U.S. Markets Host a Record-Setting Week on Wall Street

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are cruising toward sizable weekly wins

Patrick Martin
Dec 20, 2019 at 2:29 PM
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Records were broken left and right on Wall Street this week. Tailwinds from last Friday's "phase one" China trade deal have kept the ball rolling, with the Dow and S&P 500 nabbing record closes four out of the five days this week alone. Investors mostly shrugged off off the mid-week impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, and got a late boost Friday from the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, closed every day this week in uncharted territory, and is cruising toward its eighth straight win on Friday. Overall, all three benchmarks are about to wrap up solid weekly wins.

Blue Chips Find the Spotlight

It was a big week for blue chips. Walt Disney (DIS) expanded its Disney+ streaming service to debut in France in early 2020. Barclays doled out praise for Cisco Systems (CSCO) next year, while also naming Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) a top 2020 pick. The news was much less upbeat surrounding Boeing (BA), however, after the aerospace name suspended production for its 737 MAX jet and Moody's downgraded its debt rating. 

Meanwhile in the options pits, traders took a particular liking to Nike (NKE) before its earnings report, as well as red-hot bank stock Goldman Sachs (GS), amid new record highs.

Drug Stock Movers and Shakers

Staying with blue chips, pharma name Merck (MRK) is barreling toward its sixth straight weekly win after a big approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Amarin Corporation's (AMRN) fish-oil derived treatment for heart disease also got good news from the FDA, but the same was unable to be said for Wave Life Sciences (WVE). Meanwhile, one analyst thinks you should keep an eye on Axome Therapeutics (AXSM), as they seeing the stock doubling in 2020 after its major depressive disorder drug scored a breakthrough.

Skechers Makes the Nice List, FedEx Handed Coal

The holiday season is in full swing, and several retailers have something to cheer about. Athleisure staple Lululemon Athletica (LULU) saw a spike in options activity, while Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) got a boost from a c-suite shakeup. Deutsche Bank called shoe retailer Skechers (SKX) a "buy," and Columbia Sportswear (COLM) hit triple digits after its entry to the S&P MidCap 400 was revealed.

But not everyone was in the holiday spirit. Options bears blasted teledentistry name SmileDirectClub (SDC) for a dismal corporate report, while shipping icon FedEx (FDX) sold off in the wake of its own earnings and revenue miss

Match Group Makes a Split; Apple at New Highs

After dumping parent company InterActiveCorp (IAC), Match Group (MTCH) enjoyed a nice rebound. In the brokerage community, one analyst set a 36% upside for Facebook (FB) stock, while fellow social media name Twitter (TWTR) wasn't as lucky.

And in the broader tech sphere, Dropbox (DBX) calls roared in popularity. Apple (AAPL) rode a bull note to new record highs, while streaming service Roku (ROKU) remained under pressure from a sudden CFO resignation

Holiday-Shortened Week Hosts Bare Earnings Calendar

Christmas is next Wednesday, and Wall Street will have a holiday-shortened week. That means the earnings calendar is bare, and there's not much in terms of economic data either. Nevertheless, trade-sensitive sectors are likely to be in focus, as details about the China trade deal slowly filter out. As we head into the new year, we outlined the best stocks to target for contrarian trading, and an options strategy that looks affordable at the moment.


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