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3 Under-the-Radar Stocks to Buy Now Near Highs to Fight Inflation

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Today’s episode of Full Court Finance at Zacks explores Jay Powell and the Fed’s latest interest rate hike efforts and the ongoing stock market downturn. The episode also focuses on three highly-ranked stocks that have climbed to new highs recently during the market downturn that investors might want to buy.

Stocks tumbled again on Wednesday after the Fed raised its core interest rate by another 0.75% for the third-straight time. The unanimous decision came as the U.S. central bank attempts to turn up the heat in order to cool 40-year high inflation and prevent it from becoming entrenched.

The Fed’s latest move sent the two-year U.S. Treasury note above 4% for the first time since 2007 on Wednesday, with it floating around 4.11% Thursday afternoon. The 10-year, meanwhile, surged to 3.7%, driven by a higher base rate and a flight to safety.

The higher interest rates are working their way into the housing market and negatively impacting growth-focused companies. These elevated levels are also rippling through much of the rest of the economy. For instance, the overall outlook for S&P 500 earnings is already trending in the wrong direction, as higher rates and higher prices eat into growth and profits.

The current backdrop rewards investors who know where to search, since the market is down around 20% so far this year, with many former covid winners and big growth names down far more. Today we explore three stocks that have been able to lift their earnings outlooks. Plus, all three stocks have climbed in 2022 to trade near their 52-week highs.

The first stock up is natural gas standout Chesapeake Energy (CHK - Free Report) . The stock has been on a red-hot run since Chesapeake reemerged from Ch.11 bankruptcy in February 2021. Chesapeake was a fracking pioneer and it’s now focused on returning more value to shareholders through buybacks and dividends, alongside much of the oil and gas industry. Chesapeake lands a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) right now and the stock still offers upside despite climbing over 50% so far this year. And natural gas is poised to play a major role in the U.S. and beyond for years to come

The next stock up is ICF International, Inc. (ICFI - Free Report) . The global consulting and digital services provider works with both the private and public sectors. ICFI boasts contracts with everyone from the U.S. Department of Defense to the Environmental Protection Agency for everything from digital modernization to disaster management. ICFI stock is up 5% in 2022 and its positive bottom-line revisions help it land a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Esquire Financial (ESQ - Free Report) is the last stock we dive into. Esquire Financial operates a full-service commercial bank dedicated to meeting the needs of the legal industry and small businesses around the U.S. Its operations also serve commercial and retail customers in the New York metropolitan area. Esquire Financial, which earns a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), is benefiting from higher interest rates and it’s part of a highly-ranked Zacks industry.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) - free report >>

ICF International, Inc. (ICFI) - free report >>

Esquire Financial Holdings, Inc. (ESQ) - free report >>

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