All posts by Josh Enomoto

4 CBD Stocks to Buy for Mainstream Marijuana Profits

acb stock Aurora Cannabis stock
Source: Shutterstock

[Editor’s note: This story was previously published in March 2019. It has since been updated and republished.]

Traffic stats don’t lie: among investment categories, few have the draw of legal marijuana. And within this broad segment, companies specializing in cannabidiol, or CBD, have generated significant buzz. But what exactly is this three-letter acronym, and how can CBD stocks boost your returns?

Let’s start with basic definitions. Cannabidiol represents one of several cannabinoids, or chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. But unlike the most famous cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not trigger any psychoactive effect. In other words, users can enjoy this compound’s benefits without getting high.

This opens up profound opportunities for marijuana stocks that have exposure to CBD. First, since this compound inherently lends itself to medicinal use, it tends to be treated favorably by legislation. Most states allow CBD use for therapeutic purposes. Given political and public sentiment, it’s not inconceivable that all states will eventually green-light cannabidiol.

Second, CBD has the potential to help solve a huge societal problem. Turn on the news, and you’ll eventually find stories about the raging opioid crisis. What is less reported is that pharmaceutical companies contributed to the problem with highly addictive painkillers. Since CBD is not physically addictive, it could be a viable replacement for many addictive opioids.

Finally, the U.S. may be the leader of the free world, but it stymies itself with antiquated laws. Our neighbors to the north became the first G7 nation to legalize recreational weed, while we still classify cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic. Still, our laws will eventually reach the 21st century. When they do, marijuana stocks of all stripes should realize their full potential.

In the meantime, here are four CBD stocks to consider adding to your portfolio:

Tilray (TLRY)

Marijuana stocks

Source: ShutterstockWhen it comes to medicinal marijuana, few cannabis stocks have generated as much positive traction as Tilray(NASDAQ:TLRY). Last fall, TLRY stock soared to the stratosphere as the underlying firm received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration to import weed for medical research.

While shares have since come down significantly from those highs, Tilray remains a powerful name among CBD stocks. Recently, management signaled that it will aggressively compete in the cannabidiol sector with its acquisition of Manitoba Harvest. Manitoba specializes in CBD-infused food and health products, providing Tilray a key advantage in the North American market.

From a technical perspective, speculators may want to dive into currently discounted levels. After the crazy phase in marijuana stocks dried up, several names fell under the radar. One of those is TLRY stock, which has mostly moved sideways this year.

But with CBD gaining momentum stateside, who knows how long this discount will last?

Aurora Cannabis (ACB)

Wait for the Next Big Correction to Jump on Canopy Growth Stock

Source: Shutterstock

Much of the enthusiasm towards Edmonton-based CBD (and THC) firm Aurora Cannabis(NYSE:ACB) came off the back of an analyst upgrade. Cowen Equity Research initiated coverage of ACB stock, rating it as “outperform,” and giving it a rich price-target premium.

But it’s also interesting to note why Cowen is so optimistic. Analysts there view favorable international opinion towards marijuana as being beneficial to ACB stock over the long term. It’s not an unreasonable thesis. Among CBD stocks, Aurora has made a significant dent in the global medical-marijuana field.

Plus, the company has a massive market down south. While we’re fiercely divided politically, marijuana legalization is something Americans agree on more than most things.

Hexo (HEXO)

TIlray stock is driven by hype, until it's not

Source: ShutterstockInvariably, marijuana stocks are incredibly risky. While legalization initiatives have opened opportunities, this is a double-edged sword as competitors swarm into the arena. What you’re left with are several companies like Hexo(AMEX:HEXO), which suffer from severely-challenged financials.

But despite the risks, cannabis investors should strongly consider CBD stocks like HEXO. Since cannabidiol doesn’t produce any psychoactive or addictive responses, it facilitates surprisingly broad synergies. A prime example is the budding relationship with marijuana firms and beverage-makers.

Last summer, Hexo entered a joint venture with Molson Coors Brewing(NYSE:TAP) to produce CBD-infused drinks. Naturally, HEXO stock jumped off the news before giving up those gains late last year.

However, shares are making a strong comeback this year, jumping to a 100% lead. While it’s incredibly volatile, further positive developments could easily lift HEXO stock to its prior highs.

BlissCo Cannabis (HSTRF)

cronos stock

Source: ShutterstockI always warn folks that cannabis and CBD stocks are risky because that’s God’s honest truth. But BlissCo Cannabis (OTCMKTS:HSTRF) is an entirely different ballgame. HSTRF stock is so speculative that it makes other companies in this sector look stable.

We can start with the fact that shares currently sell for 29 cents a pop. Unlike some of the established names, the historical trend for HSTRF stock is decidedly negative. Finally, I don’t think I need to say this but BlissCo has severe fiscal challenges.

So why am I mentioning this company? Simple…upside potential. Partnering with both medical professionals and alternative therapists, BlissCo is a known commodity in Canada’s medicinal-cannabis industry.

Year-to-date, shares are up nearly 39%. As BlissCo remains undervalued relative to its historical averages, there’s probably substantial room for growth.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

3 Cheap Stocks to Buy That Are Worth Every Penny

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So close, and yet so far. That sums up the state of the markets recently, with investors jittery over the sudden chill surrounding U.S.-China relations. In an about-face on the trade dispute, President Trump conceded that tariffs on Chinese goods may remain for a “substantial period of time.” Simultaneously, this hurts the broader markets but it also raises prospects for cheap stocks.

I know what you’re thinking: why should I consider cheap stocks to buy when blue-chip names are also available for deeply discounted prices? Far be it from me to disagree with that logic. Typically, you accrue the biggest profits from striking while others are panicking. But after you’re comfortable with your high-probability bets, penny stocks provide exceptionally robust return potential.

We should also discuss the “under-the-radar” argument. News such as the trade-war dispute disproportionately hurt the blue chips because they’re usually multinational corporations with global vulnerabilities. While penny stocks also suffer the trickle-down effect, they’re more likely to move on sector-specific developments.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three (very) cheap stocks to buy that are worth every penny:

Entree Resources (EGI)

bitcoin or gold

Source: Jeremy Vohwinkle via Flickr (Modified)

Entrée Resources (NYSEAMERICAN:EGI) is one of the penny stocks that actually benefits from broader and sector-specific trends. With all eyes focused on the suddenly deteriorating trade-war dispute, investors get nervous. When investors get nervous, they buy gold. Naturally, as a gold miner, EGI has a lot to gain.

Another thing that intrigued me about EGI as a candidate for cheap stocks to buy is its locality. Most speculative miners have projects in extremely unstable countries just begging for nationalization. While Entrée’s main property in Mongolia isn’t the greatest region for stability, it’s also not the worst. Over the last few years, Mongolia improved its standing for ease of doing business.

Additionally, the gold price has also improved, gaining roughly 10% since the first of October. That’s a net positive for EGI stock, especially since it might go higher still. However, keep in mind that gold is extremely volatile, so don’t lever yourself excessively.

Genius Brands International (GNUS)

Source: Shutterstock

The entertainment industry is a tough sector in which to survive, let alone thrive. What works and what doesn’t often seem arbitrary. Moreover, maintaining relevance is a gargantuan task once you’ve accomplished the already difficult task of delivering a hit. But the prospect of finding that hit drives Genius Brands International(NASDAQ:GNUS).

GNUS specializes in creating compelling content and characters. Where it differs compared to other cheap stocks in the entertainment field is the company’s core audience: toddlers to tweens. This is an exceptionally challenging market to crack because you’re dealing with two audiences: the young consumer and their parents/guardians.

At the same time, GNUS has a viable pathway to profound growth. The reason? Brands such as cartoon characters translate very well internationally. If it resonates in America, it will probably resonate everywhere else.

Novavax (NVAX)

Source: Shutterstock

Over the past few years, vaccination captured the public’s attention, and not always in a good way. With President Trump’s election, an increasing number of people became aware of so-called alternative-truth movements. Many of these right-leaning organizations rally fiercely against vaccination, particularly government-imposed protocols.

On the surface, that doesn’t help Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), which specializes in the stuff. Nor does the fact that NVAX is one of the riskiest penny stocks to buy. Since Feb. 27, shares have plummeted nearly 71%. Even more concerning is the reason why NVAX fell.

In a clinical trial, the company’s NanoFlu treatment failed to beat placebo. In other words, positive thinking yielded roughly the same efficacy in preventing influenza than the vaccine.

Given that NVAX is a fundamentally poor organization, I’m not surprised that shares fell. However, keep in mind that most Americans support vaccination. Therefore, the broader financial incentive to stay the course until efficacy improves is incredibly high.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long gold.

Source: Investor Place

The 10 Best Marijuana Stocks to Buy in 2019

Any cursory look at the markets would reveal that 2018 wasn’t the best year for investors. That goes for speculative assets as well, including marijuana stocks. Although going green has proven net positive for the early birds, the sector tanked heavily during the October selloff. Still, I wouldn’t drop them from your list of stocks to buy just yet.

Despite their well-publicized fall from grace, several marijuana stocks have stabilized from their severe correction. While that’s no guarantee that the industry is done spilling blood, the deflated prices will almost certainly attract speculators. Should enough risk-takers enter the arena, publicly traded cannabis companies will jump higher, even if it’s only a temporary swing.

However, some other factors suggest that marijuana stocks may enjoy a sustained rise. First, none of the big waves currently spooking benchmark indices affect the legal cannabis industry. Whether it’s political unrest in the Middle East, the spiraling protests in Paris or the ugly Huawei controversy, marijuana for now is mostly a North American issue.

Second, medical cannabis potentially offers significant social utility. A stunning Bloomberg article analyzed whether Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) made the right business decision in producing a drug that cured diseases rather than managing them. The perception exists that big pharma companies should focus primarily focus on revenue generation rather than medical breakthroughs.

On the other hand, medical marijuana companies have no such quandaries. Because they are typically much smaller outfits, they don’t mind the inability to patent a naturally occurring plant. If anything, an organization that produces a proven, effective cannabis strain would represent a buyout target. This asymmetry challenges big pharma, but makes marijuana-based pharmaceuticals among the best stocks to buy.

While the sector remains risky, the deflated market environment offers attractive deals on these 10 marijuana stocks.

Tilray (TLRY)

Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) easily represents the most interesting and controversial picks among marijuana stocks to buy for next year. Within a few months after its initial public offering, TLRY stock pulled a ten-bagger. But as you know, the victory was short-lived, and Tilray came crashing down to earth.

Naturally, several analysts and commentators blasted the company as an unsustainable bubble. Keep in mind, though, that since its IPO, TLRY stock is up over 470%. I wouldn’t dismiss such a performance as a failure. Moreover, shares have stabilized near the $100 level. If this company was as terrible as the bears claimed, I doubt TLRY would ride this support line.

Now, it’s easy to dismiss any individual opinion. It’s much harder when a banking giant like Barclays (NYSE:BCSincreases their position. Clearly, they view TLRY as one of the best stocks to buy in 2019, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is.

Canopy Growth (CGC)

The prior two months have not been for Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC). Taking a similar route to most other marijuana stocks, CGC dropped 26% in October. The following November appeared promising, building off a sharp burst of momentum. Unfortunately, the rally lost traction and CGC ended up losing double-digits for the month.

