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The facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

The year's hot sectors, from the Barron's cover story, "Outlook 2018: The Bull Market's Next Act":

  • "Financials, once again, are Wall Street's favorite stocks for the new year. The industry should be helped by higher interest rates, lower taxes, and an economy growing by nearly 3% a year."
  • "Tech stocks led the market for most of this year with a gain of 35%, helped by an even more powerful rally in the so-called FANGs: Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix, and Google, owned by Alphabet."
  • "At 17.7 times next year's estimated earnings, tech valuations aren't cheap, but they're well below valuations in the dot-com era, and underlying earnings growth is strong."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
12 mins ago - World

Merkel's departure could bring influx of private investment

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party chairman and candidate for the federal elections, Armin Laschet, in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Sept. 26. Photo: Clemens Bilan - Pool/Getty Images

Angela Merkel's departure from German government may result in a massive influx of private investment.

Driving the news: The center-left Social Democratic Party, led by chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, clinched a narrow victory in Germany's federal elections. It now will seek to form a coalition government by year-end with the Greens and the Free Democrats.

Instagram pauses development of platform for kids

Photo: Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Instagram announced Monday that it is pausing its plans to develop a version of its platform for children under 13.

Why it matters: Facebook has received backlash since the Wall Street Journal published a report that showed the company knew its Instagram app is harmful for teenagers.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

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