Need to Know: A fresh reason to get a piece of the soon-to-be-disrupted sector Warren Buffett once loathed

Muted market action of late shows us that investors may have just run out of steam as the year stretches to a close, and who can blame them for kicking back and counting their wins.

Better rest up now, advises Jani Ziedins, for the Cracked Market blog.

“I doubt much will happen this week, but how the market acts in early January will tell us a lot about what it wants to do next. If we are going to dip, the cracks will start showing themselves. If we keep holding near the highs, then confident owners won’t allow us to selloff,” said Ziedins.

No rest for cryptocurrency fans, unfortunately, as the sector doesn’t observe anyone’s holidays. A big bite was taken out of bitcoin this morning, see below for more on that.

Onto our call of the day, which suggests investors get some exposure now to a sector that may soon be catching up to technology — airlines. Tony Daltorio, former broker and editor of Growth Stock Advisor, has specific ideas on which names — and why — investors should be buying.

In a post for Investors Alley, Daltorio advises buying airlines that ”have the best Wi-Fi connectivity,” with Delta DAL, -0.01%  , United Continental UAL, +0.09%  and Alaska Air ALK, -0.34%  all making his cut. Airlines aren’t yet tapping into the potential for e-commerce revenue — onboard shopping is a big example — because most of them still aren’t offering broadband internet access, he said.

He cited research from IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler that showed airlines are increasingly relying less on airfares for revenue and more on ancillary fees — anything that is needed for a trip or makes it more comfortable. Airlines are expected to rake in $82.2 billion in ancillary fees in 2017, 10.6% of projected total revenue for the year, and 22% higher than 2016, he said, citing the report.

The bigger airlines are seeing the lion’s share of that, and the above named airlines are ones that have the highest percentage of seats globally with Wi-Fi, he said, citing another study.

Daltorio says “now may be the time for contrarian investors to look past the short-term turbulence and take a small position in the airlines that are forward-looking. I fully expect we won’t recognize the industry in a decade as technology disrupts it,” he said. Read the full post here.

Warren Buffett, who made up with airlines about a year ago, owns several, including Delta and United. What’s more, his Berkshire Hathaway recently said it was taking a 38.6% stake in Pilot Travels Centers, a family-owned operator of travel centers.

Read: S&P 500 to crash 25% — and 9 other ‘outrageous’ analyst predictions for 2018

Key market gauges

Bitcoin BTCUSD, -6.12%  is taking a hit, trading well under $14,000. The slide started in Asia, with some blaming news of a crackdown in South Korea, where the government said it may shut down bitcoin exchanges.

The DJIA  DJIA, +0.16%   , S&P 500 SPX, +0.05%  and Nasdaq COMP, +0.03%  are fairly flat in the early hours of trading. In Asia, the Nikkei NIK, -0.56%  took a hit on a strong yen as the dollar fell across the board. Dollar weakness DXY, -0.36%  was attributed to a big drop in 10-year government bond yields Wednesday.

As the dollar fell, gold GCZ7, +0.11% rose, while oil prices CLG8, -0.13%  are also slightly higher.

The chart

Tech bulls may want to look away now. This chart from Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions shows how tech stocks are bubbling back up to the highs of 2000.

In his chart posted on See It Market, he plots out price action over the past 20 years for the Technology Sector ETF XLK, +0.22% It shows the point at which the bearish reversal for techs began in 2000, and shows how the ETF is now getting close to that same point.

“Technology sector bulls want XLK to break above this psychological resistance level. It’s been a market leader, and bulls don’t want to see it show weakness here,” said Kimble. Read the full blog here.

The buzz

Apple AAPL, +0.50%  CEO Tim got a salary boost in 2017, but it was still the lowest among all executives at the iPhone maker. His total compensation this year was $12.8 million. Oh, and he also has to fly private now “for security reasons,” said Apple.

Shares of Nintendo 7974, -2.07%   fell in Japan after the company said it would delay delivery for 64-gigabyte game cards until 2019, which means some data-heavy game titles will remain unavailable for a while, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

The IRS says not so fast to homeowners rushing to pay their property taxes before the Republican tax bill kicks in 2018. Filers must check if they qualify.

The phrase, “it’s a dirty job, but…” has nothing on the tech workers paid to patrol Facebook for images and videos of child abuse, crime and terrorism.

On the economic data front, investors are getting weekly jobless claims and advance trade in goods and the Chicago purchasing managers index.

The stat

$1 million a minute, $66 million per hour, and $524 million a day — that’s how much the U.S. government pays its disclosed workforce (and in fiscal year 2016, the federal government disclosed 1.97 million employees), according to a crunch of federal data from government watchdog organization OpenTheBooks.com. Among the other tidbits, one-in-five of those workers made a six-figure salary in 2016.

The quote

Roy Moore pictured November 11, 2017 in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue as election integrity should matter to everyone,” says defeated Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who’s filing a lawsuit aimed at stopping the election certification of the winner, Democrat Doug Jones.

Random reads

ISIS reportedly claims responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul that killed at least 35 and injured dozens.

A few hours ahead of that attack, President Trump was tallying up his wins against the terrorist group.

In what’s being called a Christmas miracle, boy saved from icy pond by Utah officer is doing well.

Hair stylist arrested after fidgety customer gets a “Three Stooges” haircut.

Think you’re fit? Try the Ruth Ginsburg workout.

Vanity Fair apologizes after video telling Hillary Clinton to find a new hobby in 2018 backfired spectacularly.

How Twitter shut down a digital Nazi hunter.

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