But what I like about Canopy Growth is that true to its name, it’s a steady grower. Despite the recent sharp losses, its longer-term bullish trend channel remains intact. I wouldn’t consider hitting the panic button unless shares started to decisively fall below the $25 level. That said, I think the broader fundamentals favor CGC stock.

Tilray has a financial institution backing it. For Canopy Growth, they have alcoholic-beverages maker Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ). This is a trend that investors, even the skeptical ones, shouldn’t ignore. Big money is increasingly stepping into the cannabis sector, making CGC one of the best stocks to buy despite its well-publicized setbacks.

Cronos Group (CRON)

While most marijuana stocks have struggled to rekindle their prior catalysts, Cronos Group(NASDAQ:CRON) currently stands above the competition. For the month so far, CRON stock has streaked to an amazing 39% lead. Of course, most of that optimism comes courtesy of Altria Group (NYSE:MO).

The iconic tobacco company made headlines when it announced a partnership with Cronos. The deal, worth $1.8 billion, provides CRON with a boatload of cash to further develop its cannabinoid (CBD) products. On the other side of the fence, Altria needs something fresh to reinvigorate its traditional tobacco business.

A key long-term synergy could be the vaporizer market. Vaping CBD e-liquids have taken off in terms of popularity. Altria has attempted to break into the vaporizer market with its own heat-not-burn tobacco products. But with Cronos’ expertise in CBD, Altria has another angle in this sector to work.

In the meantime, feel free to put CRON in your list of best stocks to buy for next year.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB)

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) has suffered a disjointed long-term performance in the markets, even compared to other marijuana stocks. In 2017, ACB stock shot from near-obscurity to the toast of Wall Street. This year, ACB has shown flashes of brilliance, but little to show for it overall.

I expect the cannabis sector to wake from its slumber. When it does, the currently embattled ACB has the potential to become one of the best stocks to buy for 2019. The markets really haven’t responded positively to Aurora’s buyout of Farmacias Magistrales. Farmacias made news when it became the first, and so far only Mexican importer of raw materials that contain the psychoactive component THC.

The buyout allows Aurora a viable channel to Latin America’s medical-marijuana market. In addition to Farmacias, ACB has operations in Colombia and Uruguay. Should the industry establish medical breakthroughs in Latin America, advocates will pressure the U.S. to further loosen federal cannabis restrictions.

Auxly Cannabis (CBWTF)

One of the most common misconceptions is that legal-cannabis advocates are only “fronting” to get high. While that use is unavoidable, the botanical industry has several legitimate applications. On the business aspect, several investors assume that all cannabis companies focus on growing weed.

But as Auxly Cannabis (OTCMKTS:CBWTF) demonstrates, marijuana stocks feature the same vibrancy and dynamism as other commodity related investments. Auxly specializes in all areas of the legal-cannabis supply chain, with a primary focus on upstream operations. This involves partnering with companies that grow the actual product.

In addition, CBWTF levers a viable midstream operation. This includes activities such as extraction, processing and branding. It also involves longer-term efforts like research and development.

The biggest advantage for CBWTF to pull this streaming business off is its balance sheet. With a favorable cash-to-debt ratio, Auxly can make key acquisitions and investments while the cannabis market is still young.

Origin House (ORHOF)

Formerly known as CannaRoyalty, Origin House (OTCMKTS:ORHOF) is another cannabis firm that made its name through streaming businesses. And while it still generates some revenue through its initial line of work, ORHOF has become a powerhouse in branding.

The proof is in its utter domination of California. Unbeknownst to me prior to this write-up, the Golden State is the world’s largest legal cannabis market. With a title like that, it’s a wonder how anything gets done around here. Joking aside, Origin House boasts more than 450 California-based dispensaries and more than 50 popular brands.

In other words, if you can make it in California, you can make it anywhere. This bodes very well for ORHOF stock. Last month’s midterm elections proved that legal weed is gaining serious momentum. Inevitably, more recreational markets will open, allowing Origin House to expand its dominating presence.

Marimed (MRMD)

Let’s face facts: Marijuana stocks don’t exactly have the greatest reputation for stability. That goes five-fold for over-the-counter offerings. One notable exception to this rule is Marimed(OTCMKTS:MRMD).

While other sector players hemorrhaged severely during the October rout, MRMD stock actually enjoyed a standout performance, gaining nearly 19%. That said, Marimed eventually gave up those gains and then some. Since the first of November, MRMD is down a little over 17%.

Still, I think it’s fair to say that compared against other marijuana stocks to buy, Marimed has held up well. Heading into the new year, MRMD has the potential to turn heads.

Its biggest advantage is its highly demanded consultation services. Covering everything from licensing application support to facilities management, MRMD provides relevant and critical insights for budding entrepreneurs. Plus in my opinion, Marimed levers one of the brightest and well-rounded leadership teams in the marijuana industry.

Medmen Enterprises (MMNFF)

Marijuana retail outfit Medmen Enterprises (OTCMKTS:MMNFF) suddenly became one of the best stocks to buy in botany around mid-October. Within a matter of days, MMNFF stock skyrocketed over 60%. But like most over-the-counter affairs, Medmen gave up its profits just as quickly.

Since its peak closing price, MMNFF stock has dropped a humbling 53%. I get that most investors will balk at such volatility. However, for the speculator, I sense serious growth opportunities for Medmen.

The company has established itself as a retailer of premium cannabis products. Yet many investors may not appreciate that Medmen is a vertically integrated organization. From its upstream production operation down to extraction, branding and distribution, Medmen essentially controls its supply chain. This is a “farm-to-bong” business at its finest.

As Medmen CEO Adam Bierman stated recently, this structure affords the company generous margin-expansion possibilities. Further, the aforementioned high-profile deals only help validate smaller players like MMNFF stock.

Aleafia Health (ALEAF)

Broader and sector weakness has hurt virtually all marijuana stocks. However, the lesser-known names have experienced disproportionate pain. Unfortunately, this is something that Canadian cannabis firm Aleafia Health (OTCMKTS:ALEAF) knows all too well.

But despite its severe market loss over the past two-and-a-half months, ALEAF stock offers a speculative opportunity for risk-takers. For starters, the underlying company features the largest network of referral-only medical cannabis clinics in Canada. Furthermore, their patient base continues to increase as the industry gains social recognition and acceptance.

Management has also invested heavily in cultivation facilities, targeting an annual growing capacity of 98,000 kilograms in 2019. Most importantly, Aleafia has the substance to back up the outlook. In its most recent third-quarter earnings report, the company increased revenue 36%year-over-year.

Diego Pellicer Worldwide (DPWW)

We’ve arrived at the end of our journey regarding marijuana stocks to buy in 2019. In keeping with my loose tradition, I like to throw in an extremely speculative name. And don’t roll your eyes at me: you know you want to know!

The following idea comes from an InvestorPlace reader named Anthony. He asked my opinion regarding Diego Pellicer Worldwide (OTCMKTS:DPWW). My answer to him is the same one I’m giving to you, which is that DPWW stock is extremely risky. Aside from its distressingly low trading volume and market capitalization, Diego Pellicer lacks financial strength to convincingly pull off its licensing and royalties business model.

However, I’m intrigued with its premium branding business. Not that I would know, but Diego Pellicer specializes in high-class cannabis products. As companies like Origin House and Medmen have proven, cannabis users eschew quantity for quality. That could lead to a surprising turnaround for DPWW stock.

Or you can lose every cent that you put in.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long MRMD and ALEAF.

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Source: Investor Place

8 ‘Greenlight’ Stocks to Buy in a Sea of Red

Looking for viable stocks to buy at this juncture seems like a herculean task. The markets never looked convincing in October and it dubiously proved that point midweek. The Dow Jones shed 608 points exactly a week before Halloween, sending shivers down Wall Street. More problematic, at least for the nearer-term, is that the situation is likely to worsen.

Inarguably, the biggest concern is our ongoing trade war with China. Neither side obviously wants to concede, which means we’ll play hardball. Eventually, we’ll win out, but the victory will not come cheap. The other headwind impacting those seeking stocks to invest in is our political landscape. Politics is never conciliatory. However, I’ve never seen the country so divided. Anybody who has any amount of public clout has voiced their opinions to sway the electorate.

Based on everything that we’re seeing, the House will go to the Democrats. President Trump will, therefore,e face a contested government, which means nothing will get done. That might appease one side of the political spectrum, but it clouds deciphering which stocks to buy. Still, while the markets are swimming in red ink, a few viable publicly-traded companies exist. Primarily, the best “greenlight” stocks to invest in are levered toward consumer staples. That’s not surprising, considering that their underlying industry enjoys relatively consistent demand.

But other sectors have also outperformed in October, providing surprisingly healthy options for investors. Here are eight greenlight stocks to buy in a sea of red.

Hormel Foods (HRL)

Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) is simply one of the most monstrous stocks to buy this October. Since the start of the month, HRL stock was up nearly 7% (well, 6.66% to be exact … spooky!). While those numbers wouldn’t ordinarily raise eyebrows, consider that the Dow Jones has dropped almost 8% over the same timeframe. The venerable index is down for the year, while HRL stock has gained 17%.

Strangely, Hormel is getting a lifeline while so many other previous stocks to buy are heading towards the butcher. Revenues sharply declined last year, and HRL stock took serious damage. However, shares are on the upswing as management is back to robust growth.

Plus, Hormel has an opportunity to advantage the multi-billion dollar alternative-meat market. Hormel’s subsidiaries are exploring this sector, which should lift HRL stock long-term.

Source: Shutterstock

Tyson Foods (TSN)

Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) doesn’t quite match Hormel Foods’ performance. Year-to-date, TSN stock is down nearly 23%, which hardly inspires confidence for those looking for stocks to invest in. That said, Tyson Foods has enjoyed a surprisingly robust October. For the month, TSN stock is up over 3%. Again, this wouldn’t generate headlines except for the fact that the broader markets are in full meltdown mode. As such, TSN is a great place to park your money in this storm, especially considering its 1.94% dividend yield.

Fundamentally, the company is also coming around. Like other food companies, Tyson experienced a disjointed sales performance in recent years. However, this year, revenue is on pace to exceed 2016 and 2017 results.

Not only that, investors will likely appreciate TSN stock for the underlying company’s consistent demand. Irrespective of where the economy heads, people need to eat. When you look at the volatility in most investment sectors, Tyson Foods simply makes sense.

Hershey (HSY)

With Halloween coming up, Hershey (NYSE:HSY) seems like an appropriate choice among greenlight stocks to buy. After all, both kids and adults love Hershey’s iconic chocolates. Plus, the company levers several popular and delectable brands. Certainly, the markets are buying into the story. While the first half of this year was more than forgettable, the story changed dramatically in the second. Since the beginning of July, HSY stock has gained over 17%.

Even more impressive, the chocolatier and candy-maker increased momentum in October. Since the beginning of this month, HSY stock is up nearly 6%.

Fundamentally, I like Hershey heading into its third-quarter earnings report. The company has enjoyed three years of consecutive revenue growth, and it’s on pace for a fourth. In addition, stable free cash flow bolsters the case for HSY stock.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget about its 2.8% dividend yield. At a time when the broader markets are tanking, passive income is at a premium.

Philip Morris International (PM)

Based on the bigger picture, you’d think that Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) has no business belonging on a list of stocks to invest in. Traditional cigarette sales are down sharply as more Americans are butting out. More importantly, the under-18 crowd isn’t picking up on the habit.

