Jobs data on Tuesday and Wednesday pointed to a cooling jobs market

This week saw Wall Street take a breather from its extended rally that culminated in impressive November gains, though the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) turned in a stronger week than the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX). Jobs data injected some optimism into the market, as Tuesday’s job openings and Wednesday’s ADP private payrolls data both pointed to a cooling labor market, which had investors hopeful that the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep rates unchanged and even begin cutting them early next year. Though Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report came in hotter than anticipated, investors appeared to brush off Fed fears, focusing instead on very strong consumer sentiment data. Meanwhile, gold prices notched a record high early in the week, while the 10-year Treasury yield fell below 4.2% for the first time since September, though bond yields surged once again following Friday’s data. 

AI News Shakes Up Big Tech

Buzz surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) stocks helped give the Nasdaq a boost this week. The tech-heavy benchmark notching its first triple-digit pop since Nov. 20 on Thursday after Alphabet (GOOGL) launched its Gemini AI model, though (AI) fell sharply following its earnings report. The very same day, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) unveiled a new generation MI300X series AI chip, expected to compete with Nvidia’s (NVDA) AI processor. 

Elsewhere in the tech world, Robinhood (HOOD) was blitzed by options traders, Datadog (DOG) earned an overdue upgrade, and PayPal (PYPL) preps for a critical year. 

Bitcoin, Biotech Also in Focus

Crypto stocks like Coinbase (COIN) got a halo lift from the Bitcoin (BTC) renaissance, as the enigmatic cryptocurrency roared to 19-month highs. In the biotech sector, Altimmune (ALT) was popular amongst call traders after CEO Vipin Garg told Reuters on Tuesday that the weight-loss drug developer is open to deals with larger companies and is actively looking for partners as it develops its experimental obesity drug. Elsewhere in the medical world, bluebird Bío (BLUE) sank further toward penny stock territory and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) eyed a key trendline.

Triple Witching Preparation Begins

December’s upcoming options expiration week is a special one, as it marks a triple witching expiration week. Here’s what to expect leading up to Friday, per Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Next week will also bring the Fed’s final interest rate decision of the year. 

Plus, Schaeffer’s Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone discusses how November’s rally changed sentiment. In the meantime, check out what ETF’s typically outperform in December.

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