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Plus 5 New Strong Buys for Today
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks Poised To Close Up For The Week With One Shortened Trading Day To Go

Stocks closed higher again on Wednesday. The Dow made another new high since their October 13th key upside reversal. The S&P did the same.

With only one more trading day left in the week (half day), all of the indexes are up for the week.

Today is Black Friday. And traders will be watching to see how the shopping stats shape up.

The weekend, of course, is a big shopping period too. And so is Cyber Monday.

In other news, MBA Mortgage Applications, rose 2.2% w/w, with purchases up 1.8% and refi's up 1.8% as well.

New Home Sales came in better than expected at 632,000 units (annualized) vs. last month's 588K and views for 575K.

Weekly Jobless Claims rose 17,000 to 225K, which was above last month's 223K and views for 225K.

Durable Goods Orders rose 1.0% m/m vs. estimates for 0.4%. Ex-Transportation, it was up 0.5% m/m vs. the consensus for 0.1%. And Core Capital Goods were up 0.7% vs. views for 0.2%.

The PMI Composite Index slipped to 46.3 from last month's 48.2. The Manufacturing Index slipped as well to 47.6 from 50.4, with the Services Index at 46.1 vs. last month's 47.8.

And Consumer Sentiment rose more than expected to 56.8 vs. last month's 54.7 and the consensus for 55.0.

The FOMC Minutes from the Fed's early November meeting came out on Wednesday, and it showed "a substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would soon be appropriate."

And given that the last two inflation reports saw y/y inflation ticking down from last month, and from their summers highs, it's looking more and more likely that they'll only raise by 50 basis points when they meet again in December, rather than the 75 basis points that they raised their last 4 times out.

While the market has been expecting a slower rate hike pace, seeing the broad support of this in the Minutes, was nice to see. And the market cheered the news.

Stocks have been doing great even since they bottomed in mid-October.

Add in the positive seasonal tendencies (Q4 is typically the best quarter for stocks, and the post-midterm moves in the market show that since 1950, stocks have always gone up in the year after midterms, with an average 12-month forward return of 18.6%), and it looks like there could be a lot more upside to go.

If you share in that outlook and are looking for new stock picking ideas, be sure to read our latest commentary.

Few things are better than picking up undervalued gems right before they explode higher. It's even more exciting when they're cheap in price too.

I know some people get spooked when they see a low-priced stock. Just like some people get spooked when they see a high stock price. But the price of a stock tells you nothing about its valuation.

Nonetheless, there's no denying the attraction of lower-priced stocks. Especially when you get in at just the right time and watch it soar.

I love finding low-priced picks just as much as the next person. And if you like finding them too, make sure you read our latest commentary...

3 Keys to Undervalued Stocks with Big Upside Potential


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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