U.S. markets close in 1 hour 14 minutes
  • S&P 500

    +13.42 (+0.38%)
  • Dow 30

    +271.89 (+0.93%)
  • Nasdaq

    +18.56 (+0.16%)
  • Russell 2000

    +33.34 (+1.87%)
  • Crude Oil

    +0.61 (+1.44%)
  • Gold

    -37.10 (-1.98%)
  • Silver

    -0.75 (-3.09%)

    -0.0022 (-0.19%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    +0.0260 (+3.14%)

    +0.0021 (+0.16%)

    +0.7270 (+0.70%)

    -47.93 (-0.26%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +2.46 (+0.68%)
  • FTSE 100

    -17.61 (-0.28%)
  • Nikkei 225

    -106.93 (-0.42%)

3 Strong Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of Q4 and Beyond

Benjamin Rains
·6 min read

Stocks soared to record heights to start the week after Wall Street celebrated Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine announcement. Prior to that, the market ripped higher after the election, with investors apparently pleased enough with the likelihood of divided government in Washington.

Since then, analysts at Goldman Sachs and other major Wall Street firms have sent out bullish notes to their clients. It’s not just the prospect of a vaccine that has people feeling more bullish. The earnings picture looks stronger, with S&P 500 earnings projected to surge in 2021. The U.S. economy also continues to climb back from its virus-based downturn. And let’s not forget our accommodating interest rate environment.  

The last week-plus has once again reminded investors about the importance of staying as exposed to the market as one can afford and tolerate because timing things precisely is extremely difficult. Now this doesn’t mean it’s time to buy up all the social distancing stocks.

Instead, we explore three highly-ranked large-cap stocks that are poised to grow and don’t necessarily need a vaccine boost…

Nike NKE

Nike remains the envy of much of the retail and apparel world for its ability to drive trends and remain as culturally important as ever, amid a crowded space far beyond the likes of Adidas ADDYY and Lululemon LULU. The coronavirus economy has also showcased its innovation and staying power. NKE has been transitioning to a higher-margin, direct-to-consumer model for years and its sales outlook appears strong because people were dressing more casually long before the virus.

Nike’s digital sales soared 75% in Q4 FY20 and 82% last quarter, and it’s set to return to sales growth after the pandemic hurt in-store sales. Zacks estimates call for NKE’s adjusted fiscal 2021 earnings to soar 77% on 13% stronger revenue, with its FY22 EPS figure set to come in nearly 30% higher on 11% better sales. Both sales estimates would mark its strongest revenue expansion in nearly a decade.

Nike, which holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has seen its stock price surge 130% in the past three years and 20% in the last three months. A recent pullback has it trading 5% below its recent highs. NKE is also part of an industry that rests in the top 15% of our over 250 Zacks industries and it remains one of the world’s most valuable brands alongside the likes of Apple AAPL and Mcdonald's MCD. And Nike’s 0.77% dividend yield nealry matches the 10-year U.S. Treasury.

The Trade Desk TTD

Trade Desk is an advertising firm for the digital age that’s focused on algorithmic, real-time bidding. TTD allows clients to utilize its cloud-based platform to create, manage, and optimize data-driven digital advertising campaigns across a range of channels and devices. Advertisers know that they can turn to Google GOOGL and Facebook FB to reach massive audiences. TTD enables its clients to reach consumers on these platforms, and across many other channels, apps, and websites, across connected TVs, audio, mobile devices, and more.

The company topped our Q3 estimates last week, with sales up 32%. This marked a strong return to growth after the global ad space tanked in the second quarter amid coronavirus spending cuts. Looking ahead, our estimates call for TTD’s Q4 sales to jump 34% to help lift its adjusted EPS by 22%. TTD’s fiscal year sales are projected to jump 22% this year and another 34% FY21 to hit $1.08 billion.

The ad platform firm’s earnings outlook appears strong and its bottom-line estimates have jumped since its Q3 release. And TTD stock is up 150% in the past six months and 560% in the last two years.

Trade Desk is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) right now that rests 10% off its recent records. Therefore, it might be worth taking a chance on TTD in a world where marketers must do all they can to find consumers in our expansive digital age, especially when people pay to avoid ads on platforms like Netflix NFLX.

Whirlpool Corporation WHR

Whirlpool is a giant in the home appliance market, with a portfolio that spans from washing machines to kitchen mixers. The firm, which operates under its namesake brand as well as KitchenAid, Maytag, and more, has gone on an impressive run of earnings beats, including a 70% beat in Q3. WHR also returned to sales growth last quarter and its outlook is improving. Zacks estimates call for WHR’s sales to climb 3% in Q4 and 7% in the first quarter of FY21.

The appliance firm’s bottom-line outlook appears even stronger, with its adjusted earnings projected to jump over 21% in the current quarter and 61% next quarter. Whirlpool’s impressive earnings revisions help it grab a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) right now. WHR also sports “B” grades for Value and Momentum and an “A” for Growth in our Style Scores system.

Whirlpool is poised to benefit from coronavirus-based home upgrades, as well as the housing market’s strength. It’s worth noting that this could help the company grow for a while as millennials are finally starting to drive the housing market.

WHR shares have more than double the S&P 500 in 2020 and are up 57% in the last two years. But they currently hover nearly 10% off their October highs. And in a sign of strength, the firm raised its dividend last quarter and its 2.70% yield blows away the 30-year U.S. treasury and the S&P 500’s 1.6% average.

Just Released: Zacks’ 7 Best Stocks for Today

Experts extracted 7 stocks from the list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys that has beaten the market more than 2X over with a stunning average gain of +24.3% per year.

These 7 were selected because of their superior potential for immediate breakout.

See these time-sensitive tickers now >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
NIKE, Inc. (NKE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Apple Inc. (AAPL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
McDonalds Corporation (MCD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
lululemon athletica inc. (LULU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Adidas AG (ADDYY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Facebook, Inc. (FB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Trade Desk Inc. (TTD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research