Unpacking a Festive Week on Wall Street

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

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 27, 2019 at 1:23 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Wall Street had a lot to celebrate during the holiday-shortened week. Although Christmas and Christmas Eve led to lower trading volumes, that didn't stop the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq from nabbing record closes left and right. The tech-heavy Nasdaq in particular broke out, and is currently heading toward its 12th straight win. U.S.-China trade optimism and upbeat holiday sales figures helped fuel the risk off sessions, with all three benchmarks closing out the last Friday of 2019 with weekly wins.

LYFT, TWTR See Heightened Options Trading

Although trading volumes have been light this holiday season, options traders were still active. Social media stocks Snap (SNAP) and Twitter (TWTR) in particular were a target, as well as ride-sharing app Lyft (LYFT). And before Christmas Eve, options bulls loaded up on PepsiCo (PEP).

FDA Gives Out Gifts

The biotech sector never seems to take a week off. Intra-Cellular (ITCI) scored a big win after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its schizophrenia treatment. But the FDA wasn't done there; they also approved an updated label for Flexion Therapeutics' (FLXN) arthritis medication, and Immunomedics' (IMMU) licensing application. It wasn't all good news though, with Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) cancer drug failing a mid-stage trial.

Tesla Stays Hot; AAL Faces Off With Bearish Trendline

Several stocks found themselves on Santa's nice list, while others weren't so lucky. Elon Musk's Tesla (TSLA) continued its scorching hot pace thanks to both a lofty bull note and a Model 3 update. Meanwhile, Amazon.com (AMZN) continued to dominate the holiday season with record-breaking sales numbers, and one analyst shared high hopes for chip stock Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

On the other end of the spectrum, the technical setup for American Airlines (AAL) looks bleak for 2020. And speaking of bearish signals, energy stock Occidental (OXY) has flashed several reasons to steer clear. 

2020 On The Horizon, What to Watch For

As 2019 comes to a close, the U.S.-China relationship remains a key catalyst. Markets will be closed Wednesday for New Years Day, but there's still plenty on tap for the rest of the week. And be sure to keep an eye out on these stocks that could see a tax-driven short covering rally to start the new year, as well as rising short interest levels that could further fuel the broad market rally.


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