Five Stocks to Watch in December
The U.S. stock market rally continued unabated in November, with new all time highs in both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Holiday shopping results for Thursday through Sunday showed that total spending dropped 3 percent from a year earlier, despite many stores beginning their sales on Thanksgiving Day. The end of the year market action could go either way, with a corrective decline or more new all-time highs.
Zoom Technologies Inc. (ZOOM) - The Boston, Massachusetts based holding company has signed a letter of intent to purchase Chinese based Beijing Baifen Tonglian Information & Technology Co., Ltd., one of China's leading providers of mobile advertising. The takeover would be done through Zoom issuing 12 million new shares of common stock, which would represent Zoom's 80 percent ownership interest in the company. Zoom stock soared +4.06 or +169 percent to $6.46 per share on Friday after news of the takeover was announced.
Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) - After reporting fourth quarter and end of year earnings, Hewlett-Packard stock jumped nine percent, with investors showing a renewed confidence that the company is turning around. Despite quarterly revenue declining three percent to $29.1 billion, non-GAAP operating profit was up 14 percent from the previous quarter, but down 16 percent year on year. Total earnings for 2013 were $3.56, beating analyst estimates of $3.40 - $3.50 per share. Hewlett shares are on the high end of their trading range, and could make a new yearly high in December.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Apple stock climbed +10.11 or +1.85 percent on Friday, and in pre-market trading on Monday is already up +5.03 or +0.9 percent to $561.10 per share. According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Apple has applied for two patents relating to payment systems and secure transactions for Apple's new iWallet. The device will allow users to pay for goods and services using a mobile device. Other rumors involve possible future partnerships with Corning Inc. and China Mobile. December may see Apple stock trade at a new all time high.
Bank of America Corp (BAC) - After a nine week court proceeding, a New York State judge will decide on whether to approve BoA's $8.5 billion settlement with investors in mortgage securities. The deal was made with 22 institutional investors in June of 2011 to settle claims of toxic mortgage backed securities from Bank of America subsidiary, Countrywide Financial. Bank of America stock is a few cents from its yearly high and could sell off in December.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) - With Black Friday sales up +2.3 percent over November 28th and 29th, Wal-Mart began sale prices on Thanksgiving Day, which paid off. David Tovar, the company's Vice President of Corporate Communications issued a statement,