When value or growth investing fails to fetch sustained profits, one should explore another time-tested winning strategy that bets on frontrunner stocks. One of the most successful strategies in this day and age is to get in on momentum stocks at the right time.
We’ve all heard the adage, “the trend is your friend.” At the core, momentum investing is “buying high and selling higher.” It is based on the idea that once a stock establishes a trend; it is more likely to continue in that direction because of the momentum that is already behind it. But why does the momentum strategy work? There are several behavioral biases that most investors exhibit in their decision-making. And these emotional responses, or rather mistakes, are the very reason that makes momentum strategy work. For example, some investors are anxious about booking losses and hence hold on to losing stocks for too long, hopeful of a rebound in prices. On the other hand, a few investors sell their winners way too early. Momentum investing is one of the best strategies to avoid making such errors in judgment. Furthermore, investors initially tend to underreact to news, events or data releases. However, once things become clear, they have a habit of going with the flow and overreacting, causing dramatic price reactions. These behavioral problems extend trends, thus opening up huge opportunities for momentum players. So basically, it’s a way to profit from the general human tendency to extrapolate current trends into the future. Thus, momentum investing is based on that gap in time before the mean reversion occurs, i.e., before prices become rational again. In this context, stocks like The Mosaic Company ( MOS Quick Quote MOS - Free Report) , Builders FirstSource, Inc. ( BLDR Quick Quote BLDR - Free Report) , Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. ( RS Quick Quote RS - Free Report) and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. ( ZIM Quick Quote ZIM - Free Report) are worth betting on. Momentum strategies have been known to be alpha-generative over a long period and across market stages. So, this strategy is quite tricky to implement, as detecting these trends is no child’s play. Here, we have created a strategy to help investors get in on these fast movers and rake in handsome gains. Our screen will help you benefit from both long-term price momentum and a short-term pullback in price. Screening Parameters Percentage Change in Price (52 Weeks) = Top #50: This selects the top 50 stocks with the best percentage price change over the last 52 weeks. This parameter ensures we get the best stocks that have appreciated steadily over the past year. Percentage Change in Price (1 Week) = Bottom #10: From the above 50 stocks, we then choose those that are also among the 10 worst performers over a short one-week period. This parameter picks the ones that have witnessed a short-term pullback in price. Zacks Rank #1: No matter whether market conditions are good or bad, stocks sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) have a proven history of outperformance. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Momentum A top Momentum Style Score knocks out a lot of the screening process as it takes into account several factors that include volume change and performance relative to its peers. It indicates when the timing is best to grab a stock and take advantage of its momentum with the highest probability of success. Stocks with a Momentum Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 (Buy), handily outperform other stocks. Style Score of B or Better: Current Price greater than $5: The stocks must all be trading at a minimum of $5. Market Capitalization = Top #3000: We have chosen stocks that are among the top 3000 in terms of market value to ensure the stability of price. Average 20-Day Volume greater than 100,000: A substantial trading volume ensures that these stocks are easily tradable. Here are four of the 10 stocks that made it through this screen: Headquartered in Tampa, FL, The Mosaic Company is one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Mosaic is a single source provider of phosphates and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients for the global agriculture industry. The stock has gained 109.6% in the past year but declined 3.5% in the past week. It has a Momentum Score of B. Based in Dallas, TX, Builders FirstSource is the largest U.S. supplier of building products, prefabricated components and value-added services to the professional market segment for new residential construction and repair and remodeling. Builders FirstSource is leveraging the strength of its industry-leading platform, national network, operating model and robust demand environment to deliver exceptional growth, profitability and free cash flow. The stock has returned 43.4% in the past year but lost 7.5% in the past week. It has a Momentum Score of A. Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Reliance Steel & Aluminum is a leading global diversified metal solutions provider and the largest metals service center company in North America. Reliance services diverse end markets and provides a wide range of products and processing services, generally in small quantities on a when-needed basis. The stock has appreciated 18.7% in the past year but declined 5% in the past week. It has a Momentum Score of B. Headquartered in Haifa, Israel, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is a global container liner shipping company with leadership positions in the markets where it operates. ZIM is focused on maintaining its strong execution and agility while advancing the highest standards of corporate governance and responsibility. The stock has rallied 175% in the past year but declined 4.2% in the past week. It has a Momentum Score of A. You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge. The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out. Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 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.