Indeed, PM stock started falling in the second half of 2017. Unfortunately for shareholders, the decline hasn’t ended. On a YTD basis, Philip Morris shares are down almost 15%.

But that statistic is deceptive because PM stock found new life since the end of August, with shares up 17%. And in October, the tobacco firm is on the verge of double-digit territory.

One of the things I like about PM stock is the underlying company’s IQOS product. IQOS, which is a type of vaporizer, plays directly into the e-cigarette craze. The advantage that Philip Morris levers is product knowledge. Not all vaporizers accurately replicate traditional smoking, which should benefit the top and bottom lines.

Finally, PM stock pays out a 5.1% dividend yield, which you definitely can’t ignore.

Verizon Communications (VZ)

With Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) recently putting up a convincing Q3 earnings beat, this is an easy one to put on your list of stocks to invest in. After wildly choppy trading over the past few years, VZ stock is finally on the right track. Moreover, the telco giant has completely moved against the grain in October. VZ stock is up over 8% for the month, while for the second half, shares have registered nearly 17%.

Naturally, many investors are gun shy about jumping onboard a company that is near all-time highs. However, VZ stock is the real deal. The telco firm enjoyed impressive wireless-subscription growth, while its potential for 5G is a gamechanger. The new wireless network offers multiple synergies, and Verizon was the first to deliver commercial 5G services.

Among the companies mentioned here, VZ stock provides a very generous dividend yield at 4.2%. Considering the broader selloff, Verizon provides much-needed stability and protection.

Source: Shutterstock

Superior Drilling Products (SDPI)

One of the biggest victims of the market selloff is the oil and energy sector. With global indices freefalling,­ Wall Street fears that demand for oil products will deflate. However, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the U.S. has placed sanctions on Iranian oil exports, which comes into effect Nov. 4. That potentially boosts the contrarian case, not only for oil stocks, but for equipment companies, like Superior Drilling Products (NYSEAMERICAN:SDPI).

While energy firms have felt the heat, October has been (mostly) kind to SDPI stock. Despite today’s 15% decline, SDPI shares are up more than 10%. Of course, with that kind of performance, you want to be careful about going in too deeply. Still, SDPI stock has sound fundamentals. Primarily, the company has generated strong revenue growth. SDPI is on pace for an annual profit which hasn’t happened since at least 2014.

Should the supply-demand situation improve for the energy market, SDPI stock is primed for additional growth.

Source: Shutterstock

Iamgold (IAG)

When equities are deflating, the rule of thumb is to look at gold. So far, the precious metals sector has lived up to its reputation. Gold prices are up about 3% for October, driving up several mining companies.

However, one miner that hasn’t enjoyed much of a sentiment lift is Iamgold (NYSE:IAG). This month, IAG stock is up nearly 2%. That’s not bad in and of itself, considering the panic-selling on the Street. That said, Iamgold’s competitors have seen robust double-digit growth.

Due to the fact that the broader markets continue to flash all kinds of ugly, I believe Iamgold will eventually rise along with its peers. Fundamentally, IAG stock levers impressive stats. It’s one of the few gold companies that have registered consecutive years of growth. Moreover, Iamgold’s cash flow has stabilized relative to earlier years’ dysfunctionality.

Rosetta Stone (RST)

Back in July, I pegged Rosetta Stone (NYSE:RST) as one of the long-term stocks to buy. I felt that the company offered a compelling service, which is to get people up-to-speed on learning a foreign language. While we’re incredibly blessed to live in the world’s top superpower, and that English is the international language, that status isn’t likely to hold indefinitely.

For one thing, changing demographics have pushed Chinese as the world’s most spoken language. In theory, this and other factors should boost RST stock.

What I didn’t expect was for Rosetta Stone to hold its own during the October selloff. Yes, RST stock did experience volatility when the major indices tanked. However, RST is back to level ground, which gives me confidence in the company’s “bigger picture” potential.

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8 Stocks to Buy That Will Never Go Out of Style

Source: Shutterstock

First, it was the shocking news that Donald Trump became the 44thperson to become president. Then came the avalanche of controversies: Russia, China, Sessions, the “wall” and currently, Kavanaugh. I’m missing about 50 other scandals, but this is a family-friendly website!

And under this environment, it’s hard to figure out which stocks to buy.

I propose that now is a time to stop overanalyzing the granularity and to consider companies which have indefinite demand. Some of the best stocks to invest in are secular picks that will enjoy consumer dollars no matter the situation. Because let’s face it: we can all use a little stability and predictability in our finances, especially right now.

At the same time, don’t expect every name on this list to be the usual suspects. Next-generation challenges call for next-generation solutions. Therefore, some of my ideas for best stocks to invest in will likely surprise you.

So without any more delay, here are the eight best stocks to buy featuring products (or services) that you’ll always use:

Facebook (FB)

Best Stocks to Buy for Virtually-Guaranteed Demand: Facebook (FB)

Source: Shutterstock

Without hesitation, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has suffered one of the worst overall rides in the market this year. At its peak, FB stock gained over 22% against the January opener. But after a “devastating” earnings report, Facebook had to pick itself off the ground. Currently, its staring at double-digit losses.

No matter. I’m stilling putting the social-media giant on my list of stocks to buy. In previous write-ups, I made some detailed arguments, including that Facebook’s earnings report wasn’t nearly as bad as advertised. Moreover, user-growth statistics indicated that grassroots efforts to hurt the company didn’t make much of an impact.

But let’s think in broader strokes. FB stock remains one of the best stocks to invest in because it will likely forever dominate social media. And social media taps into a universal human longing: to connect with other people.

My friends, that’s the very definition of a product that you’ll always use!

Procter & Gamble (PG)

They say the only certainties are death and taxes. But if you look a little below those absolute certainties you find plenty of near-certainties.

People are still going to wash their clothes. Wash their dishes. Brush their teeth. And as long as they’re doing that, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) stands to profit. Disposable razors, toilet paper, shampoo … none of this stuff is going away, and PG stock is the purveyor of many of the most trusted brands in their spaces.

PG stock is an investment in everything you purchase that you completely take for granted. And that demand should keep PG stock solid.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Source: Shutterstock

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is one of the best stocks to invest in among cradle-to-grave companies. Obviously, when most people consider JNJ stock, they immediately think about their mom. The iconic organization is a permanent fixture in parenthood. And as kids become adults, they too will depend on Johnson & Johnson.

But the other component of life is the inevitability of death. Because sometimes, prior to death comes cancer. According to multiple medical journals, your chance of getting cancer at least once in your lifetime is roughly around 50% (or at least they are in the UK). That’s startling news. Fortunately, Johnson & Johnson has a robust pharmaceutical division, with oncology a prime specialty.

Better yet, the company has several drugs in late-stage clinical trials. With JNJ stock, you’re taking out the speculative nature of many healthcare-related stocks to buy. Finally, JNJ pays out a fairly generous 2.6% dividend yield.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft (MSFT)

Source: Shutterstock

When investors discuss tech stocks to buy with indefinite demand, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is usually the go-to name. The first trillion-dollar company, Apple’s rise to the stratosphere seemingly has no bounds. But the biggest concern I have for AAPL is that it’s vulnerable to commoditization. I can’t say the same about Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Yeah, yeah, get the pitchforks out and call me a paid shill for Microsoft (full disclosure: I’m not). Instead, I’m looking at reality. While Apple makes incredibly attractive devices, Microsoft focuses on sheer functionality. I can get infinitely more stuff done on Microsoft computers. Plus, they don’t take away buttons from the mouse for aesthetic reasons. That’s one reason to buy MSFT stock.

The other? This dominance isn’t going to fade anytime soon. Microsoft-based operating systems represent the runaway leader in PC market share. And in the professional world, Microsoft Office programs are the universal standard.

Have you heard of anyone requesting a Pages document? Don’t even get me started with Numbers, which is a dumbed-down version of Excel made worse with Apple’s mouse-button deficiencies.

Bottom line, if you use computers for any legitimate reason, you’re going to use Microsoft. Therefore, buy MSFT stock with confidence.

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon (AMZN)

Source: Shutterstock

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is an easy one. Among the most dominant stocks to buy, the-commerce giant lives up to the title “disruptor.” After a stunning year in 2017, AMZN stock is back at it again. Year-to-date, shares are up over 60%. It will eventually join Apple as the other trillion-dollar company.

But as I discussed this past summer, I like AMZN stock to take the $2 trillion benchmark first. The reason is that Apple doesn’t appear to have too many great ideas in the tank. They risk commoditization as manufacturers produce equivalently advanced but cheaper alternatives.

Amazon, on the other hand, isn’t levered to consumer whims. So long as people want to buy anything, they’ll come to the e-commerce company. What’s more, AMZN isn’t just limited to retail, as its acquisitive nature has demonstrated. With its influence stretching into multiple, disparate industries such as cloud computing and groceries, management has guaranteed itself future relevance.

Home Depot (HD)

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is another easy one to place on the best stocks to buy list. As a secular investment, HD stock isn’t subject to market or even economic whims. Unless we experience cataclysmic devastation, Home Depot will find ways to generate sales, particularly because sales will come to them.

Consider these points: in a bullish real-estate market like we’re experiencing now, home owners will request renovations to drive up prices. On the other end of the scale, a down market is still bullish for HD stock. So long as you own property in at least a somewhat desirable location, renovations represent money well spent.

Best of all, Home Depot is Amazon-proof. Construction and home improvement are hands-on projects. You have to see, touch, and try your desired tools and components before purchasing them. And if they don’t work out, you need a physical outlet for quick and easy returns or exchanges.

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

Source: Shutterstock

The internet is a wonderful place. And when you use it, chances are extremely high that you utilize Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google search engine. According to the latest reading, Google levers an insurmountable market share at 92.3% of all search engines across all platforms. You can take GOOG stock to the bank.

To give you an idea of how utterly dominant Alphabet is, take a look at search-engine rankings in ChinaBaidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) understandably ranks in first place, but at a comparatively low 66.3%. Baidu can’t convincingly put away its Chinese rivals. Moreover, Google puts up a respectable 2.7% market share in hostile territory.

This is another way of saying that Alphabet, and by logical extension, GOOG stock, owns the internet. Bullish analysts will cite other factors, such as the Waymo self-driving vehicle. That’s wonderful and all, but the most compelling argument for Alphabet is the search engine. It demonstrates perhaps eternal demand.

Marimed (MRMD)

Marimed (MRMD)

Source: Shutterstock

According to the Pew Research Center49% of Americans admitted to trying marijuana. This survey was conducted more than three years ago. A survey from last year suggests that the figure has bumped up to 52%. Whatever. I’m sure the actual percentage is substantially higher.

At any rate, I firmly believe that marijuana companies are the best stocks to buy at this juncture. I’m especially optimistic about Marimed (OTCMKTS:MRMD). Over the next several years, various state legislations will incentivize “weedpreneuers” to set up shop. The problem is, legal marijuana is a complicated endeavor. You need advisors to assist you, which is what Marimed provides.

From permit applications to facilities planning, MRMD stock offers a compelling, diversified exposure to cannabis. Because the company is not tied to any one segment within the industry, this reduces market risk. Indeed, shares have been flying. Just in this month, Marimed is up 25%.

