Investors in US stocks had a lot to digest in November, with a Presidential election and multiple vaccine updates.

The net result was positive, as the Dow Jones rose by 11.8 per cent to post its best monthly gain since 1987.

To get an idea of how traders reacted down under, Stockhead caught up with the team from Stake — the trading platform that gives Aussie investors exposure to US stocks and ETFs.

Here are the Top 10 US stock trades for the month of November:

CODE COMPANY NOVEMBER RANK
NIO Nio Inc 1
TSLA Tesla 2
PLTR Palantir 3
AAPL Apple 4
XPEV Xpeng Inc 5
BABA Alibaba 6
AMZN Amazon 7
LI Li Auto 8
SQ Square Inc 9
FCEL FuelCell Energy 10

While big tech is still popular, only two of the so-called FAANG cohort — Apple and Amazon — made the cut in November.

The pre-election trade in October had more of a big-tech flavour, when Facebook and Microsoft also ended up in the Top 10.

Here are the Top 10 US stock trades for the month of October:

CODE COMPANY OCTOBER RANK
TSLA Tesla 1
AAPL Apple 2
NIO Nio Inc 3
AMZN Amazon 4
MSFT Microsoft 5
AMD Advanced Micro Devices 6
WKHS Workhorse Group 7
SQ Square Inc 8
FB Facebook 9
FSLY Fastly 10

But across both months, it’s still Elon Musk’s EV company Tesla that reigns supreme in the eyes of Aussie traders.

And traders who stayed bullish in November would’ve made a pretty penny, as the stock ripped to new all-time highs above $US560 — a monthly gain of 46 per cent.

However, after topping the pops every month since March, Tesla came in second for November behind another car maker — the China-based, NYSE-listed Nio Inc.

EV-maker Nio has long been a favourite among Australian investors, having posted a 12-month gain of more than 2,000 per cent.

And in the wake of the US election results, two other China-based car companies — Xpeng Inc and Li Auto — jumped onto the Stake Top 10.

Joining them as a November Top 10 addition was Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, which is also listed on the NYSE.

Bryan Wilmot, head of marketing at Stake, told Stockhead the shift in trading behaviour was a tale of “pre-election jitters to post-election optimism”.

“Through October, Stake traders clung tightly to the popular big tech stocks which are seen by many as safe, reliable, longer-term investments,” Wilmot said.

“However, that quickly changed in November in reaction to a Biden victory in the US election, with traders looking hopeful of decreased tensions between Washington and Beijing.”

“We saw Chinese stocks burst into the top traded, holding four of the top 10 spots with the nation’s EV manufacturers gaining the most popularity, benefitting from an uptick in the EV category as a whole.”

Another US-listed automobile company, the Canada-based ElectraMeccanica, finished just outside the Top 10 for November.

Wilmot said enthusiasm for Nio Inc was likely due to some strong reporting results and the recent rollout of its battery-as-a-service platform, where customers can get discounts on Nio cars by paying a monthly subscription on battery packs.

However, investors will also be watching for an update from Washington this week, with lawmakers set to vote on whether to impose restrictions on Chinese companies listed on US exchanges.

Elsewhere, Wilmot highlighted the noteworthy addition of data analytics company Palantir on November’s Top 10 list.

Palantir’s backers include the CIA, which provided early funding via its investment arm.

After listing at the end of September, Palantir shares closed their first day of trading at $9.50.

With a client base that includes a number of large US government agencies, Palantir’s share price “barely moved between its end of September IPO and the election”, Wilmot said.

“Through November however, it began to take off, growing by 143% through the course of the month.”

All in all, November marked “a fascinating time for the markets”, Wilmot said.

“We saw Stake traders using their direct access to the US market to react to global events as they happened.”