This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves
If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Drones on your doorstep?
Amazon.com was the buzz early in the week after Jeff Bezos revealed that the leading online retailer is exploring drones for delivering packages within 30 minutes of being ordered for folks living near one of its fulfillment centers.
There are plenty of reasons to believe this won't happen anytime soon. The FAA currently doesn't allow unmanned drones used for commercial purposes, but drone deliveries may not be feasible even after that rule is potentially relaxed by 2015. The drone shipments would be too costly, and there are so many things that can go wrong -- e.g., pets and kids messing with the drones as they land at homes -- that it may prove to be a short-lived experiment even if it does materialize in five years, as Bezos expects.
This is still a "smart" move because it reminds us how cool Amazon is, and the timing can't be accidental. Bezos staged this stunt just as the holiday-shopping season was kicking off, hours before Cyber Monday. Well played, sir.
2. Powerful plug
Plug Power began the week as a penny stock, but it broke through the buck ceiling -- in a major way -- after soaring 61% on Wednesday and another 43% on Thursday.
What was behind the surge of the fuel-cell maker's shares? Well, Plug Power stunned the market by forecasting its first year of profitability come 2014. It has been cutting costs lately, and when you combine that with orders that may be as high as $40 million next year and the steady income of its service contracts, we find Plug Power expecting its first year in the black since going public 14 years ago.
3. Apple jacked
It was a good week for Apple as it hit a new 52-week high. That's one way to silence Carl Icahn's calls for the company to return more money to its shareholders!
Apple attracted buyers after The Wall Street Journal reported that the consumer tech giant will be announcing an iPhone deal with the world's largest wireless-carrier later this month. It's a move that analysts see adding between 10 million and 18 million iPhone unit sales a year, and it could be even bigger than that if Apple is able to grow its market share in China.
This would make UBS analyst Steven Milunovich the Wall Street pro with the call of the week, as he upgraded Apple earlier in the week -- raising his price target from $540 to $650 -- and based it partly on the likelihood that a deal with China Mobile was coming soon.
4. Pandora peaks
The leading music-streaming service also impressed after posting encouraging metrics for the month of November. Pandora served up 1.49 billion hours of content, 17% higher than last November. The number of unique listeners also rose 16% to 72.4 million. However, the real encouraging aspect of the report is that this also showed sequential gains from October.
Pandora experienced a decline in unique listeners from September to October. It wasn't a seasonal thing. There has historically been an increase between the two months. The big difference this time is that Apple introduced iTunes Radio in mid-September. Another sequential slide in November, and investors would have feared that the iTunes Radio threat was real. For now, Pandora is vanquishing those concerns.
5.Tesla gets recharged
Shares of Tesla Motors have come under fire the past two months in more ways than one. It caught a break this week when German authorities cleared Tesla of the unfortunate fires that have been stinging the reputation of its Model S plug-in sedan.
As bad as the past few weeks have been, Tesla now has the most shares sold short since the end of April, and it rallied sharply then. Another short squeeze could be in the works now.
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The article This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves originally appeared on Fool.com.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Pandora Media, and Tesla Motors. It owns shares of China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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