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MarketBeat Week in Review – 12/4 - 12/8

Stocks shrugged off a "warmish" jobs report and were in the green as the markets closed for the week. As usual, the details matter. With about 25% of the 199,000 jobs created being government jobs, the report confirms that hiring in the private sector may indeed be slowing. 

That brings back the bad news is good news scenario that presumes the Federal Reserve will continue to hold interest rates steady. It also adds fuel to the bullish hope that the Fed will begin cutting rates sometime in 2024. Investors will learn more about that when Chair Powell speaks on Wednesday.  

However, before the Fed announces its decision on Wednesday, investors will get the latest reads on inflation. November's Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) readings will be released on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, respectively. These reports will likely carry more weight than the Fed's announcement.  

It will be a busy week, and you can count on the MarketBeat team to be on top of all the stories that can affect your portfolio. Here are some of our most popular articles from this week.  

Articles by Jea Yu 

Every investor loves a bargain. This week, Jea Yu gives investors three stocks trading at bargain prices that even Ebenezer Scrooge could appreciate.  

You may not consider The Simply Good Foods Co. (NASDAQ: SMPL) to be a bargain, but as Yu writes, investors are seeing great value in the stock. Consumers are flocking to its Atkins and Quest Nutrition snack food brands as part of the move towards using weight-loss drugs. The stock is flirting with all-time highs, and Yu shows you what the charts say about the stock's future direction.  

Yu was also looking at artificial intelligence stocks. One that may be flying under the radar of some investors. Nutanix Inc. (NASDAQ: NTNX) offers a software-defined infrastructure platform (SDI) and is partnering with Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) to help companies build scalable AI solutions.  

Articles by Thomas Hughes 

This week, Thomas Hughes reminded investors, "the traditional approach to a perimeter security network is quickly becoming obsolete." That's why investors looking to buy into the cybersecurity sector should consider stocks of companies that feature zero-trust architecture. Hughes gives a quick analysis of the top five zero-trust stocks that investors should be watching. 

Sticking to the tech sector, Hughes wrote about the shift occurring in the tech sector. As analysts prepare for 2024, there's a shift away from some of the large-cap "big tech" stocks that may look a little overbought to some mid-cap stocks that offer some upside.  

And Hughes also wrote about the earnings report from GameStop, Inc. (NYSE: GME). As Hughes notes, the company delivered some decent news regarding earnings, but the news is not likely enough to break the negative trend for GME stock.  

Articles by Sam Quirke 

Many investors enjoy a good comeback story, particularly regarding a stock like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD). The stock followed the market lower for most of the year but is now moving higher in line with the recent rally in stocks. Sam Quirke gives you three reasons why the stock may be ready to move higher. 

As thrilling as that is, some investors prefer thrills of another kind, which may attract them to Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA). The stock has given investors some highs and lows over the last two years, but Quirke points out that a recent upgrade by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) may be a sign that CVNA stock is ready for another rally

Quirke also analyzed the rally in CVS Health Inc. (NYSE: CVS). It's been a rough year for drug store chains, but a solid earnings report, a dividend increase, and analyst upgrades provide more than enough fuel for CVS stock to continue its rebound.  

Articles by Kate Stalter  

Robotics stocks and AI go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Kate Stalter wrote that's one reason investors should pay attention to UiPath Inc. (NYSE: PATH). The stock gapped up sharply on the news that the company is using generative AI in its software platform

Nearly 18 months after its initial public offering (IPO), Stalter explains why investors who don't know the name Samsara Inc. (NYSE: IOT) may want to learn more after the company's strong earnings report. As the company's ticker symbol alludes to the company is an emerging name in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector.  

Stalter also wrote about the reinstatement of the dividend for the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). While the move wasn't totally unexpected, it is a sign that activist investors may be holding some sway at the Mouse House.  

Articles by Ryan Hasson 

The biotechnology (biotech) sector is both fascinating and volatile. For much of 2023, biotech stocks have been underperforming the market. But as Ryan Hasson writes, activity in the iShares Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ: IBB) signals a potential change for the better. If that's the case, Hasson gave investors three biotech stocks showing notable strength and having more upside to go.  

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) has seen heavy short interest almost from its market debut. A potentially bullish outcome of a stock with high short interest is a short squeeze. The recent surge in short interest in BYND stock to over 45%, combined with a recent run-up in the BYND stock price, may be setting investors up for a massive short squeeze. Hasson explains the technical conditions that would have to be met for that to happen.  

Articles by Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli 

One of the news stories this week was Mark Zuckerberg's sale of META stock. While people sell stock for many reasons, Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli suggests that, rather than worrying about the reasons for that sale, investors should focus on Snowflake Inc. (NYSE: SNOW), which has become a favorite among institutional and retail investors

Osorio-Mazilli was also writing about how the recent end to the UAW strike may be bullish for auto parts companies, specifically AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) and Hagerty Inc. (NYSE: HGTY), as Americans look to keep their existing vehicles in top working order. 

As you're out doing your holiday shopping, you may stop and get a coffee from Starbucks Inc. (NASDAQ: SBUX). However, Osorio-Mazilli explains that you may want to consider buying shares of the company instead. While there are concerns about rising coffee bean prices, Osorio-Mazilli outlines a strategy that allows you to hedge and still grab the likely holiday boost in SBUX stock.  

Articles by MarketBeat Staff 

After November's strong rally, the MarketBeat staff cautions that rising valuations may make institutional investors start acting like the Grinch this holiday season. One step you can take is to look for three low-priced stocks that also have reasonable valuations. Stocks like these could be excellent gifts you give yourself as the year winds down. 

While it's not cheap, the staff also recommends Skechers Inc. (NYSE: SKX). As the kids like to say, the stock has been on a heater and is trading at all-time highs. But despite the 42% gain in the company's stock price, analysts are bidding it higher after a strong earnings report.  

And while many investors have been avoiding Chinese stocks in 2023, the staff writes why 2024 – the Year of the Dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac – may be a turnaround year for these three Chinese stocks.  

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