Market Review: December 29, 2023

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Closing Recap

Friday, December 29, 2023





DJ Industrials




S&P 500








Russell 2000













U.S. stocks spent most of the final trading day of 2023 in negative territory, erasing overnight gains as many of the eleven S&P sectors finished down on the day, but still recorded big gains on the year. The Nasdaq Composite ended the year higher by +44%, the S&P 500 +24.5%, the Dow Jones Industrials +13.75%, and the Russell 2000 +16.8%, while semis (SOX) up 66% YTD. It was the year of “buying the dip” as every major support level for major averages was supported and stocks rallied in the final two months of the year on rate cut expectations. So, with the S&P 500 index (SPX) finishing the week higher for a 9th consecutive week, what are some of the stats going forward? @SethCL noted that the “last time it was up 9 consecutive weeks was 2004 and before that two 9-week win streaks ’89 and ’94, before that a 12-week win streak ’85. Now next year returns: ’86 = 14%, ’90 = -4.5%, ’95 = 34%, ’05 = 3%. The Nasdaq Composite also posted a 9-week win streak today and Bespoke invest notes the last time both the S&P and Nasdaq finished with 9-week winning weeks together was late 1985. The S&P 500 failed to close at all-time highs to end the year despite coming within 3-points yesterday, a feat that has been done just 8 times ever with years 2020, 2013, 1999, 1991, 1963, 1958, 1954, and 1928 the other times (as per CNBC).


While the media notes the big jump in small caps helping lead the December rally, it has still been the mage cap names (Mag7) names that have done the bulk of the heavy lifting for major averages this year. Names like AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL, META, MSFT, NVDA, TSLA boosted XLK (+55% YTD), XLC (+52%), and XLY (+39% YTD) to biggest sector gains of 2023. The combined weighting of the top two holdings in the S&P 500 is 14.7% between AAPL/MSFT. Charlie Bilello notes that since 1980, the largest combined weightings of the top two holders prior were: 10.9% in the mid ’80s between IBM/T, then 9.1% in late ’90s between MSFT/GE and 7.7% between XOM/WMT in mid-2000’s. Smallcaps have been leaders in Q4, as the IWM was down roughly (-75) for the year at the end of October but ends higher YTD by about +16.5%. Asian markets close out the year much weaker than the US, as the Shanghai Composite was down 3.7% for 2023 amid economic growth concerns and worries about the heavily indebted property sector. Hong Kong’s stock market has fared even worse, with the Hang Seng down 13.8%.


  • U.S. WTI crude oil futures settle dipped -$0.12 or 0.17% to settle at $71.65 per barrel and was down more than 20% in the fourth quarter and posted a 2023 decline of -10.6%. Brent tumbled nearly 18% in the final three months of the year, headed for an annual loss of nearly 9%. Baker Hughes weekly data noted the U.S. rig count rose 2 from last week to 622; oil rig count was up 2 from last week to 500; gas rig count unchanged from last week at 120. U.S. natural gas futures decline nearly 44% in 2023, logging biggest yearly fall since 2006.
  • Gold prices slumped -$11.70 to settle at $2,071.80 an ounce on Friday, ending the year higher by around 13%. Prices rose to record highs this month of $2,135.40 an ounce amid hopes the Fed could cut interest rates as soon as March. Fundamentals of a dovish pivot in U.S. interest rates, continued geopolitical risk, and central bank buying are expected to support the precious metals market into 2024. Spot palladium braces for 38% drop in 2023, its worst year since 2008, spot platinum on track to fall over 7% in 2023 and spot silver poised for 0.6% fall in 2023.

Currencies & Treasuries

  • Bond markets closed early for holiday: the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds at the end of 2023 was 3.880%, rising 4.5-bps y/y, while the 2-yr Treasury bond yield finished at 4.254%, down 11.3-bps y/y (down a whopping 79.2-bps from prior month). Treasury yields ticked higher Friday after a wild year that saw the 10-year rate hit a 16-year high above 5% before retreating into year-end as investors baked in expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts next year (52-week closing highs of 4.987% on 10/19 and 52-week lows of 3.285% on 4/5). The dollar index (DXY) posted a more than 2% decline in 2023, while the euro rose 3.2% YTD, the JPY/USD was +7.5% YTD.





