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Thankfully, No Steep Selloff on Wednesday

The market lost steam in the last hour of trading on Wednesday, but investors should still be thankful heading into tomorrow’s holiday that we avoided another sharp selloff.

This was supposed to be a nice and quiet week heading into Thanksgiving, but instead we got two straight days of deep losses due in large part to technology. Fortunately, there was enough of a rebound today for the NASDAQ to gain 0.92% to 6972.25. This advance is just a drop in the bucket compared to what it’s lost recently, but investors will take anything they can get right now.

Apple only dipped 0.11% today, which is actually one of its better performances over the past several days. However, it was up more than 2% earlier in the session. The rest of the FANGs managed positive closes, except for a more than 1.8% loss at Netflix.

The S&P also closed higher, gaining 0.30% to 2649.93.

Now let’s talk about the Dow. The index, which had lost nearly 1000 points in the previous two sessions, looked like it might get about 200 of it back on Wednesday. But that last hour plunge took it all away and it finished with a slight loss of nearly 1 point. Let’s just call it breakeven.

As expected, we saw low volume on Wednesday as most investors started their holiday a bit early. The market is closed tomorrow and Friday promises to be even quieter since there’s only half a day of trading.

November hasn’t seen the bounce back we all wanted after the horrible month of October, but there’s still hope for a year-end rally to close out 2018. It would be a big help if the U.S. and China can work something out on the trade front at the G-20 in Argentina, which starts late next week. And maybe the Fed will pull back on its plans to keep hiking rates in 2019. Hey, the holidays are a time to be hopeful!

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Insider Trader: Nothing attracts the insiders like a good selloff… and we’ve had a couple REAL good selloffs this week. As a result, basic apparel company Hanesbrands (HBI) saw the CEO, the CFO and a director pick up shares in the past few days. The company, which owns the Champion brand, is down 26.3% year-to-date and was hit especially hard in this week’s pullback. It was up more than 6% today, though. Tracey sees these insider buys as a signal that the shares are just too cheap right now, which is underscored by a P/E of 8.5 and a PEG ratio of 0.85. She believes shares are undervalued and so HBI was added on Wednesday with a 10% allocation. Read the full write-up for more.

TAZR Trader: With the S&P potentially filling the gap back up to 2690 and tech stalwarts like Amazon and Apple on sale, Kevin Cook doesn’t want to be hanging onto a bunch of 3X bearish ETFs. So it’s time to be agile again. On Wednesday, the editor sold ProShares UltraPro Short Dow30 ETF (SDOW) and ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ETF (SQQQ) for gains of 5.05% and 2.3%, respectively, in just a few days. He also added a 10% position in the Direxion Financial 3X Bull ETF (FAS) as that sector is showing remarkable relative strength in the correction. Read the complete commentary for Kevin’s detailed reasoning behind these moves and his outlook moving forward.

Surprise Trader: The portfolio added telecom company Telephone & Data Systems (TDS) late last month and sold it today for a profit of 14.9%. That’s a pretty impressive return during this volatile and mostly lower market. Recently, it reported solid third-quarter results with the top line and the bottom line both beating our Zacks Consensus Estimates. By the way, the portfolio had a big winner today with Foot Locker (FL), which jumped nearly 15% after a strong quarterly report and was the best performer among all ZU services during the session.

Income Investor: "Wall Street’s anti-rate-hike sentiment really ratcheted up this week, as cries for the Fed to slow its planned hike scheduled continue to grow louder.

"We discussed that the central bank’s latest policy statement made no mention of recent pressure on stocks and laid the framework for another rate increase in December. Jerome Powell did not flinch when President Trump questioned his decision making, and I doubt he will revert course just to please fund managers—but the Fed has yet another bout of market volatility to consider in next month’s meeting, and I wonder if its tone will start to change.

"I get the feeling that even the slightest hint of consideration—even if it’s just a break from the near-universal agreement among monetary policymakers—in the next meeting will make Wall Street happy. That, and a productive dinner between Xi and Trump at the G20, could set us up for quite the Santa Claus rally. Bad news on either front is likely to extend this volatility once again."
-- Ryan McQueeney

Happy Thanksgiving!
Jim Giaquinto

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