This Hour: The Top Investment Ideas for 2017

As 2016 comes to a close and the world embraces the arrival of a new year with new investment opportunities, where should investors focus their attention for 2017? 

  • The technology sector has seen tremendous growth and appears poised for more gains as the release of new and exciting products become available.
  • Which currency will dominate the marketplace in the upcoming year? Will virtual digital currencies become commonplace in the purchase of goods and services globally?
  • Will the new American President bring political and economic stability to a world weary of turmoil and conflicts?

Will the Technology Sector Continue Its Rally?

Some of the leading tech stocks have taken somewhat of a beating in the last week of the year. Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia's losses have made the headlines this week, although many still believe these companies will do well in the upcoming year.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) lost more than one percent of its value on Thursday. If you add-on the losses AMD took on Wednesday, the company   has lost close to six percent of its value. NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) and AMD's stock prices have fallen since trading resumed after the Christmas holiday. Up until then, 2016 has been a great year for both stocks. AMD's stock price climbed almost 300% since the beginning of the year.

The questions that surround the chip industry heading into 2017 have to do with growth potential and addressable markets. Both AMD and NVDA have made great achievements regarding machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, a sector with extreme growth potential. Gaming and traditional chip markets still account for the majority of their profits and are perceived by many analysts to have a smaller growth potential. What is clear is that chipmakers have invested substantial capital to be in the position to maximize their profits as the new breed of digital devices are made available to the general public.

With that being said, the technological sector of the marketplace may continue to offer opportunities of potential for gains to be realized.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)

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The Rise of Bitcoin and Digital Currencies

The government of the sovereign nation of India made the brazen move of declaring nearly 90 percent of the cash used by its citizens as worthless. This action forced many to buy into virtual digital currencies, causing millions of people around the world to consider, "Is the reality of a cashless society imminent?"

The digital currency we have been following is Bitcoin. We have witnessed, monitored and recorded the growth of Bitcoin from US $588.58 on August 8th of this year to $947.30. That's a movement of more than 3 million pips, and a tremendous investment opportunity for our Forex traders.

The Trump Effect

In the next two weeks, President Elect Trump will be officially sworn into the Office of President. The whole world witnessed a surprise jump in the value of the US dollar and US Stock prices, (and it is not the normal behavior of these two values to move in the same direction), when President Elect Trump won the election. Will the prosperity of the American economy return? Will the Dow jones record a value over 20,000?

These are all things we can look forward to observing in the upcoming year.


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 World Markets

On the last trading day of the year, the global markets were for the most part unchanged.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 13.9 points, or 0.07 percent, to 19,819.78.
  • The S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.66 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,249.26.
  • The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 6.47 points, or 0.12 percent, to 5,432.09.
  • MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares was up 0.45 percent.
     

Commodities

Oil prices are on a course to record  their biggest annual percentage gain since 2009. This surge in value can be attributed to the agreement struck between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to cut crude production output.

U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 6 cents to US $53.83 at the time of this writing. Brent crude prices were unchanged at US $56.85. Brent futures have risen about 53 percent this year while WTI futures have climbed around 46 percent. The 2016 gains in the oil market were the best since the 2009 rally, when Brent and WTI rose 78 percent and 71 percent respectively, as reported by Reuters

Currencies

Traders are taking profits on the USD's recent gains the last few days of this year.

  • The US Dollar (USD) was down 0.5 percent against the Japanese yen (JPY) trading at 116.65 yen vs 1 US Dollar (USD).
  • The European Euro (EUR) was up 0.71 percent against the USD trading at US $1.0481 vs 1 EUR  and was on a course to lose 3.5 percent against the USD for this year.
  • The Dollar Index .DXY, which compares the USD against a grouping of six major global currencies, was down 0.59 percent at 102.690.