Major averages rose Friday on lower holiday volume as Dow 20,000 remains elusive. As we move into the final trading week of the year, we might expect another relatively quiet week. We would note that over the past three years the movement in the final week has set a contrarian tone for what happens in the New Year. Last year the indexes rallied into the second-to-last day of the year before breaking down hard in January, resulting in a correction that lasted into February. This was due to the economic overhang in China which worsened after the New Year.
In December 2014 the market again rallied to start the last trading week of the year but also faltered near year-end, triggering a sharp sell-off to start off the New Year that led to a choppy month-long range before the indexes were able to break out again. In December 2013 the market sold off going into year-end, but reversed sharply to the upside on the final day of trading. This led to an index gap-up on the first trading day of the New Year, triggering a sustained rally.
Barring any unforeseen news, we certainly might expect another relatively quiet week nestled between Christmas and New Years, but as we've seen over the past three years the final week of trading has set up more substantial action once the New Year begins.
Nvidia (NVDA) has been our "Stock of the Year" as a flagship name on our Focus List since April 6, 2016, when we first put it on our list after it issued a pocket pivot on that day at the price of 35.80. The stock is gapping up again this morning after triggering a Jesse Livermore Century Mark Rule buy signal last week once it cleared the $100 price level. NVDA proves that despite the difficult environment, opportunities do exist in the right stocks. Indeed, the window of opportunity has opened, albeit briefly, at various times in 2016 where profits were nicely achievable. We look for similar opportunities as we move into the New Year.