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Find Strong Buy Stocks Amid Hot February Start with this Screener

Benjamin Rains
·5 min read

Stocks have bounced back to start February after they posted their worst week since October to end the first month of 2021. The Dow, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq all climbed between 1.4% and 1.6% on Tuesday, during another busy week for corporate earnings that includes Amazon (AMZN) and other market movers.

Last week’s downturn was likely driven by profit taking, as many investors and the media were fixated on the very public short squeezes at GameStop and elsewhere. That story might have distracted some on Wall Street from the blowout quarterly results from Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and countless others as the earnings picture continues to flash bullish signs (also read: Earnings Strength and Market Weakness).

The recent pullback also provided the red-hot market a needed breather after its post-election run. Meanwhile, despite some near-term setbacks, the broader U.S. economic outlook for 2021 remains strong as the vaccine is rolled out around the country and the world.

This means now might be a good time to add to your portfolio by utilizing our Filtered Zacks Rank 5 Stock Screener…

Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks outperform the market in both good and bad times. However, there are over 200 stocks that earn a Zacks Rank #1 at any given time. Therefore, it’s helpful to understand how to apply filters to the Zacks Rank in order to narrow the list down to a more manageable and tradable set of stocks.

Parameters

Clearly, there are only three items on this screen. But together, these three filters can result in some impressive returns.

• Zacks Rank equal to 1

Starting with a Zacks Rank #1 is often a strong jumping off point because it boasts an average annual return of roughly 24.4% per year since 1988.

• % Change (Q1) Est. over 4 Weeks greater than 0

Positive current quarter estimate revisions over the last four weeks.

The Zacks Rank looks at earnings estimate revisions for the current year (F1) and the next year (F2). The additional component factors in current quarter (Q1) estimate revisions. The idea is pretty simple.

A company that has experienced downward revisions for the current quarter could soon see longer-term negative revisions. Meanwhile, if a company has earned positive earnings revisions for its current quarter, it might signal that more upward revisions could be coming down the road, which would make it an attractive buy.

• % Broker Rating Change over 4 Week equal to Top # 5

Top 5 stocks with the best average broker rating changes over the last four weeks.

In this screen, we are searching for positive broker rating changes or upgrades over the last four weeks. On top of that, we want to cut down on the number of stocks that come through. So, we configured the screen to select the top 5 stocks with the best broker rating upgrade.

Investors should note that broker ratings typically lean toward the upside. Therefore, our screen makes sure that the brokers are getting more bullish, or at the least not getting less bullish (or even bearish) on the stock.

It is worth noting that the actual broker ratings do not matter as much as the upgrade itself, because stocks with broker rating upgrades have been proven to outperform their counterparts that do not earn positive broker rating changes or downgrades.

This strategy comes loaded with the Research Wizard and is called bt_sow_filtered zacks rank5. It can be found in the SoW (Screen of the Week) folder.

Here are two of the five stocks that qualified for the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 strategy today…

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG)

Popular, Inc. (BPOP)

See the rest of the stocks on this list and start trading the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 (or any of our other strategies) in your own account. Remember, the key to successful screening is finding screens that have produced profitable results in the past. And that's exactly what you get with the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting program.

Get the rest of the stocks on this list and start looking for the newest companies that fit these criteria. It's easy to do. And it could help you find your next big winner. Start screening for these companies today with a free trial to the Research Wizard. You can do it.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.

Want more articles from this author? Scroll up to the top of this article and click the FOLLOW AUTHOR button to get an email each time a new article is published.

Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance/

Zacks' Super Screen

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But from -Q2 2020, while the market gained % 5.5% per year, our top stock-picking strategy averaged +51.7% per year.

How has that screen done lately? From 2017-Q2 2020, it more than tripled the market's +44.0% gain with a soaring +156.8% return.

Free – See the Stocks It Turned Up for Today >>


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
 
Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Popular, Inc. (BPOP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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