Christmas Week a Volatile One for Stocks

All three benchmarks are headed toward weekly wins

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM

It was a wild ride on Wall Street this week, as volatility reared its ugly head once again. In addition to the worst Christmas Eve sell-off of all time, the Dow racked up its biggest one-day point gain ever on Wednesday. That was followed by a dramatic pivot higher in the final hour of trading on Thursday. Amid all this whipsaw price action, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all set to notch weekly gains for the first time this month.

FAANG Stock News

Strong holiday sales for e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) helped the stock snap a four-day losing streak. Fellow FAANG stock Facebook (FB) bounced back mid-week, too, but not before Wedbush removed the stock from its "Best Ideas" list. On the other end of the spectrum, even after a dismal bottom on Christmas Eve, one analyst continues to see 80% upside for Apple (AAPL) stock. 

Volatile Week for Biotech Stocks

Several drug stocks made outsized moves this week, too. Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR) popped earlier in the week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's new Parkinson's drug. Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP) also jumped after Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) took a stake in the gene editing company. Plus, H.C. Wainwright issued buy ratings on two biotech stocks, while Opko Health (OPK) got a boost after the company's CEO settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

JD, TSLA, NVDA Make Headlines Again

Chinese stock JD.com got a late-week lift amid reports the company was restructuring a key unit. Earlier in the week, the e-commerce name had announced a $1 billion buyback plan, while Tesla (TSLA) climbed amid Model 3 buzz. Elsewhere, chip stock Nvidia (NVDA) was slapped with yet another bear note, while this "recession-proof" stock flashed a pretty intriguing bullish signal

Powell, Jobs Data Kick Off 2019

Next week will put a stamp 2018 and also kick off the new year. Markets will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1, for New Year's Day, but 2019 will hit the ground running with a speech from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and the monthly jobs report.

Traders will continue to keep an eye on D.C. and the government shutdown, as well as volatile oil prices. Meanwhile, Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone explains when to start selling stock market rallies, while these underperforming stocks could start the year off with a bang.

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