Janet Yellen was confirmed last week as the central bank's new chairwoman, followed by release of the highly anticipated minutes from the Fed's last meeting. And the Fed was again in focus Friday as the disconcerting December jobs report left the central bank's decision to taper its bond-buying program in question.
stocks to invest in
- Stock Market Today: Why Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) Stock Soared 21%
- Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Money Morning Weekly Roundup
- Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Money Morning Weekly Recap
Calling what we're experiencing a bull market is like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch.
First of all, this rally - the one that sprung us from the depths of the Great Recession, and has pushed the S&P 500 170% above its 2009 low - has largely regained lost ground. This historic "rally" has taken the bellwether index just 265 points beyond its October 2007 peak.
In other words, 153 percentage points of the rally since 2009 were necessary just to get us back to 2007.
We're up only a modest 17% from the old highs.
I wouldn't call that overdone. I call that a leg to stand on. And it's just the first leg.
The Consumer Electronics Show is where you're guaranteed to see a steady stream of the world's most innovative products - everything from next-generation TVs to self-driving cars to 3D printing. The profit potential here is mind-boggling, but only a few companies will emerge as big money-makers.
Best stocks to buy for the week ending Jan. 3, 2014: After closing out 2013 with stellar gains and numerous records - 52 all-time highs for the Dow, 45 for the S&P 500 Index, and 66 for the Russell 2000 - investors ushered in 2014 with a muted welcome.
The Dow dropped 135 points, or 0.8%, last Thursday, marking the first time since 2008 the blue-chip benchmark finished in the red on the first trading of the year. For the week, the 30-stock average lost 0.05%. The S&P 500 ended the first week of 2014 lower by 0.54%, and the Nasdaq was off 0.27%.
Trading was light in the shortened week, with many investors and traders still on extended holiday. Money Morning, however, remained hard at work bringing readers the latest news, best investment ideas, and best stocks to buy now. Here's a recap:
Today I'm going to show you how to find the best-performing small-cap stocks of 2014.
Employing the approach in 2013 helped spot some huge winners...
Puma Biotechnology, for example, jumped 452.2% in 2013, on a series of positive results and news related to its various clinical trials programs - a classic disruptive technology.
Tesla Motors is another great example. The luxury electric automaker trounced earnings estimates way back in the first quarter of 2013, which led to analyst upgrades... and, of course, a 344.1% gain for shareholders.
And then there was Netflix, which gained 279.6% after the company crushed fourth-quarter 2012 earnings, proving the company had righted its ship.
All very different businesses and industries, but one thing in common: sparks. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they all do the same thing: make you a lot of money.
This year's first batch of gains can come quickly, too. Plug Power (PLUG) generated a spark on Jan. 2, confirming it had met fourth-quarter 2012 order targets. Shares jumped 34% that following morning... and were up another 35% by the next afternoon.
And here's the thing: Sparks are easy to find, too. No need to study ambiguous chart patterns, watch 24 hours of business news channels, or pore over valuations.
Stock Market Today, Dec. 30: In the second-to-last trading day of the year, stocks are fairly flat except for some double-digit movers in the consumer and biotech sectors, like Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX) stock.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today clutched a small gain of 25 points while both the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index ended in the red. They fell about 0.02% and 0.06%, respectively.
Best stocks to buy for the week ending Dec. 13, 2013: With many investors taking a guarded stance ahead of the Dec. 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index slipped 1.7% last week, logging a second weekly decline.
It was the benchmarks' first back-to-back weekly loss in more than two months. The Nasdaq also dipped, ending the week with a 1.5% loss.
However, 2013 has been good to investors overall. Stocks are up some 24.5% year to date, and deals on Wall Street are getting harder to find. Indeed, only 48 stocks in the broad-based S&P are recently in the red, according to Bespoke Investments.
Best stocks to buy for the week ending Dec. 6, 2013: After eight straight weeks of gains, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index finally took a breather, finishing last week modestly in the red.
The Dow dipped 0.41%, or 66 points, to 16,020.20. The S&P 500 slipped 0.04%, less than one point, to 1,805.09. The tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to eke out a 0.06% gain, or three-point increase, to 4,062.52, good enough for a fresh 52-week high.