It was a short trading week – Here’s what traders are focusing on right now…

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Stock Market Update Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Stocks were up nicely considering it was a short trading week.

Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, the major indices were trading at record highs and looking at a 4-day winning streak.

Markets were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. And on Friday markets were open for a short trading session.

Stocks were more active than they usually are after the holiday. During Friday’s short session stocks dropped, pulled away from record highs and finished the week back near Tuesday’s close.

But in spite of Friday’s drop, stocks finished with their best month since June.

Here’s what traders are focused on:

  • Trade – The trade situation between the U.S. and China continues to be the focus of traders. In October, it sounded like a Phase 1 trade deal was complete. But since then, a deal doesn’t seem to be guaranteed.

    On Tuesday, President Trump said a deal with China was close. But China wants to see tariffs rolled back and the next round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese good scheduled for December 15th canceled. And the Hong Kong protests aren’t making things easier. Last week President Trump upset China by signing a bill supporting protestors in Hong Kong. The Chinese foreign ministry responded to the move by saying that the U.S. has “sinister intentions” and China will take “strong counter measures.”

  • Retail – The numbers from the busiest shopping days of the year continue to come in. But so far sales appear to be strong. According to data from Adobe, shoppers spent more on Thanksgiving Day than ever before, with more than $4 billion in Turkey Day sales.
  • Santa – As we begin the last month of the year we’ll hear about Santa Claus rallies and strong Decembers. According to the StockTrader’s Almanac, December is historically the best month of the year for stocks with the S&P up an average of 1.6% (going back to 1950). But remember it’s important to trade what you see, not what you think. After all, last year we had the worst December since the Great Depression.

Here’s where the major indices ended the week:

  • The S&P finished with a 1.0% gain. Up 31 points, the S&P ended at 3,141.
  • The DOW ended higher by 0.6%. Adding 176 points, the DOW closed at 28,051.
  • The NASDAQ was up 1.7%. With a 146 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 8,665.

Crude Oil (CL) suffered its first loss in 4 weeks after a huge 4.6% slide on Friday. The drop was blamed on news that Iraq’s prime minister was resigning following weeks of deadly protests. CL ended the week with a loss of 4.3% at $55.42 a barrel.

Last week Alibaba (BABA) started trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a secondary offering. Alibaba raised $12.9 billion and became the largest IPO of 2019. For comparison, Uber raised $8.1 billion with its IPO.

This upcoming week is pretty busy looking at the economic calendar. The week wraps up with the closely watched Jobs Report on Friday.

Here is the economic calendar for the week:

Real Time Economic Calendar provided by Investing.com.

This Stock Market Update was provided by Rockwell Trading Services LLC.


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