Of course, MRMD stock has its risks. Like other sector players, Marimed’s financials aren’t the most robust. And technically, draconian federal mandates could squash legal cannabis.

But in all likelihood, that’s not going to happen. If you want a potentially explosive opportunity that has somewhat flown under the radar, consider MRMD stock. I know I have!

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto was long MRMD.

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Source: Investor Place 

10 Stocks to Sell in October

Source: Shutterstock

With Halloween a little over a month away, both kids and adults are prepping for the fright-filled holiday. But since October also represents the start of the fourth quarter, it’s an ideal time to consider which stocks to sell.

I say this because several names, whether they’re standout performers or backmarkers, gained on the back of a generally improving economy. But with our politics hitting a very sour note ahead of the midterm elections, the markets have lost their sheen. More importantly, the China tariffs casts a dark cloud on most sectors.

Therefore, getting rid of stocks to sell helps to protect our portfolio from unforeseen events. That’s the easy and obvious part. The more difficult component is separating the winners from the duds.

For this list of companies to avoid, I’m staying away from stocks that have already suffered severe declines. Typically, these names can temporarily skyrocket due to a short squeeze or simply a reactionary move. Instead, I’m going bearish on organizations that have done well this year, but whose premiums have gotten too rich.

So with that intro out of the way, here are my choices for stocks to sell in October:

Stocks to Sell in October: Dillards (DDS)

Source: Shutterstock

Department stores and the broader retail sector have experienced a surprising comeback in 2018. Left for dead due to declining foot traffic and competition from e-commerce companies, the retail rally proved brick-and-mortars are still relevant.

Unfortunately, Dillards (NYSE:DDS) didn’t receive the memo.

Sure, DDS shares are up big, gaining 29% since the start of the year. Therefore, it seems strange that I would include it in my stocks to sell list. Here’s the deal: I doubt that DDS will continue positively surprising Wall Street. In its most recent quarter, Dillards managed an uninspiring revenue growth rate of 2.5% to $1.5 billion. In comparison, Nordstrom’s (NYSE:JWN) sales growth jumped over 7% to $4 billion.

My biggest concern is that brick-and-mortars lack a compelling growth story. Some competitors will makes it, but not all. That leaves DDS in a tight spot, which might explain traders’ hesitation over the last several weeks.

TripAdvisor (TRIP)

TripAdvisor (TRIP)

Source: Shutterstock

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) has enjoyed a stunning performance in 2018. Since the January opener, TRIP stock has skyrocketed 51%. This is despite the fact that since the end of July, TRIP shares evaporated close to double digits.

So why am I including TripAdvisor on a list of stocks to sell in October? I’m just not sure that the company’s equity is worth its rich premium. Currently, TRIP is trading at 30-times forward earnings. The average for the global leisure industry is 18 times forward earnings.

The other concern I have is declining revenue growth. In its most recent second quarter earnings report, TripAdvisor registered $433 million in sales. This was an improvement of only 2% year-over-year. To put this into greater context, TRIP achieved over 8% YOY growth in Q2 2017.

People may be traveling more often now, but TRIP stock isn’t enjoying the benefits.

Under Armour (UAA)

Under Armour (UAA)

Source: Shutterstock

Having covered Nike (NYSE:NKE) for its earnings report, I can better appreciate the difficulty involved in the sports-apparel market. Nike, for all its successes and brand popularity, didn’t impress many analysts for their fiscal Q1. To succeed here requires that you fire on all cylinders.

That brings me to Under Armour (NYSE:UA, NYSE:UAA). UAA achieved a remarkable turnaround this year. Since the start of 2018, shares have gained around 46%. But after peaking in early June, UAA hasn’t really looked the same.

Much of the bearishness is fundamental. Under Armour is losing traction with teenagers, which is a critical demographic. They’re the ones not only buying the products, but using them in athletic competitions. Plus, if you can’t win with American teens, you’re going to have difficulty internationally against dominant force Adidas (OTCMKTS:ADDYY).

Finally, UAA simply doesn’t have the financial resources to go toe-to-toe with the big boys. If you’ve made a profit, this is one of the stocks to sell in October.

Qualcomm (QCOM)

Qualcomm (QCOM)

Source: Shutterstock

This is an incredibly controversial idea, so allow me to caveat this upfront: we’re talking about stocks to sell in October, and not indefinitely. And with that specific framework in mind, I’m temporarily going bearish on Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).

Immediately, QCOM bulls will respond that the 5G rollout is upon us. With next-generation high-speed internet, Qualcomm’s revenues should blow through the roof. Plus, the company’s legal battle with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) should either blow over or perhaps move towards Qualcomm’s favor. Either way, we’re looking at an optimistic environment for QCOM stock.

From a longer-term perspective, I agree. But technically, QCOM has shown weakness in recent trades. If I know anything, it’s that the market is always right. Furthermore, I’m reminded of the fact that the first 4G phone rolled out in 2010, yet QCOM experienced significant turbulence that year before ultimately rising higher.

Yes, 2010 wasn’t a great year for the broader economy. However, I can also say the same this year specifically regarding the ongoing China tariffs. Bottom line: QCOM is a long-term buy, but for right now, it’s a risky trade.

National-Oilwell Varco (NOV)

National-Oilwell Varco (NOV)

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re in the broader oil business, life is good. Crude oil prices have steadily increased throughout this year. The international benchmark Brent Crude is $82 per barrel, and technically, it looks set to break back into triple-digit territory.

So it sticks out like a sore thumb when a sector player like National-Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) signals weakness. I get the point that NOV stock is up over 19% year-to-date. However, shares have been riding a losing streak since the first of August, which is worrisome.

The other reason I don’t care for NOV is that you can easily find better deals in the oil market. National-Oilwell Varco trades at 43 times forward earnings, whereas the industry average is a little over 21x. Moreover, NOV pays out a pittance in dividend yield, less than 0.5%.

Again, for the inherent risk you’re taking in the oil sector, you have far better options.

Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla (TSLA)

Source: Shutterstock

For quite some time, I’ve supported Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk. Whatever troubles TSLA was facing in the markets, at the end of the day, I trusted Musk and his potential. We’ve all witnessed what this modern-day Einstein has accomplished.

Meeting sales targets for an automobile company? This should be child’s play compared to launching a convertible to Mars.

Unfortunately, we have one little problem: Musk at times has proven to be more a child than an adult. Whether it was his cryptic tweet that drew an SEC investigation, or his outbursts against analysts asking questions that are “not cool,” Musk has gone off the deep end.

TSLA has always suffered significant challenges, primarily with its car-production goals. But now, the company can’t even rely upon run-of-the-mill leadership, let alone a disciplined, focused CEO. Musk’s volatile behavior magnifies whatever ails TSLA. Bottom line, I’m out, and not just for October.

Wells Fargo (WFC)

Wells Fargo (WFC)

Source: Shutterstock

I have reservations towards big banks. As bellwethers of the underlying economy, we should see a correlation between consumer confidence and rising bank stocks. And actually, we’ve seen exactly that since President Donald Trump assumed office. But recently, things look shaky.

Among the “Big Four,” no one is having a worse month in September than Wells Fargo(NYSE:WFC). WFC stock is down almost double-digits at points since the close of Sept. 4. Wednesday’s session didn’t do the financial institution any favors, dropping 2%.

What’s going on? For one thing, WFC suffers the same issues as other major banks. Their earnings and sales growth originate from sources other than income from normal business activities (ie. lending, services, etc.).

But as my friend Will Ashworth pointed out, WFC underperforms its peers in other segments as well. For example, while jobless claims are declining, the company is “laying off as many as 26,500 employees, not a great a piece of news if you own Wells Fargo stock.”

Exactly. I don’t have any issue if you decide to take a shot on the big banks. But I’d put WFC on the list of stocks to sell.

Comcast (CMCSA)

To start this week, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) absorbed a 6% loss in the markets. The rationale for the volatility isn’t at all surprising. News stations everywhere announced that CMCSA emerged victorious in their bidding war for Sky (OTCMKTS:SKYAY).

But what did Comcast really win? The heavily indebted organization is now scheduled to assume even more debt. As so many people have argued months before this announcement, CMCSA would become unnecessarily unwieldy. Moreover, at a time when the cord-cutting phenomenon is accelerating, doubling down on traditional media seems counterproductive.

Adding insult to injury, noted analyst Craig Moffett downgraded CMCSA, questioning management’s longer-term vision. Not only that, Moffett points out that Comcast is paying a rich premium for Sky, a premium that the markets didn’t believe it was worth.

Subsequently, Disney (NYSE:DIS) is up nearly 4% for September. I’m siding with the markets and steering clear of CMCSA.

iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI)

China-based investments always attract the bulls’ interest, even if they aren’t ready to pull the trigger yet. But with the benchmark iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEARCA:FXI) near the upper range of its recent consolidation channel, I think this is a great time to sell.

Like millions of Americans, I’m anxiously watching news media as we engage in a heated economic conflict with China. I’m trying to see if anybody is going to back down or offer to go to the negotiating table. But listening to President Trump speak, he relishes his “bad cop” role against the Chinese.

I don’t mind tough talk. But when you’re talking tough for its own sake, I get worried, especially if you’re the leader of the free world.

Right now, I’ve got to put FXI and most Chinese companies in my bag of stocks to sell in October. This trade war is going to last longer than most people anticipate. Plus, we should expect to see a few nasty surprises along the way.

Papa John’s (PZZA)

Papa John’s (PZZA)

Source: Shutterstock

Just recently, embattled Papa John’s (NASDAQ:PZZA) shot up 8.5% on the news that ousted founder John Schnatter is seeking private-equity firms to help take over the company. This is a perfect time to consider dumping PZZA stock.

First of all, I don’t know too many companies that want to associate themselves with Schnatter. The reward is limited, and the risk abundant. Just keep in mind that Americans today are especially sensitive to racial issues.

Second, the PZZA fiasco is one of those rare cases where the controversy becomes more pernicious as time passes. Most news media focused on Schnatter saying the N-word during a conference call. But that’s only half the story. Schnatter also accused KFC icon Colonel Harland Sanders of also using the word.

It’s an insane accusation because it’s not something that can be proven. Plus, the optics of slandering a dead man doesn’t go over well. For what it’s worth, the evidence that Sanders was racist is flimsy.

This ongoing drama will likely negatively impact PZZA stock for the simple reason that its rivals aren’t stupid. You’re not going to see Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) make this egregious error. So while Papa John’s works hard to restore its reputation, the competition will jump to a perhaps unassailable lead.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Buffett could see this new asset run 2,524% in 2018. And he's not the only one... Mark Cuban says "it's the most exciting thing I've ever seen." Mark Zuckerberg threw down $19 billion to get a piece... Bill Gates wagered $26 billion trying to control it...
What is it?
It's not gold, crypto or any mainstream investment. But these mega-billionaires have bet the farm it's about to be the most valuable asset on Earth. Wall Street and the financial media have no clue what's about to happen...And if you act fast, you could earn as much as 2,524% before the year is up.
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Source: Investor Place

15 Best S&P 500 Stocks to Buy as the Markets Heat Up

One of the more popular strategies among investors today is to seek out “home runs.” These are lesser-known companies that have tremendous upside potential, but carry the risk of collapsing should business prospects go awry. While a balanced portfolio allows for some speculation, now is also a great time to consider S&P 500 stocks.

