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5 Top-Ranked Stocks Pushing S&P 500 to 2023 Peak

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After several twists and turns, the S&P 500 set a record high of 2023, extending its blockbuster November rally. With the latest surge, the benchmark quickly erased its steep drop seen in the summer and has gained nearly 20% so far this year. The rally was driven by optimism that the Fed is done with interest rate hikes, which has pushed the Treasury yields down and rekindled investors’ risk-on trade. Yields on U.S. Treasuries saw the biggest monthly drop since 2008.

The gains were broad-based across various segments and many stocks in the S&P 500 have gained more than 75% this year. We have highlighted five stocks that have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), a Momentum Score of B or better and saw positive earnings estimate revisions for the current fiscal year over the past 30 days, suggesting continued outperformance. These are Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) , Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL - Free Report) , Arista Networks Inc. (ANET - Free Report) , ServiceNow Inc. (NOW - Free Report) , and (AMZN - Free Report) . You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

There is a growing confidence among investors that the Fed might be nearing the end of its rate hike cycle. This optimism was further fueled by comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank could cut rates starting in March. According to CME’s FedWatch tool, traders are pricing in a 70% chance for a rate cut by the U.S. central bank by next March. The latest round of data points has also strengthened the idea that the Fed is done with rate hikes.

A significant portion of the S&P 500's gains can be attributed to the strong performance of a group of large-cap stocks, referred to as the "Magnificent Seven." This group, comprising Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Meta Platforms and Tesla, has seen significant stock gains from 47% to 220% so far this year. The perceived safety of these investments, their sizes, competitive advantages and the potential of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence have been the key factors driving their performances.

Further, better-than-expected earnings added to the strength. Earnings growth for the S&P 500 index, which was negative for each of the preceding three quarters, turned positive in the third quarter of 2023.

Best Stocks of S&P 500

Nvidia is the worldwide leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of graphic processing unit or GPU. The stock skyrocketed 220% this year. It has seen a solid earnings estimate revision of $1.43 for the fiscal year ending January 2024 over the past 30 days, and has an estimated growth of 264.4%.

Nvidia currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A.

Royal Caribbean is a cruise company that owns and operates three global brands — Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. The stock soared 124% and saw a solid earnings estimate revision of 13 cents over the past 30 days for this year, with an estimated earnings growth rate of 187.9%.

Royal Caribbean sports a Zacks Rank #1 at present and has a Growth Score of B.

Arista Networks is engaged in providing cloud networking solutions for data centers and cloud computing environments. The company offers 10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and routers optimized for next-generation data center networks. The stock surged nearly 78% this year.

Arista Networks saw a positive earnings estimate revision of 4 cents for this year and has an earnings growth rate of 43%. It has a Zacks Rank #2 and a solid Growth Score of B.

ServiceNow provides cloud computing services that automate digital workflows to accelerate enterprise IT operations. The stock soared nearly 78% in 2023. It has seen a positive earnings estimate revision of four cents over the past 30 days for this year, with an estimated earnings growth rate of 37.5%.

ServiceNow has a Zacks Rank #2.

Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce providers, with sprawling operations in North America, now spreading across the globe. It has gained 75% and has an estimated earnings growth of 276.1% for this year.

Amazon has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A.

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