Since Christmas Eve 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 2,000 points.

All as fears of a near-term recession have fallen to the wayside following better than expected jobs growth.  The U.S. economy added another 312,000 jobs – suggesting the economy is on more solid footing than many had thought.

That brings total employment gains in 2018 to a three-year high of 2.64 million.

“The far-bigger-than-expected 312,000 jump in non-farm payrolls in December would seem to make a mockery of market fears of an impending recession,” said Paul Ashworth, chief economist at Capital Economics, as quoted by Business Insider.

There are also hints of progress between China and the U.S. with regards to the trade war.  

Better yet, the Federal Reserve has been helpful.

While the central bank was responsible for a good chunk of market downside, it’s now reigniting bulls with its latest commentary.  In fact, in early January 2019, Fed Chief Jerome Powell noted the central bank would be “patient” as it watches the economy, adding the Fed is always prepared to act if needed.  

While markets aren’t in the clear just yet, we’re seeing a break in the storm clouds – and finding opportunity in this week’s list of hot stocks to watch.

Hot Stock No. 1 – Steel Dynamics (STLD)

Since the trade war began, steel stocks have taken quite a hit.  However, there is optimism that a deal could be made between the U.S. and China, which could send steel stocks higher.  In addition, there’s a new Trump catalyst we can’t overlook. Over the weekend, President Trump noted the border wall could be made of steel instead of concrete in an effort to reach a deal with Congress.  In fact, he just asked Congress for $5.7 billion for a “234 miles of physical barrier” made of steel, reported The Washington Post.

While it’s a wait-and-see at this point, the move from concrete to steel could open a significant amount of potential opportunities in the sector.  We’re also seeing sizable insider buying, too. Steel Dynamics saw up to $677,000 worth of buys over the last year.

Hot Stock No. 2 – Ciena Corporation (CIEN)

The limitless potential of AI alone is disrupting businesses, the way we conduct our affairs, and even the way financial institutions conduct high-frequency trading. It’s impacting the way Salesforce.com, Microsoft, and Google do business. It’s also the reason we like CIEN, which helps provide necessary infrastructure that’s critical for AI deployment.  Thanks to AI, the company was able to increase revenue by nearly 21% year over year – a trend that’s likely to continue as AI is quickly adopted.

Hot Stock No. 3 – Canopy Growth (CGC)

After a substantial pullback, Canopy Growth offers a great deal of value, especially after Cowen analysts raised estimates on the cannabis market.  

According to analysts at Cowen, U.S. cannabis sales alone could reach $80 billion by 2030 – an increase of $5 billion from earlier estimates, and a 4% compound annual growth rate.  The firm believes both stocks could see triple-digit revenue growth in 2019, as additional capacity begins to come online. Both will also benefit from robust demand, as well. Analysts at Cowen expect to adult-use market to generate retail sales of $2.3 billion in 2019.