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6 Hot Stocks and 4 Laggards to Watch in December


December is the best month of the year for stocks, averaging an almost 2% gain over the past 70 years! With that in mind, as well as coming off of a solid November and a three month hot streak that has seen the S&P 500 rise more than 10%, many investors are looking for some last minute movers to round-out their yearly performance.

Three Month Winners
If longer term leadership is what you’re looking for, than a three month jaunt by the transportation sector is the place to be. Airlines Delta (DAL) and Southwest (LUV) have lead the way, each gaining over 45% in the past 90 days.

Also worth a peek is chipmaker Micron (MU). This stock takes the silver medal of three month winners having gained 52% since the beginning of September.  

And the gold medal of the group goes to First Solar (FSLR) which boasts an index-leading 62% gain over the past three months, even though it has shed about 10% recently.

One Month Winners
Shorter term, the one month winner board is stacked with refiners. Marathon Petroleum (MPC)  and Tesoro (TSO) in particular have each rocketed higher by about 22%.   

Drug makers also dominate the list of 30-day darlings. Among the winners are Biogen (BIIB); up 22%, Forest Labs (FRX); up 20% and Mylan (MYL); up 13%.

Stock Market Bargain Basement
And finally, bargain hunters and bottom fishers need to look no further than the Telecom (XTL) and Utility (XLU) sectors which are the worst performers for both the one and three month time periods.

Ohio-based First Energy (FE) has touched a ten year low after shedding 14% in the past month. Joining it in the doghouse is Chicago’s Excelon (EXC). The energy producer is also at levels not seen in a decade and has slumped another 6% in the past month.