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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: American Axle & Manufacturing, Conn's, Dillards, Zoom and KornFerry

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 7, 2021 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (AXL - Free Report) , Conn’s, Inc. (CONN - Free Report) , Dillards, Inc. (DDS - Free Report) , Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM - Free Report) and KornFerry International (KFY - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Top-Ranked Growth Stocks to Own in Second-Half 2021

Wall Street has been able to ignore pessimistic projections about a market pullback in the first half of 2021 and discounted worries about an increase in inflation and probable interest rate hikes. As a result, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notched double-digit gains in the first half.

The blue-chip index’s return was impressive at 12.7%. The broader S&P 500’s return was even higher at 14.4%. Similarly, the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 12.5%. Notably, the major indexes not only witnessed their best first half in 2021 since 2019, they saw their second-best first half in 23 years (read more: 4 Top-Performing Stocks of a Strong H1 With More Room to Run).

Interestingly, such strong first halves for Wall Street tend to bode well for the second half of the year as well. Citing a CNBC article, Refinitiv data dating back to the 1950s showed that whenever there has been a double-digit gain in the first six months of a year, major bourses like the Dow and the S&P 500 never witnessed an annual decline in the year.

LPL Financial added that conforming to data from the 1950s, whenever the S&P 500 jumped more than 12.5% in the first six-month period of a year, the broader index usually registered a median return of 9.7%, way more than the median return of 5% for any given year, as mentioned in a businessinsider article.

To top it, Tom Lee, head of Fundstrat Global Advisors, recently raised the S&P 500’s end of year price target, placing a bet that the broader index will gain another solid 7% in the second half of the year after climbing more than 14% so far this year, as mentioned in a MarketWatch article. In fact, the broader market is already off to a commendable start in the second half as the labor market showed considerable signs of improvement.

Jobless claims dropped to a pandemic-era low of 364,000 for the week ended Jun 26 and layoffs plummeted to a 21-year low in June, as quoted in a financialexpress article. Additionally, the Labor Department noted that in the United States, 850,000 jobs were added last month, the largest employment gain in 10 months, citing a nytimes article. The article further noted that the Congressional Budget Office recently stated that the economy is on track to recover all the jobs lost in the coronavirus pandemic by the middle of 2022.

The economy, no doubt, is showing signs of healing. Consumers’ confidence levels have improved of late and their outlays have increased, thanks to financial aids provided by the government to bolster their well-being. An increase in the coronavirus vaccination rate and reopening of the economy improved appetite for travel and dining out, helping the struggling leisure and hospitality business.

Business outlays, by the way, are also increasing while the Fed has been able to effectively reduce anxieties about higher inflation, a potential dampener for the stock market’s northward journey.

Thus, with the stock market poised to maintain performance in the second half of the year, it’s worth placing bets on solid stocks that are positioned to climb north along with the broader market in the near term. We have, thus, selected five such stocks that currently possess a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a Growth Score of A. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings is a leading supplier of driveline and drivetrain systems, modules and components for the light vehicle market. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 20.5% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 950%.

Conn's is a specialty retailer currently operating retail locations in Texas and Louisiana. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 60.7% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 4,266.67%.

Dillards is a large departmental store chain featuring fashion apparel and home furnishings. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 583.3% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 655.7%.

Zoom’s cloud-native unified communications platform, which combines video, audio, phone, screen sharing and chat functionalities, makes remote-working and collaboration easy. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up nearly 27% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 39.5%.

KornFerry is the world's leading and largest executive recruitment firm with the broadest global presence in the executive recruitment industry. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 21.5% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 64.1%.

Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.