Select Page

At this time of the year, it can be fun to look at the predictions for the coming year — for markets, politics or international events — and even to get out your own crystal ball.

In the daily Need to Know column on Tuesday, Steve Goldstein summarized predictions for 2024 from Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners Management, which include a souring for Apple and a continuing increase in oil prices.

Joseph Adinolfi reminds investors to take predictions with a grain of salt as he reviews a list of predictions for 2023 that didn’t come to pass and the lessons to be learned from them.

It’s time to think about taxes

Soon your holiday worries will be over. But there is still the problem of taxes. Beth Pinsker looks into tax pitfalls for small-business owners and provides advice about how to minimize the tax burden and simplify recordkeeping.

Andrew Keshner — the Tax Guy — helps a reader with a year-end question about the timing of the $7,500 federal tax credit when purchasing a Tesla Inc.
Model Y electric car.

More from the Tax Guy: I inherited a $300,000 bank account. When I pay taxes on the interest, would my spouse be entitled to a share of the account if we split?

Tax advice for retirees: Rules for required minimum distributions have changed — here’s a guide on when and how to take them

Stock picks for 2024

Getty Images

The 2023 stock-market rally has been driven by the “Magnificent Seven” group of stocks, which make up 28% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust
The S&P 500 has returned 25.7% this year through Thursday, with dividends reinvested. The Magnificent Seven — Apple Inc.
Microsoft Corp.
+0.28%, Inc.
Nvidia Corp.
Alphabet Inc.

Tesla Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.
— have contributed 59% to the index’s return, when weighted by their market capitalizations at the end of 2022.

For investors who want to look beyond the Magnificent Seven, Michael Brush highlights nine favorite stocks for 2024 among editors of highly rated investing newsletters.

More on selecting investments:

How about some space stocks?

im 88324963?width=700&height=452

Liftoff of Rocket Lab’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical” mission.

Rocket Lab

James Rogers interviews industry experts about which space stocks might be best for investors in 2024. The list includes Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.
which is trading for roughly the value of the cash it has on its balance sheet.


  • Rocket Lab USA’s stock jumps on government contract for 18 vehicles

  • Virgin Galactic’s stock climbs more than 5%, continuing its roller-coaster ride

The Moneyist is knee-deep in family financial turmoil

im 284213?width=700&height=393

MarketWatch illustration

Quentin Fottrell — the Moneyist — never has it easy as he answers readers’ questions about sensitive and personal financial matters. The headlines speak for themselves:

This is also the season for thinking about how to pay for college

im 72964060?width=700&height=467

Families can save a lot of money by learning as much as possible about the complicated world of financial aid and scholarships.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

At this time of year, high-school seniors and their parents are working through college applications, celebrating acceptances by some of the schools and making difficult decisions about which one to attend. The more you learn about financial aid and scholarships, the better off you will be. Beth Pinsker sheds light on the business of helping people navigate lowering the big cost of education.

Real estate

Here are some warnings about residential and commercial real estate:

  • Housing is now overvalued in 88% of the U.S., says ratings agency Fitch

  • ‘No one is throwing good money after bad’: Why 2024 looks like trouble for commercial real estate

And here is advice to readers from Aarthi Swaminathan about the difficult intersection of relationship problems and home ownership:

  • I bought a house with my fiancée, but she says I need to pay all the bills. Will she get half of the house if I sell?

  • My wife and I are separating. I provided the down payment and paid the mortgage on our home. Will I be allowed to keep it if we divorce?

The world of M&A

im 834908?width=700&height=467

U.S. Steel agreed to be acquired by Nippon Steel for $14.1 billion in cash.

Getty Images

Shares of United States Steel Corp.
rose 26% to $49.59 on Monday after the company agreed to be acquired by Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp.

for $55 a share. The deal sets up an interesting merger arbitrage play for investors — betting on whether or not the deal will be completed — in the face of opposition in Congress and what President Joe Biden said will be “serious scrutiny” by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which is chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Another major piece of M&A news was that David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.
met this week with Paramount Global
CEO with Bob Bakish to discuss a possible merger, according to an Axios report.

Analysts had a mixed reaction to the possible tie-up.

From Baron’s: Paramount and Warner Bros May Be Ready to Merge. Why It’s Too Little, Too Late.

More news on mergers and acquisitions:

This one’s for the last-minute shoppers

im 32907727?width=700&height=479

A bottle may be the easiest idea for a holiday present.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

What should I give them? That is a common question as the holidays approach. If it’s a question about what a person should give to someone who works for them, the answer is simple: If the recipient is someone who does regular work for you, such as your hairstylist or the person who comes by every week to maintain your pool, the answer is cash. Or a check.

But what about family and friends? It can be difficult to come up with a thoughtful present, especially when the clock is ticking. But Charles Passy, who writes the Weekend Sip column, has the remedy — 12 boozy bottles full of holiday spirit.

Want more from MarketWatch? Sign up for this and other newsletters to get the latest news and advice on personal finance and investing.

Share it on social networks