This was the reaction investors were looking for. Last week, U.S. stocks jumped into the close on Thursday as a trade deal appeared imminent. Yet, it was no big deal on Friday. What gives? Well, on Monday the bulls came out to play. U.S. equities hit new highs in the stock market today, as investors cheer the new trade agreement.
It’s got some wondering if stocks may melt up into year-end.
We’re in the last full week of trading for the year, as well as the decade. The Federal Reserve is out of the way as a potential risk, there aren’t many significant economic readings left and there’s only a couple of notable earnings reports left. Let’s see what investors do with that over the next two weeks.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 99 points on the day, but it would have done much better without Boeing (NYSE:BA). The plane-maker sank 4.3% on the day on reports that it may cut or even halt production of the 737 MAX. The jet, one of Boeing’s most popular, remains grounded around the world and the lack of progress in getting it back up in the air (and orders on the books) is starting to weigh on the share price.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) shares turned positive for a moment, but couldn’t finish higher on Monday. That’s after shares reversed off new 52-week highs on Friday and after rallying more than 50% from its July lows.
Why does Monday’s price action matter? Because shares couldn’t rally despite winning a $752 million ruling against Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD). The latter must pay the former over a CAR T patent issue, which was licensed exclusively to Juno Therapeutics, a unit of Bristol-Myers.
It wouldn’t be a bull market without Merger Monday. DuPont (NYSE:DD) will combine its nutrition unit — worth $26 billion — with International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF). DD will also receive a one-time payment of $7.3 billion in cash. IFF investors aren’t loving the deal so far, with shares down more than 10%, while DuPont stock is roughly flat.
Another deal? This one was talked about a few weeks ago, but Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) officially announced that it will acquire Habana Labs for $2 billion. Intel had previously led an investment round in Habana Labs, which is based in Israel, and now Intel argues that the deal will improve its artificial intelligence strategy. Did Intel do this to help take on Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)? At the very least, it doesn’t hurt.
Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) was climbing on reports that it will develop and run new products on Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Cloud platform. Given the size and scope of Google Cloud, PANW investors are hoping this will act as a growth catalyst in 2020.
Heard on the Street
There were some noteworthy calls on Monday.
First, Jefferies bumped its price target on Nvidia to $250 from $225. The analyst maintained their “buy” rating, with expectations for strong gaming and data center results. Further, AI adoption will continue to fuel its growth.
Morgan Stanley analysts bumped their price target on Micron (NASDAQ:MU) from $48 to $56. However, the analysts maintained their “hold” rating. That move is nothing compared to the new price target of $85 from Susquehanna. It should go without saying, but that target was accompanied with a “buy”-equivalent rating.
Keep in mind, MU is one of the few stocks reporting earnings this week.
Shares of Elf Beauty (NYSE:ELF) jumped more than 4% Monday. The move came after Morgan Stanley analysts bumped the stock to an “overweight” rating and assigned a $20 price target. Even after Monday’s rally, the target still implies almost 30% upside.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock hit new 52-week highs on Monday. Creating that bullish spark may have been Credit Suisse analysts, who have been bearish on the name. While they maintained their underperform rating and $200 price target, the analyst upped their “blue sky” price target to $400 from $365. Further, they said that, “Tesla is leading in the areas that will likely define the future of carmaking — software and electrification.”
I can’t imagine what the bulls are cheering about. Tesla closed at $381.50, up 6.5%.