The top 10 things to watch in the stock market Monday

The top 10 things to watch Monday, Dec. 11

1. U.S. stocks are muted Monday following last week’s push to a new 52-week high in the S&P 500, helped by a stronger-than-expected jobs report Friday. Good economic news is good news for the stock market, for now, with investors looking ahead to Tuesday’s consumer price index report. But we’ll learn what the Federal Reserve makes of the state of the labor market and inflation when the central bank convenes this week for its final meeting of the year.

2. Bank stocks like Club name Wells Fargo became “extraordinary performers” last week, according to Jim Cramer’s Sunday column. “The percentage gains for bank shares and the pretty stock charts, all wondrous, look like they are in their infancy,” he writes.

3. Health insurer Cigna abandons its pursuit to acquire Club holding Humana — a deal that was misguided from the start because it never would have received regulatory approval. Cigna announces a new $10 billion stock buyback. And shares of Humana rally roughly 2% in premarket trading.

4. Occidental Petroleum announces plans to buy privately held CrownRock for $12 billion in cash and stock, while raising its quarterly dividend by 4 cents, to 22 cents per share. Before the deal announcement, Morgan Stanley had upgraded Occidental to overweight from equal weight, with an unchanged price target of $68 a share.

5. More analysts are warming up to energy stocks after last week’s carnage. Citi upgrades Club holding Coterra Energy, along with EQT and Southwestern Energy, to a buy. Coterra is the firm’s top large cap pick, with a $30-per-share price target based on capital-efficiency improvements.

6. Goldman Sachs upgrades Abbvie to buy from neutral, with a $173-per-share price target. The firm cites revenue that has proved more resilient than expected, along with the drug maker’s recent deployment of capital to build out its pipeline. Over the past two weeks, Abbvie has shelled out nearly $20 billion in cash to acquire ImmunoGen and Cerevel Therapeutics.

7. JPMorgan raises its price targets on a handful of cybersecurity stocks, including CrowdStrike (to $269 a share from $230), Club name Palo Alto Networks ($326 from $272) and Zscaler ($212 from $200).

8. Citi upgrades Nike to buy from neutral, while raising its price target on the stock to $135 a share, up from $100. The firm sees margin recovery beginning in the second quarter of next year through 2025, helped by easing freight costs, leaner inventories and a shift to direct-to-consumer.

9. Jefferies upgrades Best Buy to buy from hold, while raising its price target to $89 a share, up from $69. Analysts at the bank think this call won’t take much to work, with expectations low and the stock cheap and yielding a 5% dividend.

10. Citi resumes coverage of Club holding Broadcom with a buy rating and $1,100-a-share price target. The firm sees the chipmaker’s artificial-intelligence business offsetting the cyclical downturn in the semiconductor business, along with strong accretion from its recent acquisition of VMware. We thought the company reported a better quarter last Thursday than what the market gave it credit for. 

(See here for a full list of the stocks at Jim Cramer’s Charitable Trust.)

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Source: CNBC