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Take the Zacks Approach to Beat the Market: Pinterest, Uber, Fastenal in Focus

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Last Friday, all of the three widely followed indexes closed a fifth straight winning week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.4%, 0.8% and 2.4%, respectively. On Thursday, the markets closed out a winning November after three straight months of losses.

Weak economic data and inflation slowing down over the last few weeks have raised hope among investors that the Fed might have finally concluded its rate-hike cycle. The Fed’s favorite inflation metric, PCE, also showed signs of slowing down last week, and third-quarter GDP was revised upward to lift investor mood. Dovish comments coming in from top Fed officials have suggested that the central bank will be extremely cautious before raising rates any further.

In fact, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the risk of raising interest rates at the current juncture is too much. Market participants are getting into a usual Santa rally and are currently expecting interest rates to go down as early as the first half of 2024.

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:

Pinterest and United Bankshares Surge Following Zacks Rank Upgrade

Shares of Pinterest, Inc. (PINS - Free Report) have gained 28.7% (versus the S&P 500’s 6.7% increase) since it was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on October 3.

Another stock, United Bankshares, Inc. (UBSI - Free Report) , which was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) on October 2, has returned 25.2% (versus the S&P 500’s 6.6% increase) 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. 

A hypothetical portfolio of Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks returned +12.02% this year (through September 4th) vs. +18.2% for the S&P 500 index and +7.6% for the equal-weight S&P 500 index. The portfolio of Zacks Rank #1 stocks is an equal-weight portfolio, while the S&P 500 index is a market-cap-weighted index that has been notably distorted by the strong recent performance of mega-cap stocks.

We are not trying to cherry-pick here. But since this Zacks Model portfolio, consisting of Zacks Rank #1 stocks, is an equal-weight portfolio, the equal-weight S&P 500 index is the appropriate benchmark for comparison. Looked at this way, this portfolio has outperformed the index this year.

The Zacks Model Portfolio - consisting of Zacks Rank #1 stocks – has outperformed the S&P index by more than 13 percentage points since 1988 (Through September 4th, 2023, the Zacks # 1 Rank stocks has generated an annualized return of +24.17% since 1988 vs. +10.82% for the S&P 500 index).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here >>>

Check Pinterest’s historical EPS and Sales here>>>

Check United Bankshares’ historical EPS and Sales here>>>

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Zacks Recommendation Upgrades Installed Inter and XPO Higher 

Shares of Inter & Co, Inc. (INTR - Free Report) and XPO, Inc. (XPO - Free Report) have advanced 24.5% (versus the S&P 500’s 6.6% rise) and 21.3% (versus the S&P 500’s 7.4% rise) since their Zacks Recommendation was upgraded to Outperform on October 2 and October 6, 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 Stocks Block, Uber Shoot Up

Shares of Block, Inc. (SQ - Free Report) , which belongs to the Zacks Focus List, have gained 22.5% over the past 12 weeks. The stock was added to the Focus List on March 28, 2017. Another Focus-List holding, Uber Technologies, Inc. (UBER - Free Report) , which was added to the portfolio on August 16, 2019, has returned 21.4% over the past 12 weeks. The S&P 500 has advanced 3.1% over this period. 

The 50-stock Zacks Focus List model portfolio returned +22.3% in 2023 (through July 31st) vs. +20.6% for the S&P 500 index and +10.5% for the equal-weight S&P 500 index. In 2022, the portfolio produced -15.2% vs. the S&P 500 index’s -17.96%.

Since 2004, the Focus List portfolio has produced an annualized return of +11.27% through July 31st, 2023. This compares to a +9.65% annualized return for the S&P 500 index in the same time period.

On a rolling one-, three- and five-year bases, the Zacks Focus List returned +21.76%, +16.33%, and +12.54% vs. +12.99%, +13.71% and +12.19% for the S&P 500 index, respectively.

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 Fair Isaac and Rollins Make Significant Gains

Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO - Free Report) , a component of our Earnings Certain Admiral Portfolio (ECAP), has jumped 25.3% over the past 12 weeks. Rollins, Inc. (ROL - Free Report) has followed Fair Isaac with 13.3% returns.

ECAP, which consists of 30 concentrated, ultra-defensive, long-term Buy-and-Hold stocks, has returned +6.67% in 2023 (through June 30) versus +16.90% for the S&P 500 Index. The portfolio returned -4.7% in 2022 versus the S&P 500 Index’s -17.96%.

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 American Tower and Fastenal Outperform Peers  

American Tower Corporation (AMT - Free Report) , which is part of our Earnings Certain Dividend Portfolio (ECDP), has returned 16.4% over the past 12 weeks. Another ECDP stock, Fastenal Company (FAST - Free Report) , has climbed 11.6% over the same time frame. Of course, the inclination of investors toward quality dividend stocks to secure an income stream amid heightened market volatility contributed to this performance.

Check American Tower’s dividend history here>>>

Check Fastenal’s 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.

ECDP has returned +0.18% in 2023 (through June 30) versus +16.90% for the S&P 500 Index. The portfolio returned -2.3% in 2022 versus -17.96% for the S&P 500 Index and -8.34% for the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL - Free Report) .

Click here to access this portfolio on Zacks Advisor Tools

Zacks Top 10 Stocks — Celsius Delivers Solid Returns

Celsius Holdings, Inc. (CELH - Free Report) , from the Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2023, has surged 49.9% year to date, which compares to a 21.3% gain for the S&P 500 Index.

The portfolio returned +16.16% through the end of July 2023 vs. +20.64% for the S&P 500 index and +10.73% for the equal-weighted version of the index. The portfolio returned -15.8% in 2022 vs. -18.1% for the S&P 500 index. Since 2012, the Top 10 portfolio has generated an annualized return of +22.78% vs. +13.65% for the S&P 500 index.

Since the start of 2012 through July 31, 2023, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks have produced a cumulative return of +977.47% vs. +340.35% cumulative return for the S&P 500 index.

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