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Top Medical Stocks To Invest In 2019

ReWalk Robotics (NASDAQ: RWLK) and Invacare (NYSE:IVC) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and dividends.

Risk & Volatility

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ReWalk Robotics has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Invacare has a beta of 2.52, indicating that its share price is 152% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Invacare pays an annual dividend of $0.05 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. ReWalk Robotics does not pay a dividend. Invacare pays out -2.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares ReWalk Robotics and Invacare’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Top Medical Stocks To Invest In 2019: Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc.(OMEX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Money Morning Staff Reports]

    After looking at this week’s penny stock gainers, we’ll give you that leg up with one of our top-rated penny stocks from our proprietary stock ranking system…

    Penny Stock Current Share Price (March 26) Last Week’s Gain
    Cartesian Inc. (OTCMKTS: CRTN) $0.39 170.69%
    Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. (Nasdaq: OMEX) $8.76 135.90%
    iFresh Inc. (Nasdaq: IFMK) $8.25 64.64%
    China Auto Logistics Inc. (Nasdaq: CALI) $4.68 47.43%
    National American University Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: NAUH) $1.20 39.29%
    Document Security Systems Inc. (NYSE: DSS) $1.58 33.91%
    Blonder Tongue Labs Inc. (NYSE: BDR) $0.77 33.90%
    CareDx Inc. (Nasdaq: CDNA) $7.49 29.88%
    Mediwound Ltd. (Nasdaq: MDWD) $5.10 26.51%
    New York & Co. Inc. (NYSE: NWY) $3.37 26.35%

    Don’t Miss This Shot at a $78,000 Windfall: This tiny firm is about to make the entire world wire-free. As its game-changing technology revolutionizes the global power structure, its stock could hand investors a massive return. Learn more…

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    News stories about Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ:OMEX) have trended somewhat positive recently, according to Accern. The research firm identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Odyssey Marine Exploration earned a media sentiment score of 0.01 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media coverage about the business services provider an impact score of 46.3184749361846 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next several days.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Kenon (NYSE: KEN) and Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ:OMEX) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Top Medical Stocks To Invest In 2019: Kronos Worldwide Inc(KRO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Shares ofKronos Worldwide (NYSE:KRO) plunged on Wednesday after the company announced first-quarter 2018 results. The titanium dioxide manufacturer reported strong growth compared to the year-ago period thanks to the continued surge in selling prices. Revenue was up 16% and net income nearly doubled relative to the first quarter of 2017. How can Wall Street be displeased with that?

Top Medical Stocks To Invest In 2019: Netflix, Inc.(NFLX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was down over 6.6% at $299.00 late on Tuesday, but that’s now down 10% from the recent all-time high of $333.98. People definitely aren’t giving up on Netflix, but when leaders sell-off it’s hard to have a forward P/E of 120 times current year expected earnings.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Shares of Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped as much as 5.6% higher on Wednesday, thanks to a glowing research note from Goldman Sachs. As of 3:50 p.m. EDT, the stock had seen more market-moving news before cooling down to a 4.1% gain.

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) had its target price hoisted by research analysts at Piper Jaffray from $360.00 to $367.00 in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. Piper Jaffray’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 19.24% from the company’s previous close.

  • [By Natalie Walters]

    Disney (NYSE:DIS)has taken some flak recently due toNetflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)taking its place as the most valuable media company in the world.

    Netflix is currently at a $165 billion market cap, just topping Disney’s $156 billion figure. It’s a sign of the streaming times, but it doesn’t mean Disney is done having its presence felt in the space. Next year the House of Mouse will launch its own over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, and it already has a number of current and potential advantages that will help it compete with Netflix. Here are three:

  • [By Motley Fool Staff]

    One company that everyone has their eyes on in more ways than one is Netflix(NASDAQ:NFLX), which continued to build its customer base faster than analysts expected it could last quarter. It also increased revenue by more than 40% — so, yes, unlike most companies. Its growth is accelerating as it gets larger. The guys weigh in, and consider the case for investing in it now.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Traders sold shares of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) on strength during trading on Monday. $760.29 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $824.52 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $64.23 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Netflix had the 13th highest net out-flow for the day. Netflix traded up $6.75 for the day and closed at $398.18

5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been one of the more impressive stocks of the past 25 years. In fact, AMZN now has returned nearly 100,000% from its IPO price of $18 ($1.50 adjusted for the company’s subsequent stock splits).

