When seeking out the best stocks to buy now, investors will need to be brave and patient in regard to timing, as well as agile as the stock market eventually transitions from bear market to bull market. Go ahead and add resolute to the character traits you'll need this year, because many market strategists say you can't get from one market to the other without going through a recession first.
Given the uncertain, sometimes roiling backdrop for stocks, where should investors look when seeking out the best stocks to buy now? A popular piece of advice among Wall Street strategists now is to resist the bargain-basement appeal of the most beaten-up stocks and focus instead on high-quality shares. "Investors should avoid volatile names and be cautious on both deep-value and unprofitable growth companies," says Koesterich. "Instead, emphasize quality with a focus on earnings consistency and good profitability."
Now may be a good time to tilt toward value-oriented companies and small-cap stocks, both longtime underperformers that are showing signs of new life. Over the past five years, for example, the S&P 500 Value Index (opens in new tab) has returned 6.2% annualized, compared with 9.1% for the S&P 500 Growth Index (opens in new tab). Through early 2023, value has outperformed growth, with a 4.1% return compared to growth's 3.8% gain. "We would stick with value. These cycles last a while," says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at money management firm Carson Group (opens in new tab). Sectors typically grouped in the value style include energy, financials, industrials and materials.
So, with all of this in mind, here are 12 of the best stocks to buy now. The names featured here vary by size and industry and are not meant to compose a diversified portfolio. But all, for one reason or another, are well positioned to benefit from a transition to a bull market from a bear market in 2023.
Don't ignore the tenets of diversification and shun tech or the growthier side of the market completely when adjusting your portfolio to include the best stocks to buy now. Instead, take a barbell approach, says Tony DeSpirito, a managing director and portfolio manager at BlackRock (opens in new tab). This will allow you to scoop up value-focused shares at historically attractive relative price-to-earnings ratios (P/Es) and high-growth stocks at valuations that have come down from the stratosphere and are now at normal, if not yet underpriced, levels.
Take Advanced Micro Devices (AMD (opens in new tab), $76.61), a leading semiconductor manufacturer. Analysts have mixed ratings on one of Wall Street's best semiconductor stocks in part because an economic slowdown and negative investor sentiment are near-term obstacles.
Matador Resources (MTDR (opens in new tab), $52.38) is an oil and gas exploration and production company that has risen alongside its fellow energy stocks over the last 12 months. Specifically, MTDR stock is up more than 20% year-over-year.
Even with its impressive growth on the charts, MTDR is one of best values on this list of the best stocks to buy now. Shares are currently trading at just 5.1 times forward earnings, well below Matador's five-year average of 11.2.
Investors seeking out the best stocks to buy now might consider holding for longer than one year: Keith says she sees "significant market-share opportunity" for Workday, and over the next three years, the stock's potential reward outweighs the risk.
Why is Merck (MRK (opens in new tab), $109.16) on this list of the best stocks to buy now? The pharmaceutical giant is known for its high returns over the past decade. Analysts are upbeat toward MRK, too, as evidenced by a consensus rating of Buy. Of the 27 analysts that follow Merck tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 13 say it's a Strong Buy, seven have it a Buy, six call it a Hold and one rates it at Sell.
And for investors seeking out the best defensive stocks, Huynh says MRK's growth is "low risk," and that cancer drug Keytruda and HPV vaccine Gardasil are "well established and less affected in the near term by healthcare reforms under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) than peers."
Morgan Stanley (opens in new tab) analyst Matthew Harrison upgraded the stock recently to Overweight, the equivalent of Buy, citing the strength of the company's pipeline and the stock's undervalued price. Amgen shares have gained about 7% over the past 12 months but trade at 13 times 2023 expected earnings, a fraction of the P/E of 70 that's typical for biotech firms. With all this in mind, it's easy to see why AMGN is on this list of the best stocks to buy now.
Today, I share the 10 best stocks to buy in March 2023, which I believe have significant upside for long-term investors. I provide a blend of stocks, from hypergrowth stocks to mature growth stocks and dividend stocks.
