S&P Leads Off December with Two Days of Record Highs

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The second day of December was much quieter than the first, but the S&P still managed a second consecutive closing high.

Any gain makes history for the index, so the 0.18% advance on Wednesday was more than enough. Despite the unimpressive increase, the S&P ended at a record 3669.01.

The Dow was up 0.20% (or nearly 60 points) to 29,883.79, while the NASDAQ was off 0.05% (or less than 6 points) to 12,349.37.

Yesterday, the S&P and NASDAQ both jumped more than 1% to close at record highs, while the Dow managed an intraday record before pulling back before the bell.

Apparently, the market liked news that Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer plan to use the $908 billion, bipartisan relief bill as a base for new stimulus talks.

Stocks spent most of the day in the red before heading higher into the close on the headline.  

Of course, the Senate Majority Leader threw cold water on this bill yesterday. So are we really any closer to actual talks?

The market likes the idea of a stimulus package, but the reality of one remains elusive. Stocks would certainly find another leg higher if they can get something done. Hey… Christmas is a time for miracles!

Meanwhile, the ADP employment report said that private payrolls added only 307,000 jobs in November, which was down from the previous month’s result.

That reading also missed expectations for a second straight month as coronavirus cases have been on the rise and threatening the economic recovery.

However, it should be noted that last month’s disappointing ADP report did not foreshadow a problem for the Government Employment Situation, which usually comes out two days later.

The October report (released on November 6) not only beat expectations easily, but the unemployment rate actually improved by a full percentage point to 6.9% from 7.9%.

Today’s Portfolio Highlights:

Healthcare Innovators: In a rather surprising move last month, Kevin sold Editas Medicine (EDIT) for a more than 40% return. This company was one of the editor’s favorite gene-editing biotechs. However, EDIT returned to the portfolio on Wednesday amid several buy rationales over the past month, including a positive update from a major brokerage and the hiring of a new EVP & CMO. Read the complete commentary for more specifics on this re-addition, as well as a couple other reasons why the service wanted more exposure to CRISPR technology.  

Home Run Investor: Over the past four quarters, Cambium Networks (CMBM) has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate each time and amassed an average surprise of about 137%. That certainly caught Brian’s attention, but the editor also appreciates the double-digit growth expected for this year and next. And it doesn’t hurt to see margins moving higher. CMBM is a provider of wireless broadband networking infrastructure solutions for network operators. Rising earnings estimates made the stock a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Read the full write-up for more on today’s addition of CMBM, including info on a recent secondary.

TAZR Trader: The portfolio added to its BigCommerce (BIGC) position on Wednesday. This software-as-a-service e-commerce platform was first added on November 19 following a solid quarterly report and a Buy rating from a major brokerage. Kevin sees BIGC as a cheaper version of Shopify (SHOP), which is part of a space that’s really finding dip buyers. The editor wouldn’t be surprised if BIGC testing this morning’s low, but that would provide a great opportunity for investors. Read the full write-up for more. In other news, this portfolio also had a top performer today as Inseego (INSG) rose 7.1%.

Marijuana Innovators: November was a strong month for marijuana stocks, as five states voted for legalization on election day. The industry is still advancing as we move into December, which gave this portfolio the top three movers of the day among all ZU names. And two of those winners brought double-digit returns! These strong performers were Artelo Biosciences (ARTL, +15.7%), Aurora Cannabis (ACB, +12.3%) and Aphria (APHA, +8.5%). By the way, ACB and APHA are also among the biggest winners over the past 30 days with gains of 123% and 65%, respectively.

Until Tomorrow,
Jim Giaquinto

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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