2020 didn’t waste any time disappointing the bulls. We saw more record gains in the stock market today, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY), the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) and the PowerShares QQQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) all pushing to record highs.
One would expect that, given this rally, equities will be taking a break soon. Earnings are set to begin in a few weeks and should stocks rally into these events, they will likely pause or pull back afterward. Alternatively, they may pause or pull back ahead of the events in anticipation. Either way, some investors have to be thinking about stepping on the brakes a tad.
But before we get there, what stocks took us higher in 2019? With last year (and last decade) officially in the books, let’s look.
Driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average to record highs were Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), up 86% and 55% last year, respectively. They were followed by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Visa (NYSE:V) and United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), up 43%, 42% and 41%, respectively.
The top-five Dow stocks were on the Top Stock Trades list for Thursday.
For the Nasdaq Composite, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) and Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN) were the top three, up 148%, 115% and 102%, respectively. KLA (NASDAQ:KLA) was next with a 99% gain, followed by MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), up 95%.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
2019 was a rough year for Macau, with overall revenue falling 3.4% thanks to the trade war and protests in Hong Kong. It also saw its biggest decrease in about four years with a 13.7% decline in gambling revenue for December compared to the previous year.
We’ve got another commission-free broker joining the list. Starting immediately, Vanguard is offering zero commission stock and option trading for its customers. This includes Vanguard mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Vanguard joins TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD), Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) — two companies that are merging — E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) and others.
Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG) crashed 13% on Thursday. The move came after Wells Fargo cut Signet’s rating from “market perform” to “underperform” due to its struggling core business. The analyst also lowered their price target from $16 to $12. For reference, shares are trading just below $19, even after Thursday’s decline.
Heard on the Street
Evercore analysts downgraded both Ford (NYSE:F) and Renault from “in-line” to an “underperform” rating. However, the analyst did not assign a price target for Ford. Investors didn’t care anyway, bidding the stock up 1.3% on the day.
However, that’s well below the momentum-fueled Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Shares added 2.9% on the day, and now sit just below its prior all-time high. The company’s biggest catalysts are set to come soon, starting with its fourth-quarter deliveries figure. After that, earnings will be the driver.
Until then though, traders and analysts are the ones making the stock move. The latest action comes on Thursday after Canaccord analysts upped their price target from $375 to $515.
It’s a new Street-high rating for the stock, and as far as I can tell, it’s the only one-year base case price target north of $500 at this point in time. Analyst Jed Dorsheimer argues that the trend toward electric vehicles will accelerate in 2020, and he expects strong delivery results for Q4.