The US stock market registered mixed performance last week helped by trade optimism, a wave of M&A deals, and positive economic data. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite inched up by 0.23% each, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.05%.
In a big step-up in trade negotiations, China reportedly agreed to raise penalties for intellectual property violations and to lower punishment thresholds for intellectual property theft. The move was a positive sign that could see both countries reach a phase one agreement. However, closer to the end of the week investors were a bit cautious after president Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters into law. It remains to be seen whether this will affect negotiations.
In addition, the beginning of the week saw three major deals. Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) announced that it would buy TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) for $26 billion. eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY) agreed to sell online ticket exchange platform StubHub to Viagogo for $4.05 billion in cash. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC: LVMHF) entered into an agreement to buy American luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) for $16.20 billion.
Investors were also pleased to see new home sales reach 733,000 in October, higher than the expected 707,000 figure. Overall, new home sales were 0.7% lower compared to September but also grew by an impressive 31.6% compared to October 2018. Similarly, sentiment was lifted by an upward revision of Q3 GDP. The Bureau of Economic Analysis now says that the US economy grew by 2.1% in the third quarter, compared to the previous estimate of 1.9%.
In the meantime, Financial Advisors were focusing on a handful of stocks last week, according to data compiled by TrackStar, InvestingChannel’s official newsletter capturing and analyzing the trends of Financial Advisors. Amid the start of the holiday shopping season, the most searched ticker among financial advisors last week was Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). It was followed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which got in the spotlight amid strong demand for the new AirPods Pro. The company has reportedly doubled the production of the new AirPods to deal with orders.
Another stock that made the list of the five most-searched tickers is Alibaba Group Holding Ltd – ADR (NYSE: BABA). The Chinese tech behemoth started trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange last Monday, enjoying a very successful first day of trading. The debut was the largest public offering of the year and the largest share sale in Hong Kong in nine years. The listing was also viewed as a show of confidence in Hong Kong that has been marked by months of protests, political unrest and violence.
The fourth and fifth most searched tickers among Financial Advisors last week were Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Eversource Energy (NYSE: ES) a Fortune 500 utilities company operating in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has not been only in the spotlight of Financial Advisors lately. It has been widely discussed for the past several weeks after the company unveiled the much-awaited electric pick-up truck. The vehicle, called Cybertruck, will start at $39,900, which is lower than Rivian R1T’s starting price of $69,000. Another competitor is Ford’s upcoming electric F-150, although its price is still unknown. The truck’s futuristic design initially received mixed reviews but managed to capture a lot of attention. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that pre-orders for the Cybetruck topped 250,000 in just five days after the presentation.
Beyond the design and driving capabilities, Tesla’s latest vehicle can be very promising for the company, with many on Wall Street expecting that it can boost the company’s profit margins. Tesla’s stock has been on a rollercoaster ride so far this year. After tumbling by over 40% in the first five months of the year, it recovered by more than 80% in the following six months and is currently nearly 8% in the green year-to-date.