Stay Sharp On Christmas Week

by: Quoth the Raven

With the upcoming week likely to find people traveling to see family and observing any one of the December holidays, people write it off as a non-event for the stock market. However, the market is open for business throughout most of the week, and investors may want to stay sharp and pay attention to what takes place.

Many analysts seem to think that the "Santa Claus Rally" - generally the rally that comes on the last weeks of the year, may have already run its course this year. Bloggers and analysts seem to think that since the Fed has already weighed in for the year, that profit taking and volume for 2013 has likely already taken place.

Others, like the Wall Street Journal, contend that the Santa Claus rally is nothing more than a sales tactic, and should be ignored. Either way, we're not sure exactly how much - if any - action we'll see this last week of the trading year.

For those of you that want to stay sharp, because "money never sleeps," here's what's on the itinerary for the week:


  • Of note, CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ:CAMP) is going to be reporting on Monday, one of the only major names on any of the big boards to be reporting earnings all the way through the first week of January. CalAmp produces wireless technology solutions that deliver voice and data for network communications. The wireless tech provider is going to be expected to post earnings of $0.21/share and revenue of $61 million. The company has guided from $0.19-$0.23. Most analysts across the board have a $28 price target on CalAmp.
  • Michigan University's consumer sentiment is due out on Monday, also. It was bill a bit of foreshadowing into retail and the economy leading into the Christmas season and could possible telegraph spending trends for the holidays; which would namely affect retail stocks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT).


  • Durable goods orders will be released pre-market on Tuesday, and will offer an indication on manufacturing activity.
  • New home sales will be reported on Tuesday. October's new home sales, up 25%, are an indication that the housing market continues to rebound. I'm predicting a continued housing market rebound in 2014, and will be investing accordingly in REITs. Home sales are expected to continue slowly rising from metrics over the past few months when rates went up. In addition to affecting real estate, this metric helps supplemental stocks involved in housing like Home Depot (NYSE:HD).
  • The stock market will close at 1PM on Tuesday.


  • Market is Closed for Christmas


  • A potential catalyst for Thursday morning, for those that aren't hung-over or too stuffed, is going to be weekly jobless claims released at 8:30AM. Jobless claims were up by 10,000 last week, following the week prior's rise of 64,000. We'll get more of a view as to whether or not December's numbers were affected by seasonal jobs or not as we look to this week's data. Jobless claims are pushing the 2013 highs that they set in March.
  • Look for traditional light volumes the day after Christmas, where stocks often move on lesser than normal volume - which, interestingly enough, could make for some buying/selling opportunity before the end of the year. Investors could be looking to offload winning positions, which could move stocks on thin volume, creating opportunities for those to start their 2014 position setting a little early.


  • Look for a possibility of retailers to start to offer a nod as to how holiday sales for the month of December had shaped up. Any retailer that want to brag before the weekend about how holiday sales have shaped up will likely do so on Friday.
  • Aside from that, look for a relatively low volume day, as well, as many will take off into next week.

January 1 : Market Closed for New Year's Day.

I wish all investors have a great holiday season and happy new year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.