Although red is a traditional holiday color, investors would rather not see it on the stock market in December. The bears had other ideas Friday, sending the S&P 500 down 1.91% and the tech-laden Nasdaq tumbling 2.26% over concerns about the health of the global economy after lackluster European and Chinese economic data.
Wednesday's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) press conference is likely to shape how stocks fare into year end. Investors are more likely to focus on Fed chief Jerome Powell's comments surrounding interest rate direction in 2019 than on the expected hike in interest rates by 25 basis points. "Any content that speaks to the difference between market pricing of one interest rate rise in 2019 versus previous Fed indications of three rises is very likely to move markets," according to Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets, per Reuters. From a technical standpoint, the S&P 500 finds significant support at 2,550, while the Nasdaq may find buyers at the 6,800 level.
Those who are looking for short-term trading opportunities between now and the end of the year should check out these three tech stocks that the bears haven't been able to claw in December.
Twitter, Inc. (TWTR)
Founded in 2006, Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) is a social media platform that allows users to consume, create, distribute, and discover content. The San Francisco-based company, with a market capitalization of $27.31 billion, generates its revenue from both advertising and licensing public data that it acquires. Twitter stock is up 14% in December, outperforming the Nasdaq by 20% over the same period as of Dec. 17, 2018. The stock has also performed well year to date (YTD), returning nearly 50%.
Despite forming a head and shoulders pattern on the daily chart, Twitter's share price has rallied after it was unable to break below the pattern's neckline in October. Twitter shares have remained well bid after the company reported strong third quarter earnings on Oct. 25. Traders should look for an entry price near $32, where the price should find support from an uptrend line dating back to early October and the 50-day simple moving average (SMA). Stops could sit just beneath the November swing low, with profits booked at key resistance levels at either $37 or $47.
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO)
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO), with a $105.36 billion market cap, designs, manufactures and supplies a variety of semiconductor devices. It operates four business segments: Wired Infrastructure, Wireless Communications, Enterprise Storage, and Industrial and Other. The company recently acquired Brocade and CA Technologies to increase its enterprise storage and mainframe software offerings. As of Dec. 17, 2018, Broadcom stock trades at $254.83, pays an attractive 4.16% forward dividend yield and is up 7.34% for the month. YTD, the company's shares have returned just over 1%.
Broadcom stock has traded within a roughly 70-point range throughout most of 2018. Although trading below its YTD high of $268.46, the company's share price recently broke above a period of consolidation, indicating further possible upside. Traders should look to open long positions on pullbacks to the previous downtrend line that now acts as support. To protect trading capital, think about placing a stop-loss order below the 200-day SMA. Consider taking profits at the $270 level, where the price may encounter resistance from the March and June swing highs.
Iron Mountain Incorporated (IRM)
Iron Mountain Incorporated (IRM) provides storage and information management services in over 50 countries. The company, which primarily targets enterprise customers and has real estate space of over 85 million square feet, is formed as a retail investment trust (REIT), with the lion's share of its revenue coming from its storage business. As of Dec. 17, 2018, Iron Mountain stock has returned almost 5% this month, while returning -0.89% YTD. Investors receive an enticing 6.98% dividend yield.
Iron Mountain's share price has bounced back in November and December after dropping over 11% in October. Those wanting to take an entry should wait for a retracement to the $33.5 level, where the price is likely to find support from an uptrend line dating back to late October. Traders could lock in profits at $35.5 – an area where the stock may stall due to resistance from horizontal line price action. A stop could sit beneath the December low at $32.51.