3 Top U.S. Stocks to Watch in December

Stock market bulls ran wild in November, with major indexes climbing around 10%. December is off to a strong start as well. Investors are optimistic that interest rates will come down soon, a sign that inflation has cooled to an acceptable level. Falling rates also tend to encourage money to move back into the stock market.

While it's too early to declare victory in December, some stocks could make big moves this month. Here are three of them.

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1. Shopify has a big investor day on tap

Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), which is a Canadian company listed in the U.S. and reports earnings in U.S. dollars, was one of the biggest winners in the market for much of its early history. The stock crashed in the 2022 bear market, falling roughly 85% from its peak as e-commerce growth slowed in the economic reopening. However, Shopify has revamped its strategy and streamlined its business, issuing layoffs and selling off its Deliverr logistics business.

As a result, the e-commerce software company is delivering solid growth and is back in investors' good graces. Shares jumped 54% in November after Shopify announced that revenue increased 25% year over year in the third quarter. It also reported a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) operating profit of $122 million.

In December, the stock could move again as Shopify will host an Investor Day conference on Dec. 5. Companies tend to hold these conferences when they have important news to share, such as long-term guidance or a strategic shift.

Management said it would "offer a deeper understanding of our global unified commerce platform and product roadmap, expansion strategies, and market opportunities." It also said it wouldn't offer a "detailed long-term financial model." However, some market-moving details will likely be included in the presentation.

2. Oracle gives a key update

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) might be regarded as a legacy tech company, but it has positioned itself as one of the leaders in AI thanks to its strength in database management software. In its most recent quarterly report, the company said it was expanding data centers as fast as possible to handle demand for its Generation 2 Cloud. Management also said the Nvidia superclusters on its database train AI models at twice the speed and at under half the cost of competitors.

Oracle's cloud infrastructure business is also easily outgrowing competitors like Amazon and Microsoft, with 66% revenue growth to $1.5 billion in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Aug. 31.

The company hasn't announced its earnings date yet, but its second-quarter report is expected around Dec. 11. Investors will be watching closely for insights into the AI market.

3. AMD launches its long-awaited accelerator

Nvidia has dominated the market for generative AI chips. That's a major reason the stock and its financial results have soared this year.

However, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) is about to release its MI300 accelerator this month, which is expected to be the closest challenger to Nvidia's H100 accelerator thus far. AMD has a launch event set for Dec. 6, where the company will unveil the next-generation AMD Instinct MI300 data center graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerator family. The event will also showcase the company's momentum in AI hardware and will include partners.

Investors had been skeptical when the company first announced the MI300 without a major buyer, but AMD will have a chance to rewrite that narrative on Wednesday. So far, AMD has been unable to benefit from the kind of boom that Nvidia has seen in AI. AMD's revenue rose just 4% in the third quarter to $5.8 billion as the chip sector is still in a down cycle.

Wednesday's announcement will likely move AMD stock and could impact the chip and tech sectors. Cloud infrastructure companies and others are hoping a competitor to Nvidia will emerge to bring prices down, so a successful rollout would likely be a win for the tech sector as a whole.

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John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jeremy Bowman has positions in Amazon and Shopify. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia, Oracle, and Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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