Regret Not Buying on the Dip

Every so often, Wall Street sends a reminder to the investing community that stocks can go down just as easily as they can climb. Last year, all three major U.S. indexes produced their worst single-year returns since the financial crisis, with the growth-driven Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -0.74%) taking it on the chin with a decline of 33%.

But where there’s a bear market, there’s always opportunity for long-term investors. Even though we can’t predict when bear markets will start or how much they’ll ultimately decline, we do know that, eventually, every bear market is cleared away by a bull market rally. This will be the fate of the current Nasdaq bear market decline.

Image source: Getty Images.

A bear market can be an especially smart time to buy into innovative growth stocks beaten down by emotion-driven trading. What follows are five phenomenal growth stocks you’ll regret not buying on the Nasdaq bear market dip.

Meta Platforms

The first stellar growth stock you can confidently buy during the Nasdaq bear market swoon is social media giant Meta Platforms (META -4.55%). Although recessionary fears are weighing on near-term ad spending, Meta is well positioned to deliver for its shareholders over the long run.

Last year, all but $3 billion of Meta’s $116.6 billion in total sales came from advertising.  While downturns are a normal part of the economic cycle, it’s worth noting that recessions have lasted just two months to 18 months since the end of World War II. By comparison, periods of economic expansion are known to go on for years. For an ad-driven company like Meta, these disproportionately long expansions should allow it to take full advantage of strong ad-pricing power.

To add to this point, Meta Platforms owns four of the most popular social media apps on the planet — Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The company’s family of apps attracted 3.74 billion unique monthly visitors during the fourth quarter, which effectively represents more than half of the world’s adult population. As the clear leader in social media engagement, Meta has the upper hand with advertisers when it comes to ad pricing.

Investors should also appreciate Meta’s cash-rich balance sheet — $30.8 billion in net cash — and its ability to pull levers. With losses rising at metaverse/virtual reality-focused operating segment Reality Labs, Meta pared back its full-year operating expenses forecast for this year by $5 billion at the midpoint, as well as approved an up to $40 billion share repurchase program.

Lovesac

A second marvelous growth stock you’ll regret not snagging during the Nasdaq bear market decline is furniture retailer Lovesac (LOVE -4.48%). Despite furniture being a generally slow-growing, cyclical industry, Lovesac offers catalysts intended to turn this stodgy industry upside down.

The biggest differentiating factor for Lovesac is the company’s furniture. Approximately 90% of Lovesac’s net sales derive from sactionals — modular couches that can be rearranged in a multitude of ways to fit virtually any living space.  Sactionals can be fitted with a number of upgrades (surround sound or wireless charging stations), come with more than 200 different cover options, and the yarn used in these covers is made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. Lovesac’s products sit within their own niche.

The next key point is that Lovesac leans on a variety of sales channels. The company’s omnichannel sales platform relies on a combination of physical stores in 40 states, online sales, popup showrooms, and showroom partnerships to move its products. Being able to pivot to online sales has helped lower overhead expenses, which has been a positive for the company’s operating margin.

Furthermore, Lovesac’s target audience tends to be middle-to-upper-income consumers. Higher-earning consumers are less likely to be shaken by rising inflation or economic weakness. In other words, Lovesac can weather an economic downturn better than its peers.

Two college student sharing a laptop and reading content.

Image source: Getty Images.

JD.com

The third phenomenal growth stock ripe for the picking during the Nasdaq bear market drop is China-based e-commerce stock JD.com (JD -2.41%). Even though investing in China stocks comes with added risks, a number of short-term headwinds have recently been addressed.

For much of the past three years, China-based companies have been stymied by the country’s zero-COVID-19 strategy, which led to unpredictable lockdowns and ongoing supply chain problems. In December, following a wave of protests, China finally reopened its economy. While the ramp-up could be bumpy at times, with China’s residents now having to build up natural or vaccine-based immunity to COVID, this move will ultimately be a positive in terms of getting China’s generally faster-growing economy back on track.

In addition to benefiting from a reopened China, JD.com stands out from its peers for having more control over its operating expenses. Whereas third-party marketplaces are dominant on Alibaba, the nation’s largest e-commerce marketplace, JD.com’s marketplace is predominantly focused on direct-to-consumer sales. With JD controlling both the inventory and logistics, it has more ability to pull levers, as needed, to adjust its operating margin.

What’s more, JD is moving beyond just retail sales. The company’s logistics operations, JD Health segment, and even Dada, which covers local deliveries, are ways for JD to expand its sales verticals and further increase its organic growth rate.

Cresco Labs

A fourth impressive growth stock you’ll regret not adding during the Nasdaq bear market fall is U.S. marijuana company Cresco Labs (CRLBF -1.76%). Although pot stocks have lost their buzz due to the lack of cannabis reform on Capitol Hill, Cresco has the tools and intangibles to thrive, even if lawmakers continue to drag their feet.

