The market is huffing and puffing to the 2019 finish line, but there are still more than a few turns in this race. Between earnings reports, a new theme park attraction, and one of Wall Street's more impressive winning streaks on the line, this won't just be a month of glossing over Thanksgiving leftovers.
Slack Technologies (WORK), Disney (DIS 0.39%), Costco (COST -0.97%), and Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI 3.48%) are some of the companies that will be making headlines this month. Let's go over why these are some of the stocks to watch in December.
Slack Technologies: Dec. 4
One of this year's more volatile IPOs is Slack Technologies. The provider of collaborative cloud-based tools for companies and organizations was a hot debutante six months ago when it went public at $26, getting as high as $42 on its first day of trading. The shares would go on to surrender all of those initial gains -- and then some. Slack stock enters this month at $22.82, one of the many surprising broken IPOs of the class of 2019.
Slack has come undone largely on concerns that Microsoft (MSFT -3.09%) is eating into its potential. Microsoft's functionally similar Teams platform is growing quickly as a chat-based workspace component of Office 365. Microsoft has more than 20 million daily active users leaning on Microsoft Teams, topping Slack earlier this year. Slack bulls argue that their platform offers stronger engagement metrics, and on Wednesday we'll see how the company is faring against Microsoft when it reports its fiscal third-quarter results shortly after the market close.
Disney: Dec. 5
Opening a new ride may seem like old hat for the company behind the world's most visited theme parks, but there's a lot riding on Thursday's debut of Star Wars: The Rise of the Resistance at Disney World in Florida. The attraction has been generating lots of buzz for its immersive features, and it should be the main draw of the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansion that opened in Florida and at the original Disneyland park earlier this year.
It's been a tight race to this week's debut, and Disney has even had to forgo the employee and pass-holder previews that it typically offers ahead of a major new ride opening. With Disneyland coming off back-to-back quarters of declining attendance, it will be interesting to see how the ride is received in Florida, especially as California will get the same ride opening in mid-January.
Costco: Dec. 12
The market darling among warehouse clubs will get a chance to show off when it reports next week. Costco's been as steady as a drum, cranking out seven straight fiscal years of positive single-digit top-line growth -- and that's exactly where analysts see its latest report playing out. Wall Street's eyeing a nearly 7% increase in revenue, fueled largely by positive comps and new locations.
Analysts see a profit of $1.72 a share for the quarter, matching the top line's 7% ascent. The good news is that Costco has landed just ahead of Wall Street profit targets in each of the past three quarters. Growing in good times and bad is a defensive trait of the better consumer staples stocks, but with the stock entering December just 2% off its all-time highs, there isn't a lot of room for error here.
Sirius XM Holdings: Dec. 31
Investors may not be paying a lot of attention to the stock market on the final day of trading, but Sirius XM Holdings has an impressive streak it wants to keep going. The satellite radio monopoly shares have delivered positive returns for 10 consecutive years. It hopes to stretch the run to 11 years if it closes out the year above $5.77.
The streak seems fairly safe with the stock up 23% so far in 2019, but it wasn't always that way. Sirius XM was trading down for the year for a good chunk of time during the springtime of this year. Barring a sharp market correction, it will keep one of the more surprising winning streaks alive for another year.