The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched up modest gains last week after the Senate passed a $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill on December 2, which provides large tax cuts to businesses. However, investors still await more details on the tax overhaul as the bill passed by the Senate is different than the one passed by the House earlier. Now, both chambers will have to work on and pass a new bill that will be sent to the White House. In addition, on Thursday, the Senate passed a stop-gate spending measure to continue funding the federal government through December 22, in order to avoid a shut-down that would have been triggered if Congress had failed to pass a spending bill before Friday midnight.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones inched up by 0.35% and 0.40% respectively amid declines in the first three days of the week, sparked by investors concerns about the rally that had gone throughout most of 2017. In addition, investors were focused on November jobs data revealed on Friday, which helped the indexes end the week in the green territory. According to the Labor Department, the US economy added 228,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%. Economists on average had estimated a figure of 195,000 jobs in November. However, despite strong job growth numbers and a very low unemployment rate, which suggests economic growth, economists also pointed out that wage growth is still lagging, but the data suggests that the Federal Reserve is likely to increase the key interest rate this month and even increase the pace of rate hikes in 2018.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched down by 0.11% between December 4 and December 8, though the decline was offset by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which advanced by over 4% on Wednesday and Thursday on the back of Evercore ISI analysts initiating coverage on the stock and saying that the social media giant will push “FANG” stocks higher in 2018 and set an ‘Outperform’ rating and a $225 price target, suggesting that the stock will gain 30% in 2018. Evercore ISI analyst Anthony DiClemente also issued a bullish outlook on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Google parent company Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), both of which received ‘Outperform’ ratings. The only FANG stock that was not rated as ‘Outperform’ was Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), which the analyst considers might be facing a maturing subscriber base in the US.
Unsurprisingly, Financial Advisors were all over Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) last week, as data compiled by TrackStar, InvestingChannel’s official newsletter capturing and analyzing the trends of Financial Advisors, revealed. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) ranked as the second most searched ticker between December 3 and December 9, after having ranked on the fifth spot the previous week. The list also revealed some new tickers that captured the attention of Financial Advisors last week. On the first spot was Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and the third spot was taken by Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), which has been in the spotlight amid discussions whether Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) plans to enter the prescription drug distribution industry. Other two stocks that ranked among the five most-searched tickers were Kandi Technologies Group Inc (NASDAQ:KNDI), whose electric vehicle (developed by a joint venture between Kandi and Geely Group) received two approvals in China, Shopify Inc (US) (NYSE:SHOP), which a week earlier had said it got $1.0 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume over the Black Friday weekend.
Let’s take a closer look at Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), which not only was the most searched ticker among Financial Advisors last week, but it also was the first time the stock was featured in the list of 20 most searched tickers in over a month. There were two major developments concerning Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) in the last couple of weeks. The first involved the telecom giant’s plans to buy some international assets of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA). Last week, it was revealed that Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) relaunched its discussions to buy some of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA)’s assets. Even though last week it was reported that Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was still in the list of potential buyers, later it was announced that the company dropped out of the race. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was first reported to have approached Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) in November and was received by many as an attempt to thwart revenue loss from declining cable subscriber numbers.
Moreover, on November 22, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) lost a ruling from the International Trade Commission concerning Comcast patent violation of TiVo Corp (NASDAQ:TIVO). The ruling prevents Comcast from importing and selling X1 set-top boxes that infringe on the patents, but the case is not over since TiVo Corp (NASDAQ:TIVO) had also filed a lawsuit at the US District Court and a lot of uncertainty remains surrounding the case.