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Wall Street Set to Close the Year Higher: 5 Top Growth Picks

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The relentless rise in coronavirus cases is, no doubt, a concern and may easily hamper economic recovery. But recently, promising news on the vaccine front gave enough hope that the economy and in turn the stock market will surely do well for the rest of the year. If a vaccine gets an emergency approval, the pandemic can be addressed, and businesses can go back to normal functioning. Also, outdoor activities like traveling, dining, and so on, can return to normalcy.

Notably, AstraZeneca PLC (AZN - Free Report) announced recently in a press release that interim analysis of clinical trials showed an average efficacy of 70% in its vaccine candidate. Meanwhile, Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) also announced in a press release that its vaccine candidate was found to be 94.5% effective. Pfizer, Inc. (PFE - Free Report) and BioNtech SE (BNTX - Free Report) also recently stated in a press release that it is seeking Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for its vaccine candidate which has an efficacy rate of 95%. In fact, as part of an initial distribution process, U.S. officials are also preparing to release 6.4 million doses of the vaccine throughout the country, once the first vaccine is cleared for emergency use, as quoted in a Reuters article.

By the way, election uncertainties are largely gone, and news that former Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to become the next Treasury Secretary will surely turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the stock market. Yellen has been vocal about additional government spending to support the economy, as mentioned in a Washington Post article. The article also mentioned that during her tenure as Fed Chair, unemployment in the United States fell the most since World War II. The article further pointed out that the unemployment rate was 6.7% at the start of her tenure and dropped to 4.1% by the time she left.

Meanwhile, the historical performance of the stock market can be seen as another reason behind the optimism. The market has generally performed well at year-end, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.5% on average in December, since World War II, as mentioned in a CNBC article. Notably, the index has gained 12.4% year to date, making it well poised to end the year on a high.

5 Growth Stocks to Buy

The U.S. stock market seems poised to end the year on a positive note fueled by encouraging vaccine news and the expected appointment of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary. Hence, it will be a good time now to invest in growth stocks that have the potential to make the most of this uptrend. Our research shows that stocks with a Growth Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) offer the best opportunities in the growth investing space. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (BZH - Free Report) designs, constructs, and sells single-family and multi-family homes in the United States. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and Growth Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of its current-year earnings increased 20.6% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 2.1%.

Aviat Networks, Inc. (AVNW - Free Report) designs, manufactures and sells wireless networking products, solutions, and services in the United States. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 18% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 95.4%.

Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (ACLS - Free Report) designs, manufactures and services ion implantation and other processing equipment, which is used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips in the United States. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 6.8% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%.

Amkor Technology, Inc. (AMKR - Free Report) provides outsourced semiconductor packaging and test services in the United States. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 24% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%.

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (ABG - Free Report) , along with its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 18.1% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 31.5%.

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