Trade Buzz Sparks Roller-Coaster Week For Stocks

The three benchmarks explored both sides of breakeven all week

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 14, 2018 at 1:12 PM

After a rough start for stocks in December, volatility was the name of the game this week on Wall Street. The Dow, S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) endured wild swings all week, as investors monitored an onslaught of U.S-China trade headlines. A resurgent tech sector helped ease the blow, setting the Nasdaq up for a weekly win. The Dow and S&P 500, meanwhile, are heading toward weekly losses, with the latter recently flashing a death cross

Amazon Gets a Big Bull Note

Amazon.com (AMZN) looks like it will finish the week lower. However, next year looks bright for the e-commerce giant, according to Cowen, which placed the FAANG stock on its best ideas list for 2019 And speaking of best ideas, mobile app maker Glu Mobile (GLUU) also found itself on Cowen's list, prompting a flurry of activity from options traders. Elsewhere among FAANG names, our founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer explained the significance of this Apple (AAPL) trendline we're watching. 

A Top Pick in the Video Game Sector

Analysts were busy adjusting ratings ahead of the new year. While Loop Capital upgraded this retail stock -- calling it "economic downturn resistant," Wolfe Research targeted 20% upside for Dow stock Cisco Systems (CSCO). Elsewhere, two specialty parts manufacturers were crushed by bear notes, while Jefferies picked its favorite video game stock.

News Headlines Impacting Stocks

One sector moving on headlines this week was defense, after President Donald Trump's about-face on defense spending sparked a flurry of options trading for several stocks. Meanwhile, CBD-infused drink specialist New Age Beverages (NBEV) soared after the farm bill cleared the Senate. Choppy oil prices caused more problems for this oil exchange-traded fund (ETF), while late-week tariff buzz gave auto stock Ford (F) a lift.

Fed Meeting On Tap Next Week

Next week is headlined by the December Fed meeting, where a rate hike is expected. Traders will also watch a post-meeting press conference with Fed Chair Jerome Powell for clues to the future pace of rate hikes. Also in focus is a potential government shutdown. Amidst all these potentially market-moving events, it may comfort bulls to know this sentimental signal is flashing once more.

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