MarketBeat Week in Review: 12/25 – 12/29

Key Points

  • The markets had a modest Santa Claus rally to close out 2023.  
  • The much-anticipated recession never occurred, but the full impact of the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening has yet to be felt.  
  • Here are some of our most popular articles from this week.   
  • 5 stocks we like better than Cleveland-Cliffs

As the shortened trading week ended, the much-anticipated Santa Claus rally took the S&P 500 up about 0.75%. The takeaway from 2023 will be that many investors expected a recession that never occurred. 

But recession concerns still linger over the economy heading into 2024. The full impact of the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening has yet to make its way through the economy. Investors won’t have to wait too long to start getting answers. The next earnings season gets underway in early January. 

We wish you and your families health and good fortune as you ring in the New Year. As you prepare to start a new trading year on Tuesday, take some time to review some of the top stocks and stories impacting the market. Here are some of the top stories from this week.  

Articles by Jea Yu 

One of the biggest stories impacting the market in December was US Steel’s announcement that it agreed to be acquired by Japan’s Nippon Steel. The proposed acquisition is igniting speculation about sector consolidation. This week, Jea Yu explains why Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. NYSE: CLF may be the industry’s next acquisition target

Yu also wrote about the ongoing artificial intelligence (AI) arms race and how Intel Co. NYSE: INTC is announcing its entry into the arena with the launch of its Gaudi3 AI chip

In 2023, buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) has become a way for many consumers to manage the higher cost of goods and services. It caused BNPL stocks like Affirm Holdings Inc. NASDAQ: AFRM moved higher. However, Yu explains why investors who got in on AFRM stock early this year may want to take a profit

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

One investment theory that has some historical precedent is the Dogs of the Dow theory. This says that the worst-performing Dow-30 stocks in one year will be among the best performers the following year. This week, Thomas Hughes analyzed the outlook for the three biggest dogs in 2023

Another sound strategy is to invest in stocks that get analysts’ upgrades. Hughes looks at three of the most upgraded stocks of 2023 and explains why each is likely to have more upside for investors in 2024. 

Hughes was also writing about Warren Buffett’s ongoing purchases of Occidental Petroleum Co. NYSE: OXY. Hughes defines the price range that marks the “Buffett buy zone,” why Buffett is investing heavily in OXY stock and why you may want to do the same. 

Articles by Sam Quirke 

The electric vehicle market did not rev up as much as investors expected in 2023. The high cost of scaling production in a rising interest rate environment will continue to impact many up-and-coming EV makers. But Sam Quirke writes why Rivian Automotive Inc. NASDAQ: RIVN is proving to be an exception. With analysts bidding up the stock, the end-of-the-year rally may just be getting started. 

Quirke also explains why investors looking for growth opportunities in 2024 will continue to look at the technology sector. But instead of investing blindly, Quirke suggests looking at tech stocks that recently got bullish upgrades that set the stage for better performance in 2024. 

Articles by Kate Stalter  

Small-cap investors have had a strong two months. However, the best may be yet to come. This week, Kate Stalter wrote why investor optimism for lower interest rates will push small-cap stocks even higher in 2024. 

On the opposite end of the market cap spectrum, Stalter analyzes the year that was for Apple Inc. NASDAQ: AAPL. As Stalter explains, Apple remains a favorite among institutional investors for many reasons. Still, investors who hold the stock may want to manage their expectations and look for opportunistic pullbacks to add to their position.  

Some analysts predict 2024 will be a good year for biotech and pharmaceutical stocks. If that’s the case, Stalter points investors to Bristol Myers Squibb Company NYSE: BMY, which made two recent acquisitions that will expand its position in areas like neuroscience and oncology. 

Articles by Ryan Hasson 

Ryan Hasson was also writing about biotech stocks. However, unlike Stalter, Hasson was looking at the small-cap biotech stock Liquidia Co. NASDAQ: LQDA, which is soaring after winning a victory in court

The end of earnings season gives investors time to look at winners versus losers. This week, Hasson points investors toward three tech stocks that are among the sector’s biggest winners in 2023 and have plenty of reasons to believe they have more upside to come. 

Hasson also wrote about the recent performance of the Financial Select Sector Fund NYSE: XLF. Many investors may not be considering financial stocks. Hasson explains why it may be time that you give the sector a closer look. 

Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli 

Nio Inc. NYSE: NIO is one of the stocks that is benefiting the most from the Santa Claus rally. Investors comfortable with the volatility in the electric vehicle (EV) sector will want to read Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli’s article explaining why NIO shares spiked over 10% and what it may mean heading into 2024. 

Even with tight inventory and mortgage rates at nearly 20-year highs, the housing market continues to strengthen. But for many reasons, the industry will likely perform well in 2024. Osorio-Mazilli explains why one reason to believe in the housing sector is the heightened interest in Rocket Companies Inc. NYSE: RKT

Osorio-Mazilli also analyzed Align Technology Inc. NASDAQ: ALGN, which retail investors may overlook, but analysts certainly are not

Before you consider Cleveland-Cliffs, you’ll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… and Cleveland-Cliffs wasn’t on the list.

While Cleveland-Cliffs currently has a “Moderate Buy” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

View The Five Stocks Here

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