Wall Street Wraps Winning Year With Big Plans For 2024

The Dow snagged another record close this week, while the S&P 500 isn't far off

Deputy Editor
Dec 29, 2023 at 2:59 PM
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Despite the low-volume, post-Christmas trading environment, where headlines are few and far between, there was plenty to unpack for the final week of 2023. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continued its Santa Claus rally for the ages, scoring a record close Thursday and securing its ninth-straight weekly win despite stumbling Friday. 

Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) might break from the blue-chip index though, with their first week in the red since October. Regardless of how the week shakes out, the former remains within striking distance of a record high, while the latter steadily outperformed in 2023 thanks to a transcendent year from the 'Magnificent Seven.'

Deals and Shakeups 

Major buyouts and a C-suite shakeups kept the end of 2023 interesting. Pharma giants AstraZeneca (AZN) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) made substantial purchases, the former acquiring China's Gracell Biotechnologies (GRCL) for $1.2 billion, while the latter bought RayzeBio (RYZB) for $4.1 billion. Meanwhile, billionaire Xavier Neil considered acquiring the Portuguese operations of Altice USA (ATUS).

Elsewhere, British billionaire Jim Radcliffe's INEOS Group agreed to buy a minority stake in Manchester United (MANU) and manage operations. Outside of M&A news, PENN Entertainment's (PENN) hedge fund HG Cora Capital Management -- which holds of an 18.5% stake in the sports betting concern -- is seeking a seat on its board.

More Biotech Buzz

The New York Times (NYT) also kept investors on the edge of their seats, after it sued both OpenAI and Microsoft (MSFT), claiming copyright infringement. Meanwhile, Tesla (TSLA) revealed plans for a new Model Y out of its Shanghai plant. Plus, options traders blasted Iovance Biotherapeutics (IOVA) after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a Phase 2 study of its lung cancer therapy on hold after a patient died.

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot ...

Investors are treated to another holiday-shortened week to start 2024. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) --a severe underperformer in 2023 -- will step into the earnings confessional and look to start the new year strong. Investors can hit the ground running as well, with this helpful table curated by Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White on short-covering rallies to watch.


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