A large part of the returns have come from two factors. First, Amazon has vastly expanded its reach. What originally was just an online bookseller now has its hands in everything from cloud computing to online media to groceries. And its shadow is even larger. A potential entry by Amazon has rattled pharmacy stocks and medical distributors, among others.

Secondly, as a stock, AMZN has managed the feat of keeping a growth stock valuation for over two decades. I’ve long argued that investors can’t focus solely on the company’s high P/E ratio to value Amazon stock. But however wise an investor might the current multiple is, the market has assigned a substantial premium to AMZN stock for over 20 years now.

It’s an impressive combination — and one that’s likely impossible, or close, to duplicate. But these five stocks have the potential to at least replicate parts of the Amazon formula. All five have years, if not decades, of growth ahead. New market opportunities abound. And while I’m not predicting that any will rise 100,000% — or 1,000% — these five stocks do have the potential for impressive long-term gains.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: JD.com (JD) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: JD.com (JD)Source: Daniel Cukier via Flickr

JD.com Inc(ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) is the company closest to following Amazon’s model. While rival Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (NYSE:BABA) gets most of the attention, it’s JD.com that truly should be called the “Amazon of China,” as Will Healy pointed out in December.

Like Amazon (and unlike Alibaba), JD.com holds inventory and is investing in a cutting-edge supply chain. It, too, is expanding into grocery, like Amazon did with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. A partnership with Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) should further help its off-line ambitions. JD.com even is cautiously entering the finance industry.

That ability to both provide best-in-class logistics and satisfy a wide range of customer needs is what has made Amazon a success. And while JD may not rise to the scale of Amazon, at its current valuation it doesn’t have to. After a recent pullback, JD trades at less than 26x forward EPS. That’s despite 40% revenue growth in 2017, and expectations for a 30% increase in 2018.

And it sets up a scenario where JD stock could — if sentiment finally turns in its favor for good — appreciate for years, thanks to both strong bottom-line growth and an expanding multiple from optimistic investors.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Square (SQ) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Square (SQ)Source: Chris Harrison via Flickr (Modified)

Admittedly, I personally am not the biggest fan of Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) stock. I like Square as a company, but I’ve questioned just how much growth is priced into SQ already.

Of course, skeptics have done little to dent the steady rise in AMZN stock. And valuation aside, there’s a clear case for Square to follow an Amazon-like expansion of its business. Back in January, Instinet analyst Dan Dolev compared SQ to AMZN and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG), citing its ability to expand from its current payment-processing base:

In 10 years, Square is likely to be a very different company helped by accelerating share gains from payment peers and relentless disruption of services like payroll and human resources.

Just as Amazon used books to expand into e-commerce, and then e-commerce to expand into other areas, Square can do the same with its payment business. The small business space is ripe for disruption, as Dolev points out. Integrating payments into payroll, HR, and other offerings would dramatically expand Square’s addressable market – and lead to a potential decade or more of exceptional growth.

Again, I do question whether that growth is priced in, with SQ trading at ~about 12x the company’s 2018 guidance for “adjusted” revenue. But if — again, like AMZN — Square stock can combine a high multiple with consistent, impressive, expansion, it has the path to create substantial value for shareholders over the next five to 10 years.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Shopify (SHOP) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Shopify (SHOP)Source: Shopify via Flickr

E-commerce provider Shopify Inc (NYSE:SHOP) probably doesn’t have quite the same opportunity for expansion as Square. And it too has a hefty valuation, along with a continuing bear raid from short seller Citron Research.

But I’ve remained bullish on SHOP stock — and here, too, a recent pullback presents a buying opportunity. Shopify is dominant in its market of offering turnkey e-commerce services to small businesses. That’s exactly where consumer preferences are headed: small and unique over large and bland. And because of offerings like Shopify (and Amazon Web Services), those small to mid-sized businesses can compete with the giants.

Meanwhile, Shopify does have the potential to expand its reach. Just 29% of revenue comes from overseas, a proportion that should grow over time. It’s moving toward capturing larger customers as well through its “Plus” program, picking up Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) as one key client. The development of an ecosystem for suppliers and the addition of new technologies (like virtual reality) give Shopify the ability to offer more value to customers — and to take more revenue for itself.