Why? For starters, the oft-cited benchmark index has worked out its choppiness. Since the second half of this year, the S&P 500 has gained nearly 7%. In sharp contrast, the index was much more volatile in the first half, moving a mere 1% since the start of January. The improved sentiment is a chance for investors to benefit from a rising tide.

Another reason to consider S&P 500 stocks is that they’re more stable on the way down. Of course, nobody hopes for a decline once a position has been initiated. But in this unpredictable market environment, leading blue chips offer confidence that smaller names can’t provide.

With that said, let’s dive into the best S&P 500 stocks to buy:

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: AbbVie (ABBV)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: AbbVie (ABBV)

Source: Shutterstock

Biopharmaceutical firm AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) has been a fixture of the S&P 500 index for almost six years. But after enjoying a stellar performance in 2017, sentiment has declined significantly this year. Since the January opener, ABBV is only slightly above parity.

That said, I think this is an ideal time to consider buying one of the most powerful names among S&P 500 stocks. ABBV levers excellent profitability and growth metrics, highlights being its operating margins and double-digit revenue growth rate. In the second quarter, AbbVie rang up nearly $8.3 billion, up over 19% year-over-year.

For Q3, investors expect earnings-per-share to hit $2.01. This is nearer the higher end of individual estimates, which range from $1.94 to $2.06. Although an ambitious goal compared to the year-ago level’s $1.41 EPS, ABBV has the goods to deliver a beat.

Primarily known for its Humira drug, AbbVie has several other popular drugs in its pipeline. Additionally, many of them are in the late stages of the clinical-approval process and therefore offer more potential.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Electronic Arts (EA)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Electronic Arts (EA)

Source: Shutterstock

Electronics Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is one of the most popular video game companies in the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s included among the top S&P 500 stocks. However, with fame comes hubris apparently. Management badly blundered in its Battlefield franchise, sending EA stock crashing.

Late last month, EA announced that it will delay Battlefield V one month to Nov. 20. Fans didn’t appreciate the creative direction the game’s producers took the series, and the results showed. Poor pre-sale numbers forced the company’s hands, and management decided to move the title into a less-competitive month.

The delay also caused EA to adjust its full-year guidance lower to reflect the lost sales. Understandably, that freaked investors, causing the slide.

However, EA is much bigger than any one franchise. One of its strongest divisions is its pro sports lineup. Thanks to exclusive licensing, EA provides a gaming experience unlike any other. Moreover, the Battlefield V issue isn’t unsolvable. Once designers give what the customers want, they’ll come running back.

As it stands, I view EA stock and its recent volatility as an opportunity to buy on discount.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Best Buy (BBY)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Best Buy (BBY)

Source: Best Buy

Analysts once feared that the e-commerce revolution would negatively impact consumer-electronics retailers, and for the most part, they were right. Even mighty Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) had to adjust to the new realities of their industry. But BBY emerged as a success story.

Management focused on longer-term changes, such as incorporating lucrative businesses and getting rid of units that don’t work. Currently, their computing and mobile phones division represents the greatest share of total revenue. Coming in second place is consumer electronics, a very encouraging sign considering that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has changed the game here.

Another factor that should buoy investor sentiment is the company’s earnings performances. Since their fiscal Q1 2016, BBY has not once failed to at least meet consensus earnings targets. In fact, during this time, BBY exceeded expectations except for just one time in Q3 2018.

I don’t expect much to change for its fiscal Q3 2019 report. With a consensus EPS forecast of 85 cents, this is a very realistic target. In the prior year Q3, BBY delivered 78 cents EPS.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Visa (V)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Visa (V)

Source: Shutterstock

With unemployment near multi-year lows, and consumer sentiment generally moving higher, now is a great time to consider Visa (NYSE:V). For one thing, Visa dominates the credit-card market, levering 323 million cardholders. Its closest rival is Mastercard (NYSE:MA), which is some distance away at 191 million cardholders.

Another reason to look into V stock is its technical performance. Since the beginning of this year, V shares have gained over 28%. But I wouldn’t consider this to be a fluke. Thanks to the improved sentiment toward the consumer economy, Visa is likely to make steady gains.

Of course, I don’t expect massive upside. But as long as consumers keep buying, which appears likely at this point, V stock is in good shape. Visa started to come alive in late 2011 (around when we started to recover from the Great Recession), and it hasn’t looked back since.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Darden Restaurants (DRI)

For the longest time, S&P 500 stocks related to the restaurant industry had a giant question mark over them. Facing a difficult road following the recession, and with brick-and-mortars experiencing declining foot traffic, eateries were in a bad position.

But fast forward to this year, and suddenly, the tune has changed. For 2018, Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) has gained over 24%. And while DRI shares appear overextended at this level, I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually moves significantly higher.

As Bloomberg reported last month, consumers have splurged at restaurants across the country. In fact, we’ve witnessed a record spike in revenues at food establishments. Part of the reason is related to tax cuts as people are choosing to spend their extra funds on restaurants.

But I think a bigger component is the labor market. While not a perfect situation, those who have college education and in-demand skills are finding ample work. That’s a boon for DRI, as it appears Americans are getting hungry again.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Chevron (CVX)

Wall Street is currently scrutinizing oil prices with a fine comb. Just recently, the White House announced plans to impose fresh tariffs worth $200 billion on Chinese goods. Of course, the implication is negative. Usually, when the number one and number two economies of the world clash, we all suffer.

But we also must consider a twist to this story: simultaneously, President Trump seeks to tighten Iran’s oil exports to zero to bring them to the nuclear negotiating table. Since Iran is one of the world’s biggest exporters, this factor should more than offset the China tariffs.

That’s why investors should look into buying Chevron (NYSE:CVX) during this market weakness. For one thing, I doubt the negative sentiment toward crude oil will continue. On another level, the vast majority of people drive fossil-fuel powered vehicles. Yes, electric vehicles are the future, but it will take some time for them to make a decisive impact.

For now, the Iran situation is the most pressing concern. Oil prices will likely trek higher throughout the rest of this year, meaning you’ll want exposure to CVX stock.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Harley-Davidson (HOG)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Harley-Davidson (HOG)

Source: Shutterstock

Among S&P 500 stocks, absolutely none is more American than Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG). Indeed, Harley-Davidson is painfully American. They’re big, brash and unapologetic, much like our people. Own a hog from HOG, and you have a piece of Old Glory sitting in your garage, just waiting to terrorize the neighborhood.

So it’s a strange twist that Harley-Davidson, among all the S&P 500 companies, that has aroused President Trump’s vitriol. HOG and Trump have bickered back and forth over the administration’s hardline stance on tariffs and sanctions. In keeping with the times, Harley-Davidson’s management wants to shift some operations overseas. Anachronistic Trump isn’t having any of it.

Another problem impacting HOG stock are millennials. According to CNBC, young consumers that are steadily growing their income are avoiding motorcycles. And let’s face facts: HOG hasn’t performed well over the years.

Still, investors can salvage something here. Regarding millennials, analysts have previously made sweeping generalizations about this demographic, only to be proven wrong later. They could very well take up HOG riding when millennials eventually have — God forbid! — their mid-life crises.

Then there’s the international expansion. Once the sanctioning boils over, or if Trump gets voted out, HOG will enjoy a clean slate. That would also give them opportunities to boost their presence overseas. It will require some patience, but Harley-Davidson has the ability to surprise.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Facebook (FB)

Source: Shutterstock

This year, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has turned from one of the most respected S&P 500 stocks to buy into one of the most demonized. Frankly, I don’t understand the vitriol. FB may have inadvertently assisted the Trump campaign, but come on! The American electorate voted for Donald Trump, not Facebook.

This is why I view antagonism toward Facebook as a political distraction and witch hunt. The difference here, though, is that politics are hurting FB stock, which is a shame. For instance, several analysts have noted with concern that the company generated the slowest growth in daily active users ever.

But isn’t this exactly what we should expect? FB has dominated the internet-connected world; they can’t reproduce humans. Not only that, the fact that any kind of growth occurred necessarily means that social outrage against the company failed. In late July, I wrote the following:

“The most recent FB earnings report actually proved my argument. North American DAU stats were flat year-over-year, and virtually in line with consensus expectations. That tells me that the aforementioned fiasco that led to the #DeleteFacebook campaign ultimately did nothing.

Facebook is simply too ingrained in our society, and I would argue, too useful for us to give up. Not even Hollywood’s self-righteousness and a trendy millennial’s exaggerated self-importance could dent Facebook engagement stats.”

The volatility makes no sense. I just look at it as an opportunity to buy FB stock on a discount.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: HP (HPQ)

HP (NYSE:HPQ) may appear as a strange choice for a stock to buy going into the Q3 earnings season. After all, as PC Magazine’s John C. Dvorak bluntly stated, “the traditional laptop is dead.” Dvorak asks a simple question: “When you look at PCMag’s roundup of the best laptops, do you ever think to yourself, ‘Wow, I want that now!’ Never happens.”

I’m actually a little bit surprised that Dvorak still has a job contributing articles for PC Magazine! And while I respect his opinion in that laptops lack compelling innovations, I disagree with his ultimate conclusion. The laptop and the PC platforms face new competition, but they’ve proven extremely resilient.

This is one of the reasons why HPQ has performed well since getting booted from the Dow Jones index. While pundits deride traditional computer products, they’re much more useful than gimmicky tablets. Plus, higher-end laptops provide the perfect balance between performance and portability.

Finally, to address Dvorak’s point, I don’t get excited about laptop innovations. That said, I don’t get excited about smartphone or tablet innovations, either. At a certain point, a smart device is a smart device.

But one thing that laptop and PC specialists like HPQ advantages is consistent demand. While traditional computers aren’t sexy, they get the job done quickly and efficiently. Thus, companies like HPQ aren’t going away anytime soon.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: FedEx (FDX)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: FedEx (FDX)

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) is seemingly one of those S&P 500 stocks that faces an Amazon threat. Critical shipping partners at first, Amazon has made some noise about starting their own courier division. Understandably, the implications worry investors, but FDX is still a long-term buy.

We just need to consider that FedEx is an $81 billion enterprise. Rival UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a $120 billion enterprise. While it’s true that Amazon dwarfs both these stalwarts, even disruptive CEO Jeff Bezos must watch his expenditures. As he’s busy taking over disparate industries, he must ensure that his investments make economic sense.

While Amazon can toy around with their various internal courier solutions, it shouldn’t drastically impact FDX. The company, along with UPS, has a virtually impenetrable network. To duplicate that wouldn’t make financial sense.

Moreover, e-commerce sales represent a consistently increasing portion of total retail sales. Although Amazon dominates this sector, they’re not the only players. With several brick-and-mortars incorporating their own online channels, I like FDX for longer-term, reliable growth despite its recent quarterly miss.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Goodyear (GT)

Among the most-recognized S&P 500 stocks, Goodyear (NASDAQ:GT) is one of the more contrarian opportunities. You can tell this simply by looking at its price chart. Year-to-date, GT shares are down nearly 25%.

My frequent readers probably expect me to say something like GT has stabilized over the last several weeks. You’re right, and it has. Since the beginning of July, GT stock is up over 4%. Although that’s nothing to write home about, it provides some reassurance as the company approaches its Q3 report.

Admittedly, the day-to-day movements for GT stock are difficult to determine. But I’m encouraged that since the five years or so following the Great Recession, Americans have driven noticeably more miles. I expect this trend to continue, especially because our labor market has improved for the educated and upwardly mobile.

