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12 Best Stocks in the Nasdaq This Past Week: Tesla Drives High

The top best-performing stocks in the Nasdaq over the past week included Alexion Pharm, Baidu Inc., Tesla Inc., and Biomarin Pharmaceuticals.

The Nasdaq outperformed with a 3.1% gain for the week as it traded at record intraday highs during Friday's session. Stocks finished lower Friday as congressional leaders made slow progress on agreeing to a stimulus bill and a government spending package ahead of a midnight deadline.

Here are the best stocks in the Nasdaq for this past week by their performance in percentage change at the close of trading on Dec. 18. 

1. Alexion Pharm Inc | +29.57% | Price $156.75

Alexion Pharmaceuticals  (ALXN) - Get Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report shares surged higher Monday after the rare disease specialist agreed to a $39 billion takeover by Britain's AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report

AstraZeneca will pay around $175 per share for Alexion, through a combination of cash and shares, representing a near 45% premium to the group's Friday closing price and valuing the Boston-based group at $39 billion, or around 4 times Alexion's 2025 revenue target of $9.5 billion.2. 

2. Baidu Inc | +19.51% | Price $192.69

Chinese search-engine giant Baidu undefined reportedly is pondering getting into the electric vehicle-making business, either producing its own EV or partnering with an existing EV maker that would see it enter Tesla's  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report and NIO's  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. (China) Report turf.

Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Beijing-based Baidu was considering contract manufacturing or setting up a majority-owned venture with automakers to produce electric cars.

3. Tesla Inc | +13.94% | Price $695

Tesla Inc.  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report extended gains Friday as Wall Street's most polarizing stock prepares for its debut on the S&P 500 next week as the benchmark's sixth-largest company with a market value of more than $640 billion.

Tesla shares have risen nearly 700% so far this year as Elon Musk's clean-energy carmaker posted consecutive quarterly profits, rolled out manufacturing bases in China and extended its commanding share of the electric vehicle market. At the same time, however, it's also been Wall Street's most shorted stock, with analysts questioning its sky-high valuation and relatively low-profit margins while betting billions against its meteoric rise.

4. Biomarin Pharmaceuticals | +11.78% | Price $88.85

Last month, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.  (BMRN) - Get BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. Report said it will partner with Deep Genomics to identify oligonucleotide drug candidates by using Deep Genomics’ artificial intelligence drug discovery platform.

5. Cadence Design | +11.39% | Price $132.02 

This week, Cadence Design Systems Inc.  (CDNS) - Get Cadence Design Systems, Inc. Report said that Samsung Foundry certified the complete Cadence system analysis and advanced packaging design tool flow as a Samsung Multi-Die Integration (MDI) advanced packaging reference flow.

6. PayPal Holdings | +10.46% | Price $236.45

Mizuho Securities recently surveyed 380 U.S. PayPal  (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings, Inc. Report users and found that 17% of them have already traded Bitcoin via their PayPal accounts. 

In addition, 65% of those who had traded Bitcoin via PayPal said that they’re willing to use the cryptocurrency to buy goods and services.

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7. Workday Inc | +10.10% | Price $241.39 

In November, shares of accounting software maker Workday  (WDAY) - Get Workday, Inc. Class A Report dropped premarket following its third-quarter earnings release despite topping earnings and revenue estimates as the company also issued weak guidance for 2021.

The company said it expects software demand to continue to come under pressure in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

8. Lululemon Athletica | +9.80% | Price $378.05

Lululemon Athletica  (LULU) - Get Lululemon Athletica Inc Report reported third-quarter sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 22% from the year-earlier quarter, beating analysts’ estimates.

For the quarter ended November. 1, Lululemon earned $143.6 million, or $1.10 per share, compared with $126 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier. 

9. Autodesk Inc | +9.05% | Price $305 

Shares of Autodesk  (ADSK) - Get Autodesk, Inc. Report were higher late last month after the modeling- and design-software major posted better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings. 

Autodesk earnings almost doubled to $132.2 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with $66.7 million, or 30 cents, in the year-earlier period. The latest adjusted profit was $1.04 a share.

Revenue for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose 13% to $952.4 million from $842.7 million.

10. Incyte Corp | +8.66% | Price $88.34 

In November, Incyte Corp  (INCY) - Get Incyte Corporation Report reported its third-quarter earnings for 2020 that ended in September 2020, posting revenues of $621 million, increasing 16% compared to the year-earlier quarter.

11. Ebay Inc | +8% | Price $53.06

In October, eBay  (EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report shares fell amid analyst comments after the online retailer offered weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter guidance after a strong third quarter.

Kunal Madhukar of Deutsche Bank cut his share-price target to $59 from $64 and affirmed his buy rating. “The fourth-quarter guide -- of low-double-digit [gross merchandise value] growth, down from 21% in the third quarter -- was underwhelming,” he wrote in a commentary cited by Bloomberg.

12. Activision Blizzard | +7.99% | Price $90.37

Activision Blizzard Inc.  (ATVI) - Get Activision Blizzard, Inc. Report said earlier this month that its "World of Warcraft: Shadowlands" game sold more than 3.7 million units on its release date, Nov. 23.

The Santa Monica, Calif., videogame maker said the game became the fastest-selling personal-computer game of all time industrywide, the company said in a statement.

“Shadowlands” is the eighth expansion for the 'World of Warcraft" franchise.