The year 2022 was a lousy one for the stock market. Even after factoring in dividends, the S&P 500 fell 19.4% in those 12 months, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite took a 33.1% haircut. The catalysts behind Wall Street's sell-off are all too familiar: Inflation, soaring interest rates, persistent recession fears and the Russia-Ukraine war snowballed into an avalanche of worries that investors couldn't ignore, and many previously high-flying stocks took a beating as the "risk off" mindset came to dominate markets. This, thankfully, provided a window of opportunity for investors to snap up great companies at a discount entering the new year.
Before each new year, U.S. News selects 10 stocks to buy for the year ahead. Here's a rundown of the 10 best stocks to buy for 2023 and how each has fared thus far based on total returns, which include dividends:
First up is Apple, the largest publicly traded company in the world, if you exclude government-backed behemoths such as oil giant Saudi Aramco. Like other tech stocks, AAPL shares had a rough go of it in 2022, as recession fears and soaring interest rates spooked investors in the sector. Following a rare 26.4% pullback in 2022, Apple now trades at 26 times earnings, offering investors a sound entry point into the $2.5 trillion iPhone maker. Although its most recent earnings report technically missed expectations, that was more due to supply chain snarls than demand issues. In fact, Apple reported an active-installed base of more than 2 billion devices, and revenue in its high-margin services segment surpassed $20 billion. AAPL stock is bouncing back from its 2022 woes, with shares up 22.5% in 2023 through March 23.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, a $500 billion business and the dominant high-level foundry for advanced chips, is next on the list. In the semiconductor industry, foundries are companies that manufacture chips for other companies, and TSM enjoys a massive market share for chips 7 nanometers and under. Apple, which has started to shift its supply chain away from China, is one of TSM's biggest customers. The company reported fourth-quarter results that beat both top- and bottom-line expectations, with revenue jumping 43% and earnings per share surging 78%. Trading at just 14 times earnings and paying a 2% dividend, TSM is, incidentally, yet another Buffett holding, and its shares have been crushing it in early 2023, posting gains of 27.7% through March 23. TSM is the best-performing stock among the best stocks to buy so far in 2023.
Buying a stock is easy, but buying the right stock without a time-tested strategy is incredibly hard. So what are the best stocks to buy now or put on a watchlist? MercadoLibre (MELI), Meta Platforms (META), HubSpot (HUBS), PagerDuty (PD) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) are prime candidates.
The CAN SLIM system offers clear guidelines on what you should be looking for. Invest in stocks with recent quarterly and annual earnings growth of at least 25%. Look for companies that have new, game-changing products and services. Also consider not-yet-profitable companies, often recent IPOs, that are generating tremendous revenue growth.
A key part of the CAN SLIM formula is the M, which stands for market. Most stocks, even the very best, follow the market direction. Invest when the stock market is in a confirmed uptrend and move to cash when the stock market goes into a correction.
A stock market rally that kicked off 2022 soon fell on its face. The market overall has been choppy since then, with bear market rallies often being undercut by painful drawdowns. While the Nasdaq looks healthy, the S&P 500 has fallen under the 50-day moving average amid challenging action sparked by negative action among bank stocks.
Now is a time to prepare for the next stock market uptrend by creating a robust watchlist. Focus on fundamentally strong stocks coming out of sound chart patterns, such as those in the IBD 50. These names will tend to have rising relative strength lines. The stocks below are good candidates.
Now let's look at MercadoLibre stock, Meta stock, HubSpot stock, PagerDuty stock and Palo Alto Networks stock in more detail. An important consideration is that these stocks all boast impressive relative strength.
Lackluster earnings are reflected in an EPS Rating of 48 out of 99. Despite this, growing bullish sentiment is reflected in the fact it is in the top 4% of stocks in terms of price performance over the past 12 months.
The charts of most EV stocks remain under strain. Broadly, both established automakers and startups are a speculative bet on the growth of electric vehicles, itself seen as a nascent field. Growth stocks led the recent bear market declines due to rising inflation and interest rates.
Tesla, the top auto and EV stock by market capitalization, has an IBD Composite Rating of 89 and a best-possible EPS Rating of 99. Tesla (TSLA) earns an RS Rating of 83, meaning that it has outperformed 83% of all stocks in IBD's database over the past year. 781b155fdc