Undoubtedly, GT is a risky play due to its prior weak performances. But broader trends suggest that this volatility is a profitable opportunity.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Home Depot (HD)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Home Depot (HD)

Source: Shutterstock

A significant and tragic reason why Home Depot (NYSE:HD) dominates the business news media is Hurricane Florence. The storm has already taken many lives, and intractably, several more families must undergo the rebuilding process. No matter how you cut it, HD revenues will experience a bump up.

Some might view that as an opportunity to profit off HD stock. But as I argued in a prior write-up for Home Depot, the trading benefits are inconclusive. In some cases, HD does rise immediately during major storms. But the data does suggest that particularly devastating storms tend to hurt HD in the nearer-term.

I don’t recommend trading HD based on Florence. If anything, these are one-off occurrences that are difficult to gauge. But more importantly, Home Depot has a business that’s largely immune to Amazon’s intrusions.

That’s especially the case for storms and other emergency events. Customers are not going to comparison shop online for necessary supplies. And even in non-emergency situations, Home Depot provides unparalleled conveniences.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Lockheed Martin (LMT)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Lockheed Martin (LMT)

Source: Shutterstock

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is one of the most renowned defense contractors among S&P 500 stocks. It’s also having a surprisingly weak year. Despite a burst in bullish sentiment recently, LMT has gained only 7.3% YTD. For the record, this is just a hair under the S&P 500 index.

In my opinion, LMT is not getting the respect that it deserves. I understand that President Trump boasts consistently about allegedly thawing relations with North Korea. Earlier this year, Trump met North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in an unprecedented summit.

While I respect the President for taking some kind of action, I’m also firm that I don’t trust North Korea. Nor do I trust the maniacal “dear leader” Kim. Sorry, but not sorry.

How does this play into LMT stock? Simple: more than ever, we must demonstrate a show of force. This is physically best done through our advanced fighter jets. There’s nothing quite like buzzing around our enemies’ airspace, and letting them know we can physically do the business.

Admittedly, it’s an immature tactic, but it works. LMT allows us to flex our muscle but still maintain diplomatic channels. In this complicated geopolitical environment, LMT is easily a longer-term buy.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Raytheon (RTN)

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Raytheon (RTN)

Source: Shutterstock

Should a conflict ever escalate into a hot one, I’d like to own Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) as a hedge. Known primarily for its smart missiles and guidance systems, RTN is one the most relevant defense contractors today.

Don’t get me wrong: physical warcraft, as I mentioned for Lockheed Martin, is still a critical component of our military diplomacy. However, the modern battlefield has become increasingly asymmetric. A terrorist with a homemade explosive can wreak untold damage. Or a lone hacker could bring a powerful economy to its knees.

This transition also means that powerful militaries with extensive physical assets are vulnerable to asymmetric attacks. To alleviate this problem, RTN produces next-generation weapons systems, such as combat drones. Such technologies allow military operators to conduct operations in hard-to-reach, inhospitable terrain.

The other invaluable benefit is that it keeps our men and women in uniform out of harm’s way. Especially in this ever-evolving world, having some exposure to RTN simply makes sense.

S&P 500 Stocks to Buy: Altria Group (MO)

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has simply not had a good year in 2018. Since the January opener, MO has shed 9.5% in the markets. The biggest concern for investors is that Americans are smoking far fewer cigarettes than ever.

The “good news,” though, is that American smokers are gravitating toward e-cigarettes or vaporizers. These products heat the tobacco flavoring near the point of combustion, but not beyond it. The resultant plumes are much cleaner and have noticeably fewer chemical byproducts, such as carbon monoxide.

Of course, vaporizer companies compete with big tobacco, but the comparison isn’t worth discussing. MO is a multibillion-dollar enterprise. As a whole, experts predict that the vaping market will hit $27 billion in value. Relative to Altria’s market capitalization of nearly $118 billion, that’s nothing.

Moreover, MO has invested significant resources into its heat-not-burn devices. Although similar in principle to vaporizers, Altria’s products are made by smokers, for smokers. The experience is much more attuned to what natural-cigarette aficionados prefer.

So don’t butt-out MO stock. This is an underappreciated contrarian opportunity.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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15 Stocks to Buy Ahead of the Fall Season

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Summer conjures images of top-down driving and beach bods strutting along the boardwalk. That allure also bites elite market professionals, who typically jet off to the Hamptons. The prevailing wisdom of course is to “sell in May, and go away.” But because of this dynamic, it’s an ideal time to strategize about which stocks to buy.

As MainStreet contributor Max Levin explains, the markets tend to slow down or even drop during the summer due to a lack of rally sparking news. As Levin puts it, almost any volatility that you see during this part of the year is pure speculation.

Timing is also an issue. When the year begins, it’s a fresh start for everyone. By the halfway point, participants need to recharge their batteries. Furthermore, the summer season falls inline with second-quarter earnings. After such a big event, well-heeled investors take in their profits and call it a day.

This circumstance usually leaves the smaller retail investors clawing for scraps. But from another perspective, this gives you a discount on your list of stocks to buy. Because when the summer season ends and fall begins, the markets typically resume their temporarily halted trajectory.

These stocks to buy have demonstrated either a technical tendency to bounce up during the fall season, or their core industry often receives a seasonality boost.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL)

Source: Shutterstock

For fairly obvious reasons, most advertisements feature cruise liners basked in the summer season’s glow. So it seems counterintuitive to discuss Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) in a list of fall stocks to buy.

But don’t let initial assumptions fool you: RCL stock has demonstrated a tendency of rising into strength from the summer to the fall season. Although summer is peak season for the cruise-liner industry — as is the case for virtually all travel-related businesses — cruises leave port throughout the entire calendar.

Consumer trends also vary. Summer is most convenient for working families as kids get off of school, and employers generally anticipate vacation requests during this timeframe. But many travelers don’t like scorching heat, or may prefer the more tranquil experience of winter travel.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH)

Another cruise liner that has a tendency of doing well leading into the fall and winter seasons is Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH). Like rival Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line operates year-round, attracting both casual tourists and cruise-aficionados.

One factor to remember is that while the summer season is the most popular, the seasons’ timing differs depending on region. Moreover, international weather patterns can disrupt our summer vacation plans. For instance, hurricanes can negatively impact Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda and Mexico cruises during this time. Alaska also incurs the most rain during the summer months.

NCLH stock is down double-digits year-to-date, which makes it an attractive contrarian opportunity. The company levers strong profitability margins and annual revenue growth. Recent sales trends are encouraging, providing legitimate hope for a push higher this autumn.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Southwest Airlines (LUV)

Traveling by boat isn’t the only profitable route as we head toward the fall season. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has proven to be a robust investment, especially as the summer months wind down.

To be 100% transparent, I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with airline companies. The industry has suffered a black eye from the consumer’s perspective. The seats are getting smaller, passengers are becoming more violent and operations sometimes appear chaotic. Don’t get me started about United Continental’s (NYSE:UALpassenger-beatdown controversy last year.

That said, LUV stock has proven doubters wrong. Moreover, with the economy improving significantly, prospective passengers have more money in their pockets. By logical deduction, since the labor market is also robust, employers are likely more willing to offer generous vacation packages.

This broadly provides strong tailwinds for LUV, making it one of the better stocks to buy right now.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Starbucks (SBUX)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Starbucks (SBUX)

Source: Shutterstock

I’m going to warn you straight off the bat: Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is a contrarian bet.

A few months ago, I discussed the ugly, racially charged incidents that have negatively impacted the Starbucks brand. I agree that any racially motivated acts of discrimination must be dealt with quickly and seriously. I disagree in overhauling an entire company over a few bad apples.

That’s what Starbucks did, introducing store-wide changes in addition to an all-hands racial sensitivity training. I warned that this move could backfire: Cunning actors could fake a racism charge, crippling the brand image yet again. Because in this political climate, how can you prove otherwise?

Interestingly, SBUX shares are down double-digits since my article was published. But now that perhaps most of the ugliness has been baked in, it could be a time to buy. At the end of the day, Starbucks levers an incredibly powerful, global brand. Additionally, shares have previously demonstrated upside momentum as the weather cools down.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)

Source: Amazon

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is one of those rare companies that belongs to almost any list of stocks to buy, irrespective of the season. But if you want to time your purchases, AMZN stock generally trades well as the autumn and winter seasons approach.

Obviously, the biggest reason is the holidays. While Amazon is currently attempting to take over the world — it’s a cloud-computing powerhouse and a grocer, among other things — it’s still primarily a retailer. As such, it must abide by retail rules. That means putting your best foot forward in the second half of the year.

But again, the beauty of AMZN stock is that it’s not just an e-commerce powerhouse. It’s involved in so many emerging businesses, as well as traditional, “analog” ones, that it’s difficult to keep tabs. Should one area suffer weakness, other divisions can easily pick up the slack.

That’s why the discussion regarding $1,000 AMZN has quickly transitioned to $2,000 AMZN.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Best Buy (BBY)

Brick-and-mortar retailers have obviously weakened due to rising e-commerce companies. As a result, the traditional holiday season, while still the biggest for retailers, has lost much of its joy. Foot traffic is down, leading to an understandable downfall in sales.

Most businesses in this sector struggled to find an adequate answer. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is one of those rare few that have thrived following a painful reconstruction process. Today’s Best Buy isn’t just a digital device and electronics hub; instead, the retailer provides valuable services, such as mobile-phone setup and its 24/7/365 technical-support team Geek Squad.

In addition, Best Buy’s management team demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit, moving into the lucrative senior-services market. This sector should only continue to grow in demand as the Baby boomer generation rapidly ages into their retirement years.

To paraphrase the Dos Equis guy: I don’t always buy retail stocks, but when I do, it’s BBY.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Costco (COST)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Costco (COST)

Source: Shutterstock

While brick-and-mortar retail generally fights for traction, the big-box retail segment has enjoyed a much more comfortable ride. Among the major retail stocks to buy, Costco (NASDAQ:COST) stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Very few companies have the business and social cache that Costco levers. The warehouse business model that the company practically originated has been the topic of movies and punchlines. People simply can’t get enough of it.

Of course, it’s not just the branding. Costco maintains robust sales growth in large part because it simply sells everything. From the latest laptop computer to 50-gallon barrels of mayonnaise, every shelf is stocked with something useful or enticing.

COST stock also trades well as a summer buy. When temperatures cool down, trading sentiment typically heats up. Although I don’t think you’re going to get rich off of COST, any dips now could prove profitable soon.

Fall Stocks to Buy: FedEx (FDX)

Fall Stocks to Buy: FedEx (FDX)

One necessary evil that the e-commerce industry must endure is shipping costs. Traditional retailers don’t have to charge their customers shipping as the products are sold on the spot.

Previously, Amazon, like any other e-commerce enterprise, simply bit the bullet, offering a variety of shipping options. But with sales exploding into the stratosphere, it’s becoming more onerous to keep up with the associated shipping demand. Our own Brad Moon points out that President Trump takes a dim view on Amazon’s perceived low-balling of the U.S. Postal Service.

In response, Amazon introduced its own delivery service. This endeavor will likely take time to fully develop, which create an opportunity for FedEx (NYSE:FDX).

