Stocks are trying to hold onto their recent gains. On Thursday, the Dow had a 500-point surge that pushed the index to its high for the year. The bullish sentiment came, in part, from an in-line reading of the PCE index. This is the Federal Reserve’s preferred metric for monitoring inflation. The latest reading may mean that the Fed can leave interest rates unchanged.
This has many investors speculating on when the Fed will cut rates. However, if the Fed lowers rates, it will probably coincide with an economy that is slowing much faster than expected. Lower rates will also stir up the housing market, a move which would surely be inflationary.
Those are issues for 2024. Currently, stocks are positioned to close 2023 at, or near, yearly highs. But, upcoming economic data is likely to ensure it won't be a straight line higher. That starts next week with manufacturing data and the November Jobs Report on December 8. You can count on the MarketBeat team to keep you on top of the stocks and stories impacting the markets. Here are some of our most popular articles from this week.
Articles by Jea Yu
It's been a rough earnings season for retailers. Anecdotal data about a weakening consumer was confirmed by large and small retailers in every sector. One outlier has been sporting goods retailers. This week, Jea Yu highlighted two sporting goods retailers that crushed expectations in the current quarter and raised guidance for the fourth quarter.
Yu was also writing about Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI), which dominates the Chinese EV market mainly because it's a profitable company. But, as Yu writes, a key reason for Li Auto's dominance – and profitability – is their embrace of hybrid vehicles.
Yu also checked in on Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc. (NYSE: TEVA) after resolving most of its Opioid and price-fixing lawsuits. The company, which makes bio-similar drugs, plans to spinoff its ingredient division as part of its "Pivot to Growth" strategy. As Yu notes, the company is making progress towards its goals and now may be the time for investors to get on board.
Articles by Thomas Hughes
Thomas Hughes boldly asked, "Is Microsoft the Nvidia Killer?" Fortunately, if you're an investor in either company, Hughes explains why your portfolio has room for both. However, you shouldn't ignore the steps that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is taking to chip away at its dependence on Nvidia, including announcing its first two AI- and cloud-specific custom chips that will launch in 2024.
Hughes also highlighted one of the many tools available to MarketBeat subscribers. In this case, he focused on MarketBeat's analyst-tracking algorithms to give investors three of the top-rated strong buys on the MarketBeat platform this week.
And if you prescribe to the mantra of being fearful when others are greedy, you may be looking to blue-chip stocks. This week, Hughes wrote about the three sectors with the most robust outlook for earnings growth in 2024.
Articles by Sam Quirke
Sam Quirke was looking at two of the strongest performers in the tech sector. Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS) is up nearly 75% in 2023 and about 125% since May. The company needed to crush expectations in its earnings report to keep the stock's momentum going. It did, and that is being accompanied by analyst upgrades and price target increases.
Quirke was also looking at NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) which is giving off a "party like it's 1999" vibe. The stock has yet to claim the all-time high it last reached in 2000. However, after a bullish earnings report, NTAP stock is approaching a level of resistance that, if it can break through, would put the stock at a price it hasn't seen since 2001
Articles by Chris Markoch
Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) delivered a disappointing earnings report this week that adds fuel to the argument that the worst may be yet to come for the economy. The retailer confirmed what many retailers are saying. Low- to middle-income consumers are spending less, and their money is going toward staple items rather than discretionary items.
Markoch was also writing about the news that General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) is issuing an aggressive stock buyback plan and planning a significant dividend increase. While that seems great for shareholders, Markoch reminds investors that this is a time to do your due diligence, particularly as the company is digesting its recent deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW).
Articles by Kate Stalter
Kate Stalter was looking at two stocks that are essential to the retail sector in 2023 and beyond. For investors looking at U.S. stocks, Stalter was writing about the recent performance of Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP). The stock of the e-commerce infrastructure provider was already surging after a solid earnings report in early November. Stalter writes that more upside is likely after strong Black Friday sales numbers.
If you're comfortable with Latin American stocks, Stalter analyzed the recent growth with MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI). Like Shopify, MercadoLibre's stock was already up sharply in 2023. And with the company reporting that gross sales grew over 80% year-over-year during the Black Friday season, MELI stock appears to have plenty of upside.
Stalter also wrote about the initial public offering (IPO) market, down about 16% from 2022. However, Stalter reminds investors who may be considering getting involved with some of the most-anticipated names that two of these names haven't been the best performers in 2023, while the best-performing IPO stock may be unfamiliar to investors.
Articles by Ryan Hasson
There's never been a shortage of news regarding Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA). This week, Ryan Hasson wrote about how the initial deliveries of the much-awaited Cybertruck coincide with TSLA stock trading near a key technical breakout point. As Hasson explains, there are reasons for both bulls and bears to place their bets on TSLA stock. What else is new?
While Tesla is one of the most-shorted large-cap stocks, Ryan Hasson reminds investors that other stocks have high short interest (in the double-digit range). Using the tools available on MarketBeat, Hasson analyzed the four highest-shorted large-cap stocks.
Keeping with the theme of stocks with high short interest, Hasson analyzed Lemonade Inc. (NYSE: LMND). The stock has high short interest, but LMND stock is up 60% in the last month. And with the stock showing a bullish technical pattern, the stock may be a short-squeeze candidate.
Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli
The Christmas shopping season is in full swing. This week, Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli wrote about two toy stocks that are likely to deliver strong results. Osorio-Mazilli explains that you can use the MarketBeat stock screener to find these two consumer discretionary stocks that are trading at a discount to the sector but have a bullish outlook for the holiday season.
Osorio-Mazilli was also writing about Alibaba Inc. (NYSE: BABA), which is trading near 52-week lows despite beating on earnings. As Osorio-Mazilli explains, the negative sentiment about investing in Chinese stocks as a group is having an outsized effect on BABA stock.
The housing market is telling two different stories. Home sales are at 13-year lows, but as Osorio-Mazilli writes, there's still a market for new homes, which is making homebuilder stocks more attractive. In this article, he gives investors three homebuilder stocks that are capitalizing on this trend.
Articles by MarketBeat Staff
For obvious reasons, the MarketBeat team is focused on retail stocks as we head into the Christmas season. This week, the MarketBeat staff wrote about the growing popularity of buy now pay later (BNPL) companies. This is a solution for consumers who are dealing with the double whammy of high inflation and high-interest rates. The staff gives you three stocks that are leaders in this emerging sector.
The MarketBeat staff was also writing about Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BYON) - formerly known as Overstock.com - which is benefiting from a bullish upgrade and price target increase even after delivering a disappointing earnings report in October. However, analysts are forward-looking and like some of the recent changes in the company.
Another company that may see its fortunes change for the better is Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS). The company is in the news on news that billionaire Mark Cuban sold his majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise. The transaction has ties to the Adelson family, the majority owners in Las Vegas Sands, which may be part of a larger growth strategy for the company. D