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How to Find Top-Ranked Stocks to Buy in March

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The S&P 500 is trading near fresh all-time highs as the market prepares to turn the page on February. The market made it through Q4 earnings season as confident as ever in the possibility of a soft landing for the U.S. economy.  

The market has taken a much-deserved respite to start the final week of February. Wall Street is now likely waiting on the Fed’s preferred inflation data out later this week before it makes its next decisive move in either direction.   

No matter how the PCE data looks, it is worth stressing that the market is due for another healthy pullback at some point soon. When it does, Wall Street might step in quickly once again to buy the dip as investors cheer on S&P 500 earnings growth, projected Fed rate cuts, and AI-driven growth and productivity gains.

Today we explore how investors can use the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 Stock Screen to help find potentially winning stocks to buy in March and throughout what looks set to be a strong 2024.

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.


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.

• % 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.

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 is one of the five stocks that qualified for the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 strategy today…

Cardinal Health ((CAH - Free Report) is a healthcare products distributor that benefits from the growth of pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical products, and the broader healthcare field. CAH is expanding alongside a strong, dynamic, and essential industry without suffering through as many boom and bust cycles as the innovators in the field do.

CAH crushed our Q2 FY24 EPS estimates in early February and raised its outlook again. Cardinal Health is projected to post 11% revenue growth this year and another 8% stronger sales next year to reach $245 billion. Meanwhile, its adjusted earnings are projected to soar by 26% and 10%, respectively.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Cardinal Health’s dividend yields 1.8% and its Medical - Dental Supplies industry lands in the top 30% of over 250 Zacks industries. The company is benefitting from renewed confidence on Wall Street after an activist investor push.

CAH shares have climbed by 100% in the past five years vs. its sector’s -5% drop, including a 45% surge during the trailing 12 months to blow away the S&P 500’s 28%. Even though it has crushed its sector and is trading at all-time highs, Cardinal Health offers a 40% discount to the Zacks Medical sector and 14% value vs. its five-year highs.

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.

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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:

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