Conventional wisdom states that Amazon is a competitor. They are, but FedEx is an established leader in the courier business. It will take a gargantuan effort to replace FedEx’s advantage in the economies of scale.

Additionally, FedEx has a tendency to perform well leading up to the autumn and winter months. While Amazon is a huge partner, it’s not the only fish in the sea.

Fall Stocks to Buy: UPS (UPS)

Fall Stocks to Buy: UPS (UPS)

Source: Shutterstock

While we’re discussing the courier business, don’t forget about FedEx rival UPS (NYSE:UPS). Like its ever-present competitor, UPS benefits strongly from Amazon and the e-commerce craze. However, I’m not worried that Amazon’s own shipping venture will derail UPS stock.

For one thing, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have stepped up their online-commerce game. One example is Target (NYSE:TGT), which uses UPS for its ship-from-store business model. While I’ve criticized Target in the past, I must admit that their online-fulfillment centers have delivered the goods.

We can expect further development into this business model because that’s where the money is. In addition, Target’s competitors will follow suit as they adapt to retail’s new reality.

And just like FedEx, UPS benefits from the economies of scale. Their brand reputation and networks are too extensive to simply replace. As e-commerce takes increasing market share from total retail sales, overall demand for UPS goes higher.

More than enough demand exists for several industry titans to profit handsomely.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Wynn Resorts (WYNN)

Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) is another company on this list that warrants a warning, as it is a speculative affair. Earlier this year, I covered the Las Vegas fixture as Steve Wynn faced sexual-harassment allegations. Suffice to say, it was a PR disaster and Wynn had to resign.

During the fiasco, I stated, “I wouldn’t be opposed to taking all profits off the table.” More times than I care to remember, I put my foot in my mouth. This time, though, I gladly stand by my words. Since my article was published, WYNN stock lost 18.5%.

But now that the company is working through its tough issues, it might be time to buy back in. This contrarian move isn’t without risk, primarily because shares have been so volatile lately. But Wynn Resorts remains a top sleepover for those who can afford it.

Plus, you’d have to be crazy to visit Las Vegas during the summer. Those who know, know that you visit Sin City during the autumn or early spring.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Las Vegas Sands (LVS)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Las Vegas Sands (LVS)

Source: Shutterstock

I didn’t like Wynn due to its negative PR incident. However, the crux of my argument was that the Las Vegas gaming and tourism industry never truly recovered from the Great Recession. Ultimately, this fundamental headwind was going to drive Vegas-centric stocks lower.

However, the economy, as President Trump has repeatedly bragged, has improved significantly. You may or may not like our current administration, but we can all agree on this: The second-quarter GDP growth was surprisingly robust.

I don’t want to hinge everything on one report. However, if the trend continues, currently deflated investments like Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) may enjoy a resurgence.

Also, I can’t help but notice the timing. In years past, LVS stock has grown into strength from summer to autumn. This trend corresponds with the best times to visit Las Vegas, which is between September to November and March to May.

But having been to Sin City several times, I can attest that the autumn-winter months feature the least atrocious weather. Tourists probably feel the same, which is why LVS is a good speculative bet now.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Vail Resorts (MTN)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Vail Resorts (MTN)

Source: Shutterstock

With a few exceptions, Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) typically enjoys a burst of investor sentiment as autumn and winter approach. This is for patently obvious reasons. As a premier mountain and ski resort, Vail comes alive when temperatures are near their coolest.

Over the past five years, MTN stock earned a reputation as a reliably profitable investment. That continues to be the case in 2018, with shares up 35% year-to-date. Because of this robust sentiment, I wouldn’t classify MTN as one of the discounted stocks to buy. However, its bullishness is fundamentally justified.

Vail Resorts’ profitability margins are substantially higher than the competition. Additionally, the company’s three-year revenue and EBITDA growth rates are both in double-digit territory. It also pays a dividend, albeit with a modest 1.8% yield.

Fall Stocks to Buy: VF Corp (VFC)

Fall Stocks to Buy: VF Corp (VFC)

VF Corp (NYSE:VFC) isn’t a household name. Its popular brands, including LeeWrangler and Dickies, certainly fall under this category. Fashion companies usually benefit from year-round demand as they adjust product offerings seasonally.

However, VF Corp receives an extra boost during the cooler months of the year thanks to its winter-brand, The North Face. This segment has been a notable winner overseas, enjoying 5% year-over-year revenue growth in international markets during the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Specifically, Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew 12%, while Asia Pacific grew 26%.

With the exception of Vans, all other VF brands experienced negative growth in at least two markets.

Coincidentally, VFC stock has performed well as the autumn and winter seasons approach. Given strong growth prospects for The North Face, I expect the trend to continue.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Source: Shutterstock

When most people think about Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), images of common household goods arise. In addition, JNJ features a pharmaceutical division that has been driving revenues for the company over the last several years. Collectively, JNJ’s broad reach makes it a good pick for the patient investor.

That said, JNJ stock also benefits from a cynical reason to consider buying shares now. According to Time Health, “the biggest surge in human rhinovirus infections occurs in the fall.” And what exactly are human rhinovirus infections? Essentially, they are the biological agents responsible for more than half of cold-like illnesses.

According to the American Society for Microbiology, human rhinovirus infections cost billions in medical visits and lost productivity. Without trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist, JNJ benefits from this cold season thanks to increased over-the-counter medication sales.

Again, it’s cynical, but it’s also reality. You might as well profit from it.

Fall Stocks to Buy: Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG)

Fall Stocks to Buy: Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG)

Source: Shutterstock

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) is more of a winter play than an autumn one, but the thesis is similar. As temperatures drop, more people use energy to heat their homes. Logically, this adds up to increased revenues for PEG.

But I especially like the company’s location, which features utility networks throughout New Jersey and Long Island. Indeed, from a utility investor’s perspective, places like Newark, New Jersey represent a gold mine. Temperatures are bitterly cold — at least from a spoiled Californian’s mentality — from October through March.

This translates to people constantly running their heating systems, ringing up robust sales. Also, PEG pays out a fairly generous 3.5% dividend yield.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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7 Best Stocks to Buy to Upgrade Your AI Portfolio

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Precious few other industries will lever an indelible impact quite like artificial intelligence. As I mentioned in my write-up for the related field of automation technologies, AI drastically improves efficiencies to unprecedented levels. Moreover, AI will spark new industries, opening up several opportunities. From an investment perspective, AI companies represent some of the best stocks to buy.

At the same time, we must be careful not to conflate hype with practical realities. As MIT Sloan Management Review explains, “Virtually all human achievements have been made by groups of people, not lone individuals.” In other words, innovation, according to the brilliant minds at MIT, is inherently collaborative.

Discussing artificial intelligence conjures up images of humanoid robots that function just like we do, perhaps with stilted, awkward mannerisms. It also brings up the very awkward concept that machines will one day take over our jobs. Robots and AI mechanisms don’t ask for vacations or benefits, nor do they complain to HR for interpersonal issues.

But the true power of artificial intelligence is far more conducive to our way of life. A genuine AI platform ultimately complements human economic and scientific efforts, not replaces them. For instance, AI can be deployed to scan through terabytes of data, extracting useful patterns and insights previously unattainable. Moreover, AI can advance medical understanding on our way to eradicating diseases.

Therefore, proper AI development is nothing something to be feared, but to be embraced. That also goes for AI-related investments. Here are my seven picks for the best stocks to buy within this rapidly-evolving sector.

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Nvidia (NVDA)

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Nvidia (NVDA)

Source: Shutterstock

These days, semiconductor and tech firm Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is mostly known for its graphics processors. However, NVDA is much more than just an indirect way to play the cryptocurrency markets. Since artificial intelligence is so data-centric, its benefits cannot be actualized without the proper physical infrastructure.

To that end, Nvidia promises a dramatic improvement in computer-processor speeds that contradicts Moore’s Law, a principle that states gains in CPU performance sharply declines once technology passes a critical maturation point.

In addition, we all know about the company’s innovations in autonomous driving technologies. While the industry has received a black eye due to high-profile accidents, that’s not going to stop NVDA from further perfecting the burgeoning innovation.

But what makes NVDA one of the best stocks to buy in this sector is its outstanding financials. Investors have plenty of attributes to like, from their cash-rich position relative to debt, or their class-leading profitability margins.

The one knock against NVDA stock is that everybody loves it. It had an outstanding year in 2017, and it’s following it up this year with another strong performance. But if shares take a dip, NVDA is a no-brainer buying opportunity.

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: IBM (IBM)

On surface level, IBM (NYSE:IBM) is the exact opposite of an exciting AI investment like NVDA. Unlike many of its competitors, IBM is part of the technology old guard. That’s a diplomatic way of saying that the company has become irrelevant. Indeed, “Big Blue” has been shedding its legacy business in a bid to get with the times.

That said, the future looks bright for IBM’s foray into artificial intelligence. Their Watson platform is a particular highlight — it utilizes cloud-based predictive analytics to provide key insights and forecasts. One major client among several is Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS). To develop their own digital assistant, RBS called on IBM Watson.

Granted, a reason why investors don’t clamor towards IBM stock is that market performance has been disappointing. But from a contrarian perspective, this is more favorable than buying into extreme momentum.

Plus, IBM being different from its peers is a positive. Currently, the company’s dividend yield is a generous 4.3%. At a time when the broader indices hardly generate much excitement, IBM’s sure bet offers an attractive solution.

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Amazon (AMZN)

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Amazon (AMZN)

Source: Shutterstock

A few months back, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) made headlines as it inched closer to becoming the first trillion-dollar company. At time of writing, Apple has yet to decisively seal the deal. This sets into motion the idea that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) can beat the iconic smartphone maker to the punch.

With a market capitalization of $860 billion, it’s certainly not out of the question. However, the real reason to buy AMZN shares is its robust strengths across multiple industries. We’re well aware of Amazon’s dominant position in e-commerce. But lately, the company has focused significantly on artificial intelligence.

Through Amazon Web Services, or AWS, the e-commerce giant offers machine-learning and deep-learning solutions for its business clients. On the consumer end, Amazon offers smart-speaker devices fitted with the Alexa digital assistant. In fact, the company is so dominant in this sector that it owned 70% to 76% of market share.

True, AMZN stock has enjoyed tremendous momentum, which doesn’t help swaying contrarian buyers. But just consider that last year, AMZN building off its $1,000 price point seemed like a far-fetched concept. Now, it’s looking to conquer $2,000.

Better yet, Amazon has the tools to get there, and beyond.

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Facebook (FB)

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Facebook (FB)

Source: Shutterstock

I can’t think of too many companies that are having a worse year than Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). For some time, its Facebook Live platform had faced sharp criticism for indirectly facilitating violent criminal broadcasts. Later, the social-media firm took a massive hit in the markets due to the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

It took a while, but FB eventually got back on its feet. It even gained about 20% for the year … until its second-quarter earnings report happened.

After posting what the Street considered disappointing revenues and subscriber growth, shares plummeted. The fallout was so bad that the company lost between $100 billion and $130 billion in market value.

With such sharp losses, it’s easy to pin the blame on Facebook’s management team. But you also must consider rival Twitter’s (NYSE:TWTRearnings disappointment. It too lost substantial momentum in subscriber growth that analysts didn’t expect. Obviously, the social-media fallout isn’t exclusively a Facebook phenomenon.

