Five Stocks to Watch in December

The U.S. stock market continued gaining in November, making new all-time highs again last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,828.24 on Friday, ending the month up +2.3 percent, the S&P 500 index gained +2.7 percent to close at 2072.83, while the tech laden Nasdaq Composite index closed at 4,791.63 gaining +3.2 percent in November.

The stock market ended the month amid plunging commodity prices as the price of gold sunk to $1,165 per ounce and crude oil dropped below $70 per barrel, its lowest level since 2009. December is historically a favorable month for the stock market as many traders take time off for the holidays. Nevertheless, caution should be observed with the market at these levels.

Digital Ally Inc. (DGLY) – after the shooting death of a black teenager by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent acquittal of the officer sparked outrage and riots all over the nation, President Obama is expected to ask lawmakers for additional money for body cameras for police officers. The request for funding by Obama made Digital Ally shares soar 6 percent in afterhours trading yesterday, being one of the principal manufacturers of body worn digital cameras. Digital Ally stock has been extremely volatile, having traded under $4 per share in late August before the shooting incident occurred. The stock ran up to as high as $33.41 per share on September 2nd and is currently trading around $13 per share.

GoPro Inc. (GPRO) – despite many stores selling out of the company's discounted Hero 3+ Silver Edition on Black Friday, GoPro stock plunged -5 percent in the regular trading session yesterday. Retailers said they had plenty of the company's high end cameras such as the Hero 4 Black and Silver models in stock, which may have pressured GoPro stock on Monday. The stock is trading at $74.79 per share in this morning's premarket, still at the high end of its yearly range after the company's initial public offering last June at $24 per share.

Rio Tinto (RIO) – amid plunging gold and silver prices, which recovered significantly yesterday, Rio Tinto, the British/Australian mining and resources giant will be investing $350 million in the Canadian “Diavik” diamond mine. The company tried to divest its diamond operations last year but failed due to the lackluster performance of the diamond market. Nevertheless, the diamond market is picking up compared to other mining sectors, with demand for diamond jewelry breaking records last year at $79 billion. Rio Tinto stock is trading at $47 per share, just above its yearly low of $44.5 after last week's plunge in commodity prices.

The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) – after the company's $2.6 billion takeover of OpenTable last summer, Priceline Chief Executive Darren Huston said that he is still willing to consider additional takeovers. The company has already expanded through travel websites such as Kayak.com and booking.com. Huston said that Priceline was not a “serial acquirer” and “We have six brands at the table. We can't have 15 brands.” Priceline stock is down almost two percent at $1,136.60 per share in premarket trading this morning.

Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) – after the price of crude oil dropped below $70 per share yesterday, Goodrich Petroleum stock dropped 25 percent to a yearly low of $4.36 per share Monday, closing at $4.73. The company has significantly underperformed compared with the S&P 500 Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels Industry index. In addition, many analysts are recommending the stock as a “sell”. Goodrich is already -4.44 percent lower in today's premarket and could continue declining as the price of oil continues to weaken.

Published on Dec 2, 2014
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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