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Take the Zacks Approach to Beat the Market: Ulta Beauty, Clorox, Similarweb in Focus

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Two of the three most widely followed indexes closed the week higher on Friday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting its fifth-straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq Composite continued to make gains on a tech rally, rising 3.3% for the week. The S&P 500 also advanced 1.6% for the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average remaining the only outlier, contracting 0.2%.

Most of the positivity seen in the market throughout the week arose out of the signals coming in from the FOMC meeting for February. The interest rate hike was brought down by the central bank to 25 bps, on expected lines, but more importantly, Fed chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that the disinflationary process had started.

Continued contraction of the manufacturing and construction sectors also validated investors’ hope that the Fed’s effort to slow down the economy was getting reflected. Trade flourished on the fact that the market was finally coming out of inflation.

However, the labor market remains robust, with employment numbers coming in much stronger than expected. This might keep market participants worried for the time being about what the Fed might make of these numbers, even as the central bank turns dovish after a long time.

The global scene also remains a concern, as other central banks have raised rates and reiterated that they would keep doing so in the near term.

Regardless of market conditions, we, here at Zacks, provide investors with unbiased guidance on how to beat the market.  

As usual, Zacks Research guided investors over the past three months with its time-tested methodologies. Given the prevailing market uncertainty, you may want to look at our feats to prepare better for your next action.

Here are some of our key achievements:

Similarweb, Despegar Surge Following Zacks Rank Upgrade

Shares of Similarweb Ltd. (SMWB - Free Report) have surged 38.1% since it was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) on November 21.

Another stock,, Corp. (DESP - Free Report) , which was also upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 on November 23,  has returned 29% since then.

Zacks Rank, our short-term rating system, has earnings estimate revisions at its core. Empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.  

This stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +24.8% since 1988.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here >>>

Check Similarweb's historical EPS and Sales here>>>

Check Despegar's historical EPS and Sales here>>>

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Zacks Recommendation Upgrade Drives Inter Parfums and Alps Alpine Higher 

Shares of Inter Parfums, Inc. (IPAR - Free Report) and Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. (APELY - Free Report) have surged 28.9% and 15.9% since their Zacks Recommendation was upgraded to Outperform on November 23 and November 18, respectively.

While the Zacks Rank is our short-term rating system that is most effective over the one- to three-month holding horizon, the Zacks Recommendation aims to predict performance over the next 6 to 12 months. However, just like the Zacks Rank, the foundation for the Zacks Recommendation is trends in earnings estimate revisions.

The Zacks Recommendation classifies stocks into three groups — Outperform, Neutral and Underperform. While these recommendations are determined quantitatively, our analysts have the flexibility to override them for the 1100+ stocks they closely follow based on their better judgment of factors such as valuation, industry conditions and management effectiveness than the quantitative model.

To access our research reports with Zacks Recommendations for the 1100+ stocks we cover, click here>>>

Zacks Focus List Model Portfolio Sea, Ulta Beauty Soar

Shares of Sea Limited (SE - Free Report) , which belongs to the Zacks Focus List, have soared 42.6% over the past 12 weeks. The stock was added to the Focus List on March 26, 2020. Another Focus-List holding, Ulta Beauty, Inc. (ULTA - Free Report) , which was added to the portfolio on March 25,2020, has returned 21% over the past 12 weeks. 

The Zacks Focus List is a model portfolio of 50 hand-picked stocks that possess the right fundamental ingredients to outperform the market over the next 12 months. These 50 stocks are picked from a long list of stocks with the highest Zacks Rank.

Since its inception on Feb 1, 1996, the Focus List portfolio has delivered an annualized return of +12.9%.

Unlock all of our powerful research, tools and analysis, including the Focus List, Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research Reports, Zacks Earnings ESP Filter, Premium Screener and more, as part of Zacks Premium. Gain full access now >>

Zacks ECAP Stocks Church & Dwight and Tractor Supply Rapidly Advance

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (CHD - Free Report) , a component of our Earnings Certain Admiral Portfolio (ECAP), jumped 11.3% over the past 12 weeks. Tractor Supply Company (TSCO - Free Report) followed Church & Dwight with 9.3% returns.

ECAP is a model portfolio of 30 concentrated, ultra-defensive, long-term Buy and Hold stocks. 

With little to no turnover and annual rebalance periodicity, the ECAP seeks to minimize capital loss by holding shares of companies whose earnings streams exhibit a proven 20+ year track record of surviving recessionary periods with minimal impact on aggregate earnings growth relative to the overall S&P 500.

The ECAP and many other model portfolios are available as part of Zacks Advisor Tools, a cloud-based solution to access Zacks award-winning stock, mutual fund and ETF research. Click here to schedule a demo.

Zacks ECDP Stocks Clorox, Illinois Tool Works Outperform Peers

The Clorox Company (CLX - Free Report) , which is part of our Earnings Certain Dividend Portfolio (ECDP), has returned 9.1% over the past 12 weeks. Another ECDP stock, Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW - Free Report) , has climbed 9% over the same time frame. Of course, the inclination of investors toward quality dividend stocks to secure an income stream amid the heightened market volatility contributed to this performance.

Check Clorox’s dividend history here>>>

Check Illinois Tool Works’ dividend history here>>>

With an extremely low Beta and a history of minimum earnings variability over the last 20+ years, this 25-stock portfolio helps significantly mitigate risk. The ECDP has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL - Free Report) .

Click here to access this portfolio on Zacks Advisor Tools.  

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