This makes FB one of the best stocks to buy from a contrarian point of view. Facebook is an AI engineer’s dream come true. With a database of over two billion active users, any predictive-analytics program gains immediate credibility if plugged into this network.

No wonder Cambridge Analytica eagerly took advantage!

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: BioXcel Therapeutics (BTAI)

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: BioXcel Therapeutics (BTAI)

Source: Shutterstock

Invariably, any list of best stocks to buy in artificial intelligence will feature a healthy dose of tech firms. That said, AI isn’t limited to computer-centric endeavors. The same advancements in big data and predictive analytics can be incorporated to address the human condition. This is where BioXcel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BTAI) comes into the picture.

BTAI is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm that specializes in immuno-oncology and therapies towards neurodegenerative diseases. What makes BioXcel stand out is their integration of artificial intelligence into their pharmaceutical pursuits. With their AI platform’s big data capabilities, they can analyze promising or discontinued drugs that didn’t quite meet expectations.

The idea here is to see if an adjustment to the drug’s chemistry, or even the dosage, can spark progress in challenging cases. This process also potentially gives new life to older or less-appreciated therapies.

However, investors must watch out for market volatility. Similar to many other clinical-stage pharma companies, BioXcel doesn’t have the greatest financials. To put it bluntly, BTAI is an all-or-nothing affair. But if you have the steel fortitude to handle the risks, this company has tremendous upside potential.

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Arotech (ARTX)

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Arotech (ARTX)

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While AI has the power to heal, it also paradoxically has the power to destroy. Unfortunately, as long as humans will walk the earth, we will have the seemingly uncontrollable urge to kill each other. That’s cynically one of the reasons why defense contractors like Arotech (NASDAQ:ARTX) exists. They help ensure that our losses stay at a minimum.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that Arotech’s AI platforms have wide-ranging applications. Along with their core products and services, ARTX offers world-class combat simulators. Thanks to their extensive AI expertise, Arotech simulators offer military and emergency personnel an opportunity to train in realistic, high-stress environments without the consequences of actual bullets flying.

Arotech’s simulators can be especially helpful for law-enforcement agencies, which have suffered PR crises stemming from discriminatory practices.

ARTX stock will appeal to many contrarians and discount-seekers looking to jump on the next big rally. Certainly, its price warrants its inclusion on a list of best stocks to buy under $5.

However, those who want to bet on ARTX should note its financials. Middling is a fair and appropriate description. The defense contractor has also disappointed in terms of sales growth. That said, Arotech produced a 22% year-over-year revenue lift to $27.2 million in Q1. Therefore, this “cheap stock” could be on the resurgence.

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Plug Power (PLUG)

Best Stocks to Buy in the AI Market: Plug Power (PLUG)

You may love your gas-guzzling hot rod, but a day will come when all fossil-fuel based vehicles are destined for the junkyard. Increasingly, automotive manufacturers are shifting towards electric vehicles, or EVs. We’re not just talking about boring fare like Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) Prius. As I mentioned several weeks ago, Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) is planning their own supercar EV.

For traditional automotive enthusiasts, this concept is a mind-boggling one. However, New York-based Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) would simply call it the next step in a long-awaited evolution. An alternative-energy company specializing in hydrogen fuel cells, PLUG prides itself on delivering cost-effective solutions.

To be fair, Plug Power isn’t quite a household name. That said, they secured FedEx (NYSE:FDX) as a major client. In conjunction with Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS), PLUG provided FedEx’s first North American fuel-cell powered delivery van.

Of course, this is a significant victory, but before considering PLUG stock, check out its financials. As you might imagine from its sub-$2 price point, it’s not pretty. However, management showed strong revenue growth in the most recent quarter, so PLUG  may be on the up and up.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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7 Alternative Internet of Things Stocks to Buy

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As an investment sector, the Internet of Things, or IoT, is a no-brainer. Increasingly, our consumer devices no longer have a specific function or operation; rather, they’re part of an integrated, digital ecosystem that responds to variable requests. This movement will only increase in volume and engagement, but picking the right IoT stock can be a challenge.

That’s because no single definition of an IoT stock exists. Typically, financial writers focus on big semiconductor names like Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) or Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). The connection is readily apparent: these major tech manufacturers produce the physical components that go into IoT devices. But you’re also likely to gain serious profits through investing in renowned device-makers and distributors like Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN).

Going with the blue chips is the most popular way to pursue an IoT stock. Personally, I have zero complaints about this approach. But I’d also like to give some lesser known or less appreciated IoT companies some love.

It’s a big market, and it’s only going to get bigger. Thus, it’s an opportune time to get acclimated with the other names in the sector.

Here are my choices for the best alternative Internet of Things stocks:

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Honeywell (HON)

As a multi-faceted organization, Honeywell (NYSE:HON) is probably the most comprehensive IoT stock available in the markets; it just doesn’t get as much coverage as a sector player as you might expect. I find this strange considering that they make common home products, such as thermostats, air conditioners and security systems, that scream IoT.

Honeywell is also a leader in industrial IoT, or IIoT. Again, this is probably one of the lesser-appreciated components of the Internet of Things, which largely focuses on consumer goods. But IIoT has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing as we know it, improving efficiencies, providing real-time data analysis, and reducing the frequency and impact of human error.

The one major knock on HON as an IoT stock is that it’s somewhat of a bellwether investment. In other words, HON is incredibly boring. Plus, shares have generally tracked the broader markets recently, which has produced uninspiring results.

But if you’re not looking for a sexy play and want something stable, HON is one of your top choices.

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: ADT

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: ADT

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I mentioned previously that the most popular IoT stock tends to be either a semiconductor firm or device manufacturer. These are natural choices considering that they’re direct plays. However, IoT also serves a defensive or protective role. That’s why if you love this sector, you should check out ADT (NYSE:ADT).

ADT is a name you immediately recognize, either because you’re enrolled in their security services or you have their sign planted conspicuously on your front yard. Earlier this year, our own Tom Taulli covered ADT and its initial public offering. He provided some background about the company, stating:

“ADT, whose roots go back to 1874, is the most recognized brand in its industry. A survey indicates that it has about 95% awareness with consumers. This is certainly a big-time advantage as the market is highly competitive.

Keep in mind that ADT controls about 30% of the residential market in the U.S. and Canada. In all, there are 7.2 million residential and business customers.”

That sounds spectacular. Unfortunately for early bird investors, ADT is down sharply from its IPO price, as Wall Street reassessed its competitive risks.

ADT is speculative, no doubt about it. Still, with a year-to-date loss of 34%, I like it as a contrarian opportunity.

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Johnson Controls International (JCI)

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Johnson Controls International (JCI)

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When we discuss the Internet of Things, we often think small and personal. We consider devices that adjust our home’s temperature automatically, or devices that give us the ability to warm-up our cars from afar. Not to take away from these consumer innovations, but they also limit what IoT can do broadly.

For an IoT stock with a much larger framework, check out Johnson Controls International(NYSE:JCI). While not exactly the most popular household name, Johnson Controls corporate heritage extends back to the 19th century. Today, the company is known for its build-management and safety systems. Additionally, JCI features a battery and distributed-energy storage divisions.

A significant concern about JCI stock, though, focuses on its fundamentals, which are middling. The company has also tacked on more debt, which makes it difficult to invest in future innovations. As a result, JCI shares are down almost 8% YTD.

That said, JCI appears to have found a baseline of support after hitting a year-low in late April. Given its massive resources, and penchant for technological advancements, Johnson Controls is a solid bet.

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Emerson Electric (EMR)

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Emerson Electric (EMR)

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Similar to other innovations, some organizations are guilty of using IoT as a buzzword, and nothing else. This reminds me of the blockchain: everybody talks about it, but few understand what it is, and even fewer offer practical solutions with it.

Thankfully, Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) rises above the hype, delivering scalable IIoT solutions for the world’s top industries. EMR has particularly found success with large oil and energy corporations as they shift toward next-generation technologies. Moreover, Emerson Electric offers training services to help their clients get the best out of the IIoT movement.

Like many of the names mentioned on this list, EMR stock hasn’t generated much excitement this year. Shares have been choppy, but have so far only broken even. But I expect this circumstance to change. After having some rough years, Emerson Electric is firmly in recovery territory. Last quarter, the company generated $4.25 billion in sales, up nearly 19% YoY.

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: NetGear (NTGR)

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: NetGear (NTGR)

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Computer-networking firm NetGear (NASDAQ:NTGR) has largely earned its reputation through selling popular routers and firewalls. In addition, the company sells storage devices, and owns a security-camera business with its spin-off organization, Arlo. This synergy of connectivity-related expertise makes NTGR one of the more exciting opportunities among IoT stocks.

The evidence lies in its market performance. On a YTD basis, NTGR shares are up over 32%. While I’m not the biggest fan of buying into extreme strength, its fundamentals justify the premium. Definitely, if NTGR stock hits a corrective phase, you should immediately put it on your must-watch list.

For starters, NetGear has demonstrated consistently strong earnings performances. The last time the company failed to meet expectations was back in the second quarter of 2015. Since then, management has beaten their earnings-per-share estimates.

NTGR is a distinct IoT stock in that it has a strong balance sheet with zero debt on its books. That enables its leadership team to invest in research and development, giving it a leg-up on the competition. Finally, the company has enjoyed robust revenue growth, which should continue due to increased sector demand.

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Analog Devices (ADI)

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Analog Devices (ADI)

Source: Shutterstock

With a name like Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI), ADI doesn’t seem to fit the description of an IoT stock. Yet don’t let initial appearances fool you: Analog Devices have built some of the most groundbreaking semiconductor technologies for commercial industries and scientific endeavors.

What’s more, ADI refreshingly focuses not just on IoT for its own sake, but as a comprehensive solution. Their products and services ensure both technical connectivity, as well as relevant and accurate data analysis and transmission.

According to their corporate ethos, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Therefore, management expends significant effort to create seamless communication among the “things” of an IoT network.

Another component of ADI’s investment potential is its growth metrics. For instance, its profitability margins are ranked among the best semiconductor firms. The company’s three-year revenue growth rate averages 17.4%, and that doesn’t look to fade anytime soon. In Analog Devices’ last earnings report, it delivered $1.51 billion in sales, up a whopping 32% YOY.

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Fitbit (FIT)

Best Alternative Internet of Things Stocks: Fitbit (FIT)

Source: Shutterstock

I’ve saved my most speculative idea for an alternative IoT stock for last. Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) captured the wildly popular fitness market’s attention with their quirky advertisements and killer products. When the company first hit its stride, no one could get enough of their fitness trackers. Now, with fierce competition from Garmin and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Fitbit appears merely an also-ran.

As I said in my previous write-up about FIT stock, I don’t blame you if you take that argument. Since its IPO, and especially since its early run-up, FIT has become an unmitigated disaster. Even when shares fell into the teens, and optimists like yours truly considered it a contrarian opportunity, Fitbit still disappointed.

But if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that FIT stock dramatically reversed its ugliness. On a YTD basis, shares are up over 15%. Of course, most people regard this as a bull-trap. I think there’s still significant upside remaining.

That’s because Fitbit focuses almost exclusively on fitness trackers, whereas its competitors are encumbered with various and sometimes disparate markets. Furthermore, Fitbit features a popular user ecosystem that’s difficult to replicate.

FIT stock is by no means a sure thing, but it has enough good qualities to justify a calculated risk.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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