MarketBeat Week in Review – 12/18 - 12/22

The torrid stock market rally cooled down a little bit heading into the extended holiday weekend. Geopolitical concerns are impacting oil prices and global shipping costs. And that is overshadowing a pace of inflation that continues to decelerate, but maybe not enough for the Federal Reserve to cut rates as fast as investors first thought. 

The question is whether the market will be in for a Santa Claus rally when it opens on Tuesday. If the market rallies, investors may want to look at chip stocks and maybe revisit some consumer discretionary stocks. As you'll see, that was the focus of the MarketBeat team this week.  

We wish you a Happy Holiday season. As you take some downtime in the coming week, the MarketBeat team will keep you updated on the stocks and stories impacting the market. Here are some of the top stories from this week.  

Articles by Jea Yu 

Last week, Jea Yu gave investors three stocks that could be buying opportunities after investors do their tax loss selling. This week, Yu gave investors three additional stocks that could be tax-loss selling buy opportunities. These types of opportunities are designed for nimble, risk-tolerant traders. If that fits your investment style, check out Yu's picks.  

Looking ahead to 2024, the aerospace sector should continue to perform well. Yu gave investors two aerospace stocks that have catalysts that can take them to higher highs.  

Ever since Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) acquired Activision Blizzard, there has been speculation that other small-cap companies, like Ubisoft Entertainment SA (OTCMKTS: UBSFY), may be the next video game publisher to be acquired. Yu explains why the maker of Assassin's Creed, Just Dance, and other video games is an attractive target.

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

One of this week's most anticipated earnings reports came from FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX), and the company dumped a shovel full of coal into investors' stockings. The company missed on the top and bottom lines and lowered its guidance, which as Hughes points out may still be too high. 

Hughes also wrote about FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL), which illustrates the reality that still impacts the hydrogen industry. Specifically, there's reason for optimism if you're holding the stock for the long haul. Still, in the short term, the company continues to burn cash, which creates considerable concern about dilution. 

Hughes also explains why this could be an ideal time to buy gold. The metal's spot price is forecast to increase by 10% to 15% in 2024. If you're uncomfortable buying and/or holding physical gold, buying gold stocks can be a good way to gain exposure to this asset class.  

Articles by Sam Quirke 

Consumer discretionary stocks have generally taken a beating. But nimble traders have found that timing is everything. No stock may better reflect that than Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) stock, which has been the source of triple-digit highs and double-digit lows. Recent analyst upgrades are pushing the stock higher, and Quirke explains why investors may want to jump on board.  

Quirke also wrote about Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), another consumer discretionary stock that posted closely watched earnings this week. The company missed on revenue and lowered guidance. But Quirke points out that improving margins may give investors reasons for optimism heading into 2024.  

On the other end of the spectrum are semiconductor stocks. Chip stocks are in a super cycle, and one of the more compelling names in the sector is Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU). The company crushed its earnings this week and raised its guidance, leading some analysts to believe 2024 may be Micron's best year ever.  

Articles by Chris Markoch 

One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to get in better shape. This week, Chris Markoch wrote about three fitness stocks that investors should consider to get their portfolio in good shape in 2024. 

Markoch also wrote about the bullish outlook from Wedbush analyst, Dan Ives, about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Ives believes that Apple will be a $4 trillion company by the end of 2024, and Markoch explains why Ives may be right.   

Articles by Kate Stalter  

Knowing that semiconductor stocks are red-hot is one thing, but understanding why helps you make wise investment decisions. This week, Kate Stalter explained why semiconductor stocks will likely have a strong year in 2024 (and it's not just AI).  

Stalter was also writing about the news that United States Steel (NYSE: X) is being acquired by Japan's Nippon Steel Corp. OTCMKTS: NPSCY for $14.1 billion. The stock price has probably risen to the unbuyable range, but Stalter writes why other steel stocks may be a good buy as sentiment for steel stocks is on the rise.  

And every investor can benefit from a road map. That's the idea behind Stalter's article on what your portfolio should look like in 2024. It's not about the stocks you choose; it's about the questions you should ask, and Stalter helps you with the questions you should consider as you close out the year.  

Articles by Ryan Hasson 

Small-cap stocks are beginning to look more attractive. You still have to be selective, but Ryan Hasson points out that C4 Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CCCC) is a stock to watch. The company's stock is rising on news of a partnership with Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) to develop cancer-fighting treatments. 

Turning his attention to large-cap stocks, Hasson wrote about the resurgence of Boeing Inc. (NYSE: BA), which is up nearly 38% year-to-date after a recent rally. There are reasons to like the stock, but Hasson explains why the stock may be overbought right now.   

On the other hand, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has had a great year. But as Hasson writes, the company's swift cost-cutting and restructuring efforts earlier this year are showing up and could fuel more growth in 2024.  

Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli 

Technology stocks have had a strong year, but that hasn't been evident in PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL). The stock is well shy of its 52-week high, but Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli explains why 2024 may be a better year.  

Osorio-Mazilli also helps investors understand how they may want to reconsider their portfolio in light of a more dovish Federal Reserve. The trick may be to look away from the safe, anchor stocks and look for smaller stocks that can grow faster. 

And when you look at sectors that might grow in 2024, Osorio-Mazilli says that you shouldn't forget about energy stocks. Although the price of oil fell sharply in late 2023, analysts are still projecting $100 oil, particularly if the Fed cuts interest rates. Read his article to find three energy stocks to consider.  

Articles by MarketBeat Staff 

Is Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) an AI play? Yes, says the MarketBeat staff. The next wave of AI will include AI-based electronics that are hitting the store shelves heading into the critical holiday season. And, as the MarketBeat staff writes, analysts are bidding the stock higher as a result. 

As risk-on sentiment returns to the market, Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) is surging higher. Shares of the rideshare company are up nearly 70% since November 1, and if the company's growth estimates prove to be too conservative, there may be significant upside ahead.  

There also looks to be more upside ahead for CAVA Group Inc. (NYSE: CAVA). The stock has been volatile since the company's market debut in June 2023. And with more store openings on the horizon, this may be a stock that investors will want to nibble on.  

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