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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 Mixed Ahead Of Busy Day Of Economic Reports And Speech By Fed Chair Powell

Stocks closed narrowly mixed yesterday with the Dow and the small-cap Russell 2000 closing slightly to moderately higher, while the S&P and Nasdaq closed slightly to moderately lower.

The market and the world continues to watch the protests in China over their zero-Covid policy and what impact that could have on the Chinese economy and the global economy. On Monday, the Chinese markets were down. Yesterday, they were up.

Here in the states, traders are watching the negotiations to avert a rail strike. Of the 12 unions involved in negotiations, 8 have signed off on their packages, while 4 have not. They are still talking. And lawmakers are working to avoid a strike. The deadline for an agreement is December 9th.

In other news, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index was down -1.5% m/m (unadjusted), while the y/y change is up 10.4%. Solid increase, but that compares to last month's 13.1% pace.

The FHFA House Price Index was up 0.1% m/m vs. the consensus for -1.0%, while the y/y change was up 11.0% vs. last month's 12.0%.

And Consumer Confidence came in at 100.2 vs. last month's 102.2 and the consensus for 100.0.

Today we'll get MBA Mortgage Applications, the Pending Home Sales Index, the International Trade in Goods and Services report, Retail and Wholesale Inventories, the Chicago PMI, the Survey of Business Uncertainty, the second look at Q3 GDP, Corporate Profits, the State Street Investor Confidence Index, the JOLTS report (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey), the ADP Employment report, and the Beige Book report.

Full docket in the way of economic reports.

We'll also hear from Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, this afternoon as he gives a speech at the Brookings Institution about the outlook for the U.S. economy and the labor market. While he's not expected to break any new ground, you never know what he might or might not say. And people will be listening for clues as to what they might do at their next FOMC meeting.

The Fed doesn't meet again until December 13-14, and will make their decision then on how high to hike rates. It's widely believed they will slow their pace down from 75 basis points (which is what they've hiked in each of their last 4 times out), to 50 basis points. The market is also hoping for language as to when they will finally stop and wait to see how their policy impacts inflation, the economy, and employment.

But as I mentioned previously, the 2 main events this week (aside from Mr. Powell's remarks this afternoon), will be Thursday's Personal Income and Outlays report, where we'll see what the PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) Index comes in at, which is an inflation gauge looked at by the Fed, and Friday's always important Employment Situation report. The Fed has been watching this closely as well. While the hot labor market shows the resiliency of the economy, it also shows that the economy (and possibly inflation), could remain elevated.

In the meantime, stocks have been doing well over the last month and a half (last two days notwithstanding). And the markets are primed to add to their gains, especially given the favorable seasonal tendencies.

But every little bit of good news helps.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


Marijuana Stocks? There's Never Been a Better Time.

37 states plus D.C. have already legalized medicinal marijuana, and 21 states plus D.C. made recreational use legal. Today we could be on the verge of bipartisan marijuana legislation at the Federal level. Once the bill is passed, many U.S. pot companies can then list on exchanges like NYSE and Nasdaq. The floodgates will open and money will flow in.

There's no stopping this trend, and now is the time to join the rush for profits. U.S marijuana sales are predicted to skyrocket from $27 billion back in 2021 to an expected $53 billion by 2026.

Zacks recently closed marijuana trades of +39.7% and +147.0%. Plus, new stocks are being lined up that could greatly surpass these gains.

See Zacks' latest pot stocks now >>

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