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Guest Host Tonight

Jim Giaquinto

Zacks Ultimate,

This is Brian Bolan filing in for the Ultimate Editor Jim Giaquinto who chose to take the day off.  Today the market was open for only half a day and Jim had to take off a full day but not your aggressive growth stock strategist!  I am here for half days all the time… and some full days here and there as well.

The markets were very quiet today, with most market participants following the lead of the Ultimate Editor and were in absentia.  I am home in Cleveland Ohio (which most of you know that Cleveland Rocks), and my parents love to have CNBC on all day.

The word of the day has been talking of do you take your gains and pay the taxes or are you going to wait until 2020 to take the gains then?  The group think that the cable TV station is capable of is amazing.  I hear that idea echoed at least two dozen times over the last day and a half.  Now that idea does make some sense… but it really sets people up to miss out on what is likely to come in the month of January.

If there is one thing that I could say on CNBC, it would be don’t fall victim of the group think.  Hearing that idea of taking gains early next year will probably only limit the gains you get to take!  The earnings season is showing plenty of indications that things are going to be fine and I am of the belief that we see an outsized number of beat and raise quarters.  Beat and raise quarters have a way of sending stocks higher, so I would urge investors to stay in through Valentine’s day.

Broader Market

Stocks were mixed today, as the shorted session brought volumes down by 50% or more in some cases.  The Dow and S&P were only slightly lower on the day while the NASDAQ was able to post a small gain.

Advancers beat out the decliners by a 4 to 3 margin, but there was still plenty of underlying strength beneath the surface.  There were nearly 400 stocks that hit new 52 week highs while only 66 made new lows today.  That is the definition of underlying strength, as it says that investors keep buying the winner and very few are giving up on the losers.  Hold losers is hard to do, but it suggests that there is a broader belief that the markets will continue to improve.

Zacks Portfolios

Short List covered on two names today and went short on two more.  Weyerhaeuser (WY) and GDS Holdings (GDS) were the new additions to the list.  The service covered two names, among them was Baozun (BZUN) and captured a gain of about 4.5%.

Healthcare Innovators had the biggest winner of the day among all the portfolios at Zacks.  Bluebird bio (BLUE) was up 6% for portfolio manager Kevin Cook, who also has the top two names in terms of performance over the last 30 days in GBT and QURE.  This portfolio is just killing it and most of that is thanks to Kevin.  Just looking at his write ups you can tell he is pouring his heart and soul into it.  Kudos to Kevin for having such a great year and guiding investors to an enviable position.

Speaking of our outstanding portfolio managers, I should also mention Jeremy Mullin the editor of Counterstrike.  All 9 of his positions are in the green and as I look at his performance for the year I see a wonderful short of STMP that was held for two months and returned more than 58%.

There is still one more week left in this year, so let’s get ready to be positioned for more profits in 2020 and beyond!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Brian

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