This year has shaped up to be an epic year for stocks and stock stories. Though there are many to choose from, here are the five most interesting stock stories on my radar as we welcome in December.
It may seem hard to believe but one of the hottest stocks in the market is a boring, ole mattress company. Tempur Sealy International shares are up more than 30 percent in the past month and less than 1 percent from their 52-week high.
Though the stock is well off its April 2012 peak, it has effectively more than doubled from its price one year ago. But watch out: FactSet data show that the 11 analysts who cover the name have a price target $3 below where the stock is now. Plus, did I mention it's a mattress company?
4) Deckers Outdoors
A great number of very smart, very rational short-sellers can make a cogent case against Deckers, which makes footwear under the Ugg, Teva and other brand names. A great number of very smart, very rational short-sellers have also been very wrong.
The surge in shares of the fuzzy boot maker surely have caused a collective "Ugg" (sorry) among those betting against the company.
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In the long run, all the stock has done is gone higher. Ten years ago, it was a $6 stock. Before that, below a buck. But the ride has been rough. Three times in the past 10 years the stock has collapsed by more than 60 percent.
3) Pioneer Natural Resources
Was it something he said? Once of the hottest stocks in the market, oil and gas company Pioneer Natural Resources has cooled faster than a Siberian winter since we spoke with CEO Scott Sheffield back in October.
While still up more than double the S&P 500 year to date, Pioneer is down 13 percent over the past month. Perhaps traders can predict the weather, because the terrible November storm that swept through Texas hit Pioneer's production hard.
A Sterne Agee report on Friday said that, while Pioneer likely won't be the only Permian operator impacted, it may be the first to get hit because it was the first to comment on the storm.
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With an average rating of "overweight" and a price target of $228, Wall Street analysts are soon either going to have to loudly come to the defense of Pioneer or start cutting price targets. PS: a shoutout to Brian Kelly, who said to short the stock on CNBC's "Fast Money" back on Oct. 23.
HP is the Godot of stocks. Everybody who's been waiting for the "inevitable" drop simply continues to be disappointed. Not only is the stock the best performer in the Dow this year, but it had another huge week last week, up more than 8 percent.