Like SQ, SHOP is dearly priced. But both companies have an opportunity to grow into their valuations. And given long runways for Shopify’s adjacent markets, it should keep a high multiple for some to come. As a stock, if not quite as a company, SHOP has a real chance to follow the AMZN formula for long-term upside.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Roku (ROKU) 5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Roku (ROKU)Source: Shutterstock

Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) might have the best chance of any company in the U.S. market to follow Amazon’s strategic playbook. The ROKU stock price is a concern: I wasn’t thrilled about the price after a huge post-earnings gain back in November, and even near a five-month low ROKU isn’t close to cheap.

But — perhaps even moreso than Square — Roku now isn’t what Roku is going to be in ten years. The hardware business is a loss leader, but one that allows Roku to serve as the gateway to content for millions of customers. As the company pointed out after Q4 earnings, it’s already the third-largest distributor of content in the U.S. The Roku Channel is seeing increasing viewership. The company offers pinpoint targeting of advertisements — without the messy data problems afflicting Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).

Roku is becoming increasingly embedded in TVs, though a deal between Amazon and Best Buy Co (NYSE:BBY) raised some fears about those software efforts going forward. It has a plan to roll out home entertainment offerings like speakers and soundbars, creating a long-sought integrated experience. It could even, as it grows, look to develop or acquire content itself, positioning Roku not as just a conduit to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) but a rival.

The bull case for Roku stock is that its players are like Amazon’s books — a way to garner customers and get a foot in the door of the exceedingly valuable media business. What Roku does now that it has entered will determine the fact of ROKU stock. But the amount of options and a reasonable valuation (Roku’s market cap is barely $3 billion) mean that betting on its strategy could be a lucrative play.

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5 Stocks That Could Be the Next Amazon Stock: Nvidia NVIDIA Corporation Stock (NVDA) Won't Stay Down Long After Shocking Analysts Source: Shutterstock

In the context of the stocks chosen here, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) doesn’t seem particularly expensive. But in the context of the traditionally cyclical — and low-multiple — semiconductor space, a ~34x multiple to 2018 consensus EPS estimates, even backing out net cash, is awfully pricy.

And with NVDA up a whopping 1,550% in just the past five years, investors would be forgiven for thinking the run might come to an end. Indeed, NVDA stock hasn’t really moved over the past four-plus months.

But the huge amount of secular tailwinds behind Nvidia suggest that the company should be able to drive torrid growth for years to come – and to maintain a multiple that looks rather high on a historical basis. The company’s automotive business gets a fair amount of press, given its potential applications to autonomous driving. But that growth likely won’t come in earnest until the next decade.

It’s the datacenter business that looks most appealing in the near term. Revenue in that category more than doubled in 2017. Thanks to cloud providers like AWS, demand should continue for years to come. And with Nvidia taking share from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), its growth should be even better than that of the market. High-end gaming demand should rise, and virtual reality will add another tailwind there.

Unlike, say, Roku (or early-days Amazon), Nvidia’s growth opportunities are mostly known. But at $223, even with a high multiple, they’re not fully priced in. I still see an easy path to $250 for NVDA in the near term. Longer-term, its presence (if not outright dominance) of key markets should lead Nvidia stock to double, at least.

As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any sec

Mondays Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD

U.S. stock futures are mixed heading into the open this morning. Rising bond yields are once again creating turmoil on Wall Street.

Monday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)Yield on the 10-year Treasury is inching closer to 3%, hitting its highest levels since 2014. Not only are rising yields a sign of inflation, but higher yields also make stocks less attractive to value investors.

Against this backdrop, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 0.18%, S&P 500 futures are up 0.22% and Nasdaq-100 futures have gained 0.33%.

Turning to the options pits, volume was well above average on Friday. Overall, about 22.8 million calls and 20.9 million puts changed hands on the session. The CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio ticked higher to 0.65. The 10-day moving average hit a one-month low of 0.63.

On Friday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) options activity spiked after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on AAPL stock. Meanwhile, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) call options were popular following reports the company could buy a string of movie theaters. Finally, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) options remained volatile ahead of this week’s quarterly report.

