Can these FTSE chargers continue last week’s rally?

Market appetite for budget flyer easyJet (LSE: EZJ) has taken off in recent sessions, as investors have favourably balanced concerns over near-term profits pain with bountiful rewards in the years ahead. Indeed, the stock gained 7% in value during the last week alone.

The airline has been forced to slash the price of its tickets to keep market share bubbling higher and encourage holidaymakers to keep spending.

Such steps — combined with the pressures of a slumping pound — are expected to extend easyJet’s recent profit woes. Indeed, an 18% earnings dip is currently expected for the period to September 2017, following on from a predicted 22% fall in fiscal 2016.

Having said that, I — like many investors — believe the Luton-based business remains a compelling pick for the long-term, with its expansion programme across Europe providing a foundation on which to generate strong revenues expansion in the years ahead.

EasyJet plans to expand capacity by 8% in the current year alone to exploit surging demand for cut-price tickets. And sales of cheap plane rides could likely receive a further boost should economic difficulties transpire in 2017 and beyond.

I reckon a prospective P/E ratio of 11.8 times represents a decent opportunity to latch onto easyJet’s compelling growth outlook.

Bank bounces

Banking behemoth Barclays (LSE: BARC) has continued to shrug off fears in various quarters over the prospect of a sharp deceleration in the UK economy from 2017.

Indeed, Barclays saw its share price shoot 11% higher last week, taking total gains during the past quarter to date to 20%. And a further spurt in Monday business means that the bank has all-but erased all of the stock price weakness enduring this year.

This comes as something of a shock, at least in my opinion, given that the risks facing Barclays have cranked up several notches in 2016.

Barclays announced plans for a fresh restructuring drive earlier this year, with the aim of creating a leaner, more efficient operation spanning the UK and US. But the political and economic malaise created by the ‘Leave’ vote in June, and more recently concerns over President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for the US economy, could harm business investment on both sides of the Pond looking ahead.

As well as problem in its core markets, the possible loss of ‘passporting’ rights in Europe during Brexit negotiations could throw another spanner in the works.

Given these factors, I believe Barclays’ share price may struggle to gain further traction from here. An expected 29% earnings dip this year leaves the firm dealing on a P/E rating of 17.6 times, soaring above the FTSE 100 average of 15 times.

Some would argue that an anticipated 69% bottom-line bounce in 2017 makes Barclays a top turnaround candidate, particularly as this produces an ultra-low earnings multiple of 10.9 times.

However, I reckon the likely turmoil facing Britain from next year, and with it the possibility of further Bank of England rate cuts, means that Barclays may struggle to meet these expectations.

With PPI claims also heading higher — the bank stashed away an extra £600m between July and September — and the prospect of heavy regulatory penalties in the US, I reckon Barclays is a much too risky proposition at present.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.