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5 Must-Buy S&P 500 Stocks at 52-Week High With Room to Run

U.S. stock markets have maintained their northbound journey in the first half of 2024 after an impressive 2023. The three major stock indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — have gained a respective 3.8%, 15.4% and 20% year to date and 1.2%, 4.7% and 5.9% month to date.

On Jun 20, Wall Street’s broad-market index — the S&P 500 — achieved a milestone breaching the key technical barrier of 5,500 for the first time in history. The benchmark recorded an all-time high of 5,505.35, before closing at 5,473.17. The S&P 500 Index has posted 32 record-highs so far this year.

Favorable Macroeconomic Scenario

After showing stickiness in the first quarter, various measures of inflation have once again shown favorable data in recent months. Peak inflation is far behind us. The labor market remains resilient.

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The global supply-chain system has been restoring slowly since last year as U.S. corporate behemoths are rescheduling their supply-chain system’s bypassing of China. The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain firm despite record-high inflation and interest rate.

On Jun 12, in his post-FOMC meeting statement, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated one rate cut of 25 basis points this year and a full 1% cut in 2025. The performance of high-growth sectors like technology and interest rate are inversely related. Thus, a low interest rate regime will boost this sector.

Meanwhile, several S&P 500 stocks are currently at 52-week highs. Investment in these stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank should be fruitful in the near future.

Our Top Picks

We have narrowed our selection to five S&P 500 stocks currently trading at 52-week highs. Despite a decent rally, these stocks still have more room for growth over the rest of 2024. These stocks have seen positive earnings estimate revisions in the last 30 days. Finally, each of our picks carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks year to date.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

NVIDIA Corp. NVDA reported blockbuster first-quarter fiscal 2025 revenues of $26.04 billion, up a whopping 262% year over year, and marking the third straight quarter of growth in excess of 200%. Adjusted earnings per share were $6.12 compared to $1.09 a year ago. NVDA expects sales of $28 billion in the fiscal second quarter, above the current consensus estimate of $26.6 billion.

NVDA expects its next-generation AI chip, called Blackwell, to be its upcoming driver. These chips will be available in data centers in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2025. On Jun 2, NVDA unveiled its new AI chip architecture called “Rubin.”

The Rubin architecture will have new GPUs to launch AI systems, CPUs and networking chips. It will also have new features like a central processor called “Vera”. Rubin is set to be introduced in 2026.

Zacks Rank #1 NVIDIA has an expected revenue and earnings growth rate of 92.6% and more than 100%, respectively, for the current year (ending January 2025). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.1% over the last 30 days.

Walmart Inc. WMT has been gaining from its highly diversified business with contributions from various segments, channels and formats. WMT has been benefiting from an increase in in-store and digital channel traffic due to its robust omnichannel initiatives. Store-fulfilled delivery sales jumped 50% in the first quarter of fiscal 2025.

Walmart’s strategic focus on enhancing delivery services has also been rewarding, as evidenced by the constant increase in the market share for groceries. Upsides like these, along with growth in the advertising business, fueled WMT’s first-quarter results and led to an encouraging fiscal 2025 view.

Zacks Rank #2 Walmart has an expected revenue and earnings growth rate of 4.2% and 9%, respectively, for the current year (ending January 2025). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 2.5% over the last 30 days.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG is benefiting from its digital efforts, Chipotlane add-ons and marketing initiatives. This along with strength in digital sales and new restaurant openings, has been driving CMG. Also, a strong comparable restaurant sales growth bodes well.

For 2024, CMG anticipates comps growth in the mid to high-single-digit range, driven by its transaction growth and strong comps growth trends. CMG intends to focus on the stage-gate process and leverage digital programs to expand access and convenience.

Zacks Rank #2 Chipotle Mexican Grill has an expected revenue and earnings growth rate of 15% and 23.3%, respectively, for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.1% over the last 30 days.

Motorola Solutions Inc. MSI expects to record strong demand across video security and services, land mobile radio products, and related software while benefiting from a solid foundation. In addition, MSI is likely to benefit from a record backlog, which further exemplifies the strength of its portfolio.

MSI expects a healthy growth momentum in the near term owing to solid demand trends. Consequently, MSI has raised its earlier guidance for 2024 with improvement in both operating segments.

Zacks Rank #2 Motorola Solutions has an expected revenue and earnings growth rate of 7.1% and 9.5%, respectively, for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.3% over the last 30 days.

Bank of America Corp.’s BAC net interest income (NII) will likely be positively impacted in the current high-rate regime. We expect NII to fall slightly in 2024 and then rise in 2025 and 2026. BAC’s opening of financial centers in new and existing markets and improved digital capabilities will support its top line.

We project total revenues of BAC to grow 2.3% this year. While capital market activity has improved of late, the challenging macroeconomic environment might once again weigh on the investment banking business.

Zacks Rank #2 Bank of America has an expected revenue and earnings growth rate of 2.8% and 9.4%, respectively, for next year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next-year earnings has improved 0.3% over the last 30 days.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Bank of America Corporation (BAC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Walmart Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research