Monday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-300×131.png 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-200×87.png 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-400×174.png 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-116×51.png 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-100×44.png 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-115×50.png 115w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/04-23-2018-Top-Ten-Options-78×34.png 78w” sizes=”(max-width: 569px) 100vw, 569px” />

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

With just over a week until Apple’s fiscal second-quarter earnings report, Morgan Stanley has grown cautious. The brokerage firm cut its price target on AAPL stock to $200 from $203 citing weaker iPhone sales. Apple stock investors have heard this tune ahead of every quarterly report for the past year, but the news still had an impact on sentiment.

For instance, Friday’s options volume, which soared to more than 1 million contracts, was divided between puts and calls. With activity nearly tripling AAPL’s norm, options traders only slightly favored calls (55%) over puts (45%). Apple typically sees calls make up 62% of its daily activity, especially ahead of earnings.

Additionally, weekly May 4 options implieds have risen in the past week. May 4 Apple options are now pricing in a post-earnings move of about 5.2%, up from 4.2% last week.

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Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)

It seems Netflix took its movies getting snubbed by film awards pretty hard. Rumors are now circulating that Netflix is interested in buying Landmark Theaters, which operates screens in L.A. and New York City.

Netflix sentient rose on the rumors. Options volume on Friday jumped to 249,000 contracts, or roughly 1.5 times NFLX’s daily average. Calls made up 62% of the day’s take, well above the norm for Netflix options traders.

That said, there is still a long way to go before Netflix’s short-term sentiment backdrop becomes bullish. Currently, the May put/call open interest ratio rests at 0.90, with puts just shy of being equal to calls in the front-month series.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)

AMD stock rallied sharply at the beginning of last week. Investors cheered the release of the company’s latest Ryzen lineup, sending the shares to a one-month high just north of $10.50. Selling pressure took hold late in the week, however, and AMD stock cam crashing back to support near $10

Earnings arrive this Wednesday, with analysts expecting a profit of 9 cents per share. In the same quarter last year, AMD lost 4 cents per share. Revenue is expected to surge 59% year-over-year to $1.57 billion. EarningsWhispers.com puts the whisper number at earnings of 11 cents per share.

AMD’s options volume on Friday was quite contentious. More than 243,000 contracts changed hands, with calls only managing 53% of the day’s take. That negativity isn’t apparent in the weekly April 27 series, however. Currently, the April 27 put/call OI ratio rests at 0.59.

As for implieds, AMD options traders are pricing in a potential post-earnings move of about 10.3% for the shares. This places the upper bound just north of $11 and the lower bound below $9.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett was long on Advanced Micro Devices,

Hot Start to 2018 Pushes Markets Higher

U.S. equities pushed confidently higher on Tuesday, the first trading day of the new year, resulting in the best kickoff for the tech-heavy Nasdaq since 2013. Bitcoin was hot. Gold well bid. But bonds were slammed, pushing up yields, in a possible sign that inflation and economic growth expectations are rising and will put further pressure on the fixed-income market.

In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, the S&P 500 gained 0.8%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.9%. Treasury bonds declined, the dollar weakened again, gold gained 0.5% for its eighth consecutive gain and crude oil lost 0.1% after a run of strength.

Energy stocks led the way, in what could be possible sector rotation as crude oil tests above the $60-a-barrel threshold for the first time since 2015. Utilities were the laggards on yield pressure, falling 0.9%.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 4.8% after being upgraded by analysts at Macquarie noting changing consumer preferences to ad-free television and the impact of a second round of price increases. Citigroup analysts believe there is a 40% chance the company is acquired by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) gained 3.7% on an upgrade at JPMorgan on expected tailwinds from stock market gains and tax cut stimulus. On the downside, Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) lost 2.9% on a downgrade from JPMorgan on increased royalty costs.

On the economic front, the Market U.S. Manufacturing PMI came in slightly better than the flash reading, indicating the strong pace of factory activity in 11 months. Job growth was at the strongest since September 2014. And Eurozone activity increased to its best level since the survey began in June 1997.

Conclusion

With the books closed on 2017, the die has been cast: It was a record year, with stocks rising on a total return basis in each and every month for the first time in history.

For now, the consensus on Wall Street is that the uptrend will continue.