As of last week, Cresco Labs was operating 63 dispensaries in legalized states across the country.  While it does have a presence in high-dollar markets like California and Colorado, it’s predominantly positioned itself for growth in limited-license states, such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio. States where regulators purposely limit retail license issuance allow smaller players like Cresco a fair chance to build up their brands and secure a loyal following of customers.

A potentially game-changing move for Cresco is its pending all-share acquisition of Columbia Care. The deal would increase Cresco’s presence to 18 states, as well as give it a dispensary footprint of more than 130 stores after taking divestments into account. This broad presence would quickly position Cresco to take advantage of any cannabis reforms at the federal level.

However, what makes Cresco Labs a particularly intriguing investment is its industry-leading wholesale operations. Though wholesale cannabis margins are, indeed, lower than the retail side of the equation, Cresco is more than making up for what it’s losing in margin with volume. It holds one of only a few cannabis distribution licenses in California, the nation’s top market for legal weed sales. This allows Cresco to place its proprietary products in dispensaries throughout the state.

Palo Alto Networks

The fifth phenomenal growth stock you’ll regret not buying during the Nasdaq bear market dip is cybersecurity stock Palo Alto Networks (PANW -0.34%). In spite of fears that a recession could materialize and slow demand for cybersecurity products, Palo Alto remains one of the smartest and safest buys for growth-seeking investors.

The key reason investors can count on Palo Alto is the company’s clear-cut focus on cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) cybersecurity solutions. In less than five years, Palo Alto has shifted from generating around 61% of its revenue from cloud-based subscriptions and support to nearly 79% through the first six months of fiscal 2023. 

Emphasizing cloud-based SaaS cybersecurity solutions comes with a number of advantages for Palo Alto. The margins associated with subscriptions are notably higher than physical firewall products, and subscriptions are more likely to keep clients loyal to its services. Also, cloud-based solutions tend to be more effective at recognizing and responding to potential threats.

The proof is in the pudding that this next-generation security shift is working. Next-gen security annual recurring revenue rose 63% to $2.33 billion in the quarter ended Jan. 31, 2023, with Prisma Cloud adoption demonstrating especially strong growth.  The number of customers purchasing four or more cloud modules more than doubled year over year. 

This organic growth, coupled with bolt-on acquisitions, is the ideal recipe for Palo Alto Networks to continue to outperform.

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Facebook Faces Yet Another Outage: Platform Encounters Technical Issues Again

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Facebook Problem Again

Uppdated: It seems that today’s issues with Facebook haven’t affected as many users as the last time. A smaller group of people appears to be impacted this time around, which is a relief compared to the larger incident before. Nevertheless, it’s still frustrating for those affected, and hopefully, the issues will be resolved soon by the Facebook team.

Facebook had another problem today (March 20, 2024). According to Downdetector, a website that shows when other websites are not working, many people had trouble using Facebook.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has had issues. Just a little while ago, there was another problem that stopped people from using the site. Today, when people tried to use Facebook, it didn’t work like it should. People couldn’t see their friends’ posts, and sometimes the website wouldn’t even load.

Downdetector, which watches out for problems on websites, showed that lots of people were having trouble with Facebook. People from all over the world said they couldn’t use the site, and they were not happy about it.

When websites like Facebook have problems, it affects a lot of people. It’s not just about not being able to see posts or chat with friends. It can also impact businesses that use Facebook to reach customers.

Since Facebook owns Messenger and Instagram, the problems with Facebook also meant that people had trouble using these apps. It made the situation even more frustrating for many users, who rely on these apps to stay connected with others.

During this recent problem, one thing is obvious: the internet is always changing, and even big websites like Facebook can have problems. While people wait for Facebook to fix the issue, it shows us how easily things online can go wrong. It’s a good reminder that we should have backup plans for staying connected online, just in case something like this happens again.

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan — A court in Pakistan granted bail to a Christian falsely charged with blasphemy, but he and his family have separated and gone into hiding amid threats to their lives, sources said.

Haroon Shahzad (right) with attorney Aneeqa Maria. | The Voice Society/Morning Star News

Haroon Shahzad, 45, was released from Sargodha District Jail on Nov. 15, said his attorney, Aneeqa Maria. Shahzad was charged with blasphemy on June 30 after posting Bible verses on Facebook that infuriated Muslims, causing dozens of Christian families in Chak 49 Shumaali, near Sargodha in Punjab Province, to flee their homes.

Lahore High Court Judge Ali Baqir Najfi granted bail on Nov. 6, but the decision and his release on Nov. 15 were not made public until now due to security fears for his life, Maria said.