WTI Crude















10-Year Note




Sector News Breakdown


  • In Autos: FSR surges as EV maker to announce plans to boost sales and deliveries in January. TSLA remains on track for its 2nd best year since its IPO in 2010, up 105% YTD. Other EV stocks including FSR, NKLA, and LCID are down between ~38% and ~59%, while RIVN shares are up ~28% this year.
  • In Airline: the sector enjoyed their first yearly gain since 2019, dealing with a domestic slowdown and geopolitical issues – DAL +23% YTD, AAL +8.3% UAL +10% YTD, while discount names fell LUV -13.8% SAVE -9.5% JBLU -13%.
  • In ride hailing, UBER downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Nomura while up tgt to $62 saying investors have rewarded the company for profitably scaling its business model, and, earlier this year, consolidating its market position in the ridesharing market in US/Canada – but thinks most of the catalysts for the stock are already priced in, and Uber is fairly valued at the current price. Nomura downgraded LYFT from Buy to Reduce with $13 tgt as sees limited room for Lyft to increase take-rates further as driver opex growth outpaces driver earnings growth and it does not see any near-term pathways for Lyft to address the drag on earnings from its bike sharing business.


  • In crypto: Barron’s noted that crypto animal spirits are back as Bitcoin is up 175% from its lows to around $44,000 and notes COIN has been buffeted by a crypto crash, a regulatory crackdown and investors’ aversion to risky stocks, but that hasn’t slowed shares which are up a whopping 425% YTD. The bounce in crypto levered stocks such as MARA (+720% YTD), CLSK (+542% YTD), RIOT (+419% YTD), MSTR (+371% YTD) amid Barron’s notes several potential catalysts including regulatory approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, likely in early January. A revival of trading by retail investors and cuts in the supply of new Bitcoin tokens could support prices across the crypto universe. Recent legal victories for the industry have raised hopes that a sweeping crackdown by the Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t in the cards.

Biotech & Pharma:

  • AZN mentioned positively in Barron’s saying the stock looks much better going into 2024.
  • BSX rises after saying late Thursday they anticipate FDA approval of FARAPULSE PFE System in Q1 (earlier than Wall Street views of 2H’24).
  • FBIO direct offering of 3.3M shares/warrants to buy up at offering price of $3.33 per share.
  • MYMD rises on positive mid-stage trial data for experimental drug to treat a muscle loss disorder.
  • UNH said it will record a charge of about $7 billion, as it has agreed to sell its Brazil operations to a private investor.
  • Drugmakers including PFE, SNY, and TAK plan to raise prices in the United States on more than 500 unique drugs in early January, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors – Reuters.
  • Rough year for managed care: as shares of CVS, HUM, CI, ELV all lost between 9% and 15% on the year amid an increase in medical costs due to a higher demand for elective surgeries and have also indicated higher medical costs to likely remain elevated next year. UNH posted its 1st down year in fourteen and HUM (-9% YTD) and ELV (-11% YTD) both snapped a decade-long winning streak as per Reuters.


  • ALRM rises after resolving all outstanding litigation with Vivint and entering into a long-term intellectual property license agreement.
  • BGC rises after saying expects to report double-digit revenue and pre-tax adjusted earnings growth for both Q4 and full year 2023.
  • JBL lowered Q2 revenue guidance to $6.6B-$7.2B from prior $7.0B-$7.6B view because the deal to sell its mobility business closed a month earlier than expected; guided Q2 adj EPS to $1.43-$1.83 from $1.73- $2.13.
  • JD said it won $141 million in damages in a years-long anti-monopoly case filed against its larger e-commerce rival BABA as well as Zhejiang Tmall Network, and Zhejiang Tmall Technology which were found to have abused market dominance and engaged in monopolistic practices.
  • NVDA to launch slower version of its gaming chip in China to comply with U.S. export controls. A product page on Nvidia’s website for Chinese consumers shows that the new Nvidia RTX 4090D has 11% fewer processing cores than versions sold outside of China.


Market commentary provided by Hammerstone Markets, Inc, a firm separate from and not affiliated with Regal Securities. Regal Securities has not participated in the creation of the content, and does not explicitly or implicitly endorse the content.

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