Goldman Sachs is looking for “rational exuberance” in 2018 on a combination of strong GDP growth, low and slowly rising interest rates, and profit growth driven by the recently passed GOP tax cut legislation. JPMorgan says investors should “Eat, drink, and be merry” in the new year on higher consumer spending and an even tighter labor market.

But others, including Societe Generale and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, are sounding the alarm. The former is looking for the S&P 500 to drop to 2,000 by the end of 2018, a loss of 26% in what would be a bear market decline.

The latter, courtesy of strategist Michael Hartnett, fears a 1987/1994/1998-style “flash crash” within the next three months caused by rising interest rates.

investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-300×175.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-51×30.jpg 51w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-200×117.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-400×234.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-116×68.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-100×58.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-86×50.jpg 86w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-78×46.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-170×99.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px” />

Checking in with seasonality, the folks at the Almanac Trader note that January has had a volatile reputation since 2000, with 10 of the last 18 years featuring nasty declines starting with the 5.1% pullback that kicked off the dot-com collapse. January 2009 featured a 8.6% loss that was the worst January on record going back to 1930.

Mid-term election year performances were also tepid, as shown above. SentimenTrader notes that options traders are betting heavily on a spike in volatility in the coming weeks. And these folks tend to be right at extremes.  

Today’s Trading Landscape

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.

For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge and Edge Pro investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

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Hot Start to 2018 Pushes Markets Higher

U.S. equities pushed confidently higher on Tuesday, the first trading day of the new year, resulting in the best kickoff for the tech-heavy Nasdaq since 2013. Bitcoin was hot. Gold well bid. But bonds were slammed, pushing up yields, in a possible sign that inflation and economic growth expectations are rising and will put further pressure on the fixed-income market.

In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, the S&P 500 gained 0.8%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.9%. Treasury bonds declined, the dollar weakened again, gold gained 0.5% for its eighth consecutive gain and crude oil lost 0.1% after a run of strength.

Energy stocks led the way, in what could be possible sector rotation as crude oil tests above the $60-a-barrel threshold for the first time since 2015. Utilities were the laggards on yield pressure, falling 0.9%.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 4.8% after being upgraded by analysts at Macquarie noting changing consumer preferences to ad-free television and the impact of a second round of price increases. Citigroup analysts believe there is a 40% chance the company is acquired by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) gained 3.7% on an upgrade at JPMorgan on expected tailwinds from stock market gains and tax cut stimulus. On the downside, Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) lost 2.9% on a downgrade from JPMorgan on increased royalty costs.

On the economic front, the Market U.S. Manufacturing PMI came in slightly better than the flash reading, indicating the strong pace of factory activity in 11 months. Job growth was at the strongest since September 2014. And Eurozone activity increased to its best level since the survey began in June 1997.

Conclusion

With the books closed on 2017, the die has been cast: It was a record year, with stocks rising on a total return basis in each and every month for the first time in history.

For now, the consensus on Wall Street is that the uptrend will continue.

Goldman Sachs is looking for “rational exuberance” in 2018 on a combination of strong GDP growth, low and slowly rising interest rates, and profit growth driven by the recently passed GOP tax cut legislation. JPMorgan says investors should “Eat, drink, and be merry” in the new year on higher consumer spending and an even tighter labor market.

But others, including Societe Generale and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, are sounding the alarm. The former is looking for the S&P 500 to drop to 2,000 by the end of 2018, a loss of 26% in what would be a bear market decline.

The latter, courtesy of strategist Michael Hartnett, fears a 1987/1994/1998-style “flash crash” within the next three months caused by rising interest rates.

investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-300×175.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-51×30.jpg 51w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-200×117.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-400×234.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-116×68.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-100×58.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-86×50.jpg 86w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-78×46.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/midterm-election-170×99.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px” />

Checking in with seasonality, the folks at the Almanac Trader note that January has had a volatile reputation since 2000, with 10 of the last 18 years featuring nasty declines starting with the 5.1% pullback that kicked off the dot-com collapse. January 2009 featured a 8.6% loss that was the worst January on record going back to 1930.

Mid-term election year performances were also tepid, as shown above. SentimenTrader notes that options traders are betting heavily on a spike in volatility in the coming weeks. And these folks tend to be right at extremes.  

Today’s Trading Landscape

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.

For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge and Edge Pro investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

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