Shahzad told Morning Star News by telephone from an undisclosed location that the false accusation has changed his family’s lives forever.

“My family has been on the run from the time I was implicated in this false charge and arrested by the police under mob pressure,” Shahzad told Morning Star News. “My eldest daughter had just started her second year in college, but it’s been more than four months now that she hasn’t been able to return to her institution. My other children are also unable to resume their education as my family is compelled to change their location after 15-20 days as a security precaution.”

Though he was not tortured during incarceration, he said, the pain of being away from his family and thinking about their well-being and safety gave him countless sleepless nights.

“All of this is due to the fact that the complainant, Imran Ladhar, has widely shared my photo on social media and declared me liable for death for alleged blasphemy,” he said in a choked voice. “As soon as Ladhar heard about my bail, he and his accomplices started gathering people in the village and incited them against me and my family. He’s trying his best to ensure that we are never able to go back to the village.”

Shahzad has met with his family only once since his release on bail, and they are unable to return to their village in the foreseeable future, he said.

“We are not together,” he told Morning Star News. “They are living at a relative’s house while I’m taking refuge elsewhere. I don’t know when this agonizing situation will come to an end.”

The Christian said the complainant, said to be a member of Islamist extremist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and also allegedly connected with banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, filed the charge because of a grudge. Shahzad said he and his family had obtained valuable government land and allotted it for construction of a church building, and Ladhar and others had filed multiple cases against the allotment and lost all of them after a four-year legal battle.

“Another probable reason for Ladhar’s jealousy could be that we were financially better off than most Christian families of the village,” he said. “I was running a successful paint business in Sargodha city, but that too has shut down due to this case.”

Regarding the social media post, Shahzad said he had no intention of hurting Muslim sentiments by sharing the biblical verse on his Facebook page.

“I posted the verse a week before Eid Al Adha [Feast of the Sacrifice] but I had no idea that it would be used to target me and my family,” he said. “In fact, when I came to know that Ladhar was provoking the villagers against me, I deleted the post and decided to meet the village elders to explain my position.”

The village elders were already influenced by Ladhar and refused to listen to him, Shahzad said.

“I was left with no option but to flee the village when I heard that Ladhar was amassing a mob to attack me,” he said.

Shahzad pleaded with government authorities for justice, saying he should not be punished for sharing a verse from the Bible that in no way constituted blasphemy.

Similar to other cases

Shahzad’s attorney, Maria, told Morning Star News that events in Shahzad’s case were similar to other blasphemy cases filed against Christians.

“Defective investigation, mala fide on the part of the police and complainant, violent protests against the accused persons and threats to them and their families, forcing their displacement from their ancestral areas, have become hallmarks of all blasphemy allegations in Pakistan,” said Maria, head of The Voice Society, a Christian paralegal organization.

She said that the case filed against Shahzad was gross violation of Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which states that police cannot register a case under the Section 295-A blasphemy statute against a private citizen without the approval of the provincial government or federal agencies.

Maria added that Shahzad and his family have continued to suffer even though there was no evidence of blasphemy.

“The social stigma attached with a blasphemy accusation will likely have a long-lasting impact on their lives, whereas his accuser, Imran Ladhar, would not have to face any consequence of his false accusation,” she said.

The judge who granted bail noted that Shahzad was charged with blasphemy under Section 295-A, which is a non-cognizable offense, and Section 298, which is bailable. The judge also noted that police had not submitted the forensic report of Shahzad’s cell phone and said evidence was required to prove that the social media was blasphemous, according to Maria.

Bail was set at 100,000 Pakistani rupees (US $350) and two personal sureties, and the judge ordered police to further investigate, she said.

Shahzad, a paint contractor, on June 29 posted on his Facebook page 1 Cor. 10:18-21 regarding food sacrificed to idols, as Muslims were beginning the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha, which involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat.

A Muslim villager took a screenshot of the post, sent it to local social media groups and accused Shahzad of likening Muslims to pagans and disrespecting the Abrahamic tradition of animal sacrifice.

Though Shahzad made no comment in the post, inflammatory or otherwise, the situation became tense after Friday prayers when announcements were made from mosque loudspeakers telling people to gather for a protest, family sources previously told Morning Star News.

Fearing violence as mobs grew in the village, most Christian families fled their homes, leaving everything behind.

In a bid to restore order, the police registered a case against Shahzad under Sections 295-A and 298. Section 295-A relates to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” and is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine, or both. Section 298 prescribes up to one year in prison and a fine, or both, for hurting religious sentiments.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

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Individual + Team Stats: Hornets vs. Timberwolves

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CHARLOTTE HORNETS MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES You can follow us for future coverage by liking us on Facebook & following us on X: Facebook – All Hornets X – …

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