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5 of the Best US Stock Picks for a Patriotic (and Profitable) Summer

- By Larry Alton

5 of the Best U.S. Stock Picks for a Patriotic (and Profitable) Summer

Summer is usually a time when patriotism peaks in the U.S.

Between Memorial Day, Independence Day, cookouts, baseball and weekends spent at the lake, there's something uniquely American about the heat of the summer. It's also a great time to pour some money into a handful of U.S.-based stocks.

Five American stocks to evaluate

"Small businesses fuel a strong economy and ensure a good standard of living. And more important than the proverbial bottom line, small business creates communities," says Jenni Jermyn of Jay Suites.

It's small businesses turned successful corporations that make the American Dream so powerful and magnetic. But you don't have to launch your own business to get a slice of the dream. Evaluating the following U.S. stocks as potential investments could have you singing "God Bless America," too.

1. Costco

Amazon's (AMZN) recent deal with Whole Foods (WFM) sent Costco's (COST) stock price down more than 105, but don't expect it to stay down permanently. Even as Amazon has grown over the past few years - making it clear that it wants to enter the food business - Costco has continued to scale. It has opened new stores, grown its membership base and made it clear that there's room for multiple players in this industry. Buy Costco stock while it's down and don't look back.

2. McCormick & Co.

You may not realize it, but you're probably familiar with McCormick & Co. (MKC). They're a manufacturer of spices and seasonings; chances are, you have some of their products in your kitchen cupboard right now. And while the stock may not be as sexy as some major tech stocks, it has consistently outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 over the last 10 years.

While McCormick has seen a little dropoff this year, this is the sort of stock you can buy and hold on to. The spice category is expected to see positive growth in the long term, which makes this a healthy company to own.

3. Craft Brew Alliance

Who doesn't want to own a piece of Craft Brew Alliance (BREW)? Aside from having a pretty cool stock symbol, Craft Brew Alliance is seen as a good long-term hold. It's been fairly volatile over the past five years, but there's clearly a lot of potential left. The company has a distribution agreement with Anheuser Busch (BUD), and the company is incentivized to buy Craft Brew Alliance out by 2019. That alone makes this an exciting play.

4. Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) is a sneaky stock that continues to fly under the radar, despite lining up on virtually every measurement and metric. While a lot of people are bearish on stocks that could be affected by health care reform under the Trump presidency, Quest Diagnostics isn't going anywhere. Lab work will be necessary regardless of what happens. The three-month, one-year and five-year chart for Quest Diagnostics is pretty impressive.

5. Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX), which markets a couple of major cystic fibrosis drugs, has delivered nothing but good news for investors over the past year. Plus, its portfolio of next-generation cystic fibrosis correctors is slated to potentially bring in billions in sales for the company in the next few years, if approved. Definitely keep your eye on this one.

Do your own due diligence

We aren't saying these stocks are guaranteed to be high returning this year, but they certainly show promising signs of delivering healthy ROI. As always, be sure to perform your own due diligence and seek a healthy balance of domestic and international stocks. But no matter what you decide to do, the good news is that the American Dream is alive and well and you have a chance to invest in it firsthand.

Disclosure: I do not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.