Five years ago, many investors had thrown in the towel. The S&P 500 hit an ominous intraday low of 666 and closed at 676.53. The world was coming to an end, and the last place anybody wanted to be was the stock market. Since that time, the S&P 500 has moved up to an all-time high and shattered the 1,600 double top that confirmed the secular bull market status. Investors that stayed in the market or bought stock on that day are up almost 180% since then.
The question has become, where do we go from here? In a new report out Monday, the analysts at Oppenheimer favor cyclical sectors over defensive sectors, with health care remaining their only favored sector among the defensives. They cite a result of trends tied to the baby boomer generation and improved demand for ethical and over-the-counter health care sector products in emerging and frontier markets as the reason. Consumer discretionary, materials, industrials and technology remain their most favored, along with financials, which they expect to benefit from secular growth trends in both developed and emerging markets.
We wanted to highlight some of their top stocks to buy that fall in the sectors they are positive on going forward.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is a top integrated that Oppenheimer is bullish on. The company has maintained a decent lead in unit upstream profitability. That is figured as net income per barrel of oil equivalent. While the lead is expected to be maintained, many Wall Street analysts are interested in hearing commentary on further improvement due to better project mix. Plus, there is a general sense of malaise around the stock, the kind of malaise that long-term, patient investors building a blue chip portfolio can take advantage of. Oppenheimer and others point out that while they like the stock, they are patient buyers. Investors can scale in partial buys as they build a position. Chevron pays investors a very good 3.5% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $129.28. Chevron closed Friday at $115.08.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has posted three straight solid quarters and has shaken out some of the shorts that started to dog pile the stock for the past year and a half. Short sellers covered almost 10 million shares, or 22.3%, and the question is why they did not cover more. Mobile ad revenues are skyrocketing for the social media giant. It made a gigantic buy to increase its presence in messaging, and almost daily reports state that the company is looking for more new angles to increase its gigantic footprint on the Internet. The target price has been raised at almost every major Wall Street firm we cover. The current consensus target is $70.23, and Facebook closed Friday at $69.80.
Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) is a top consumer discretionary name, and a name to focus on with spring just around the corner. It is also a top housing market winner. CNBC’s Jim Cramer made it one of his target stocks to own for 2014. The continued housing strength, combined with do-it-yourself upgrades, is driving strong earnings for the stock. Investors are paid a 2.3% dividend. The consensus price target is $89.31. Home Depot closed Friday at $82.55.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is one of the top financial names to buy at Oppenheimer. The company may be nearing the end of a very long stretch of losses and penalty payouts. Between mortgage settlements and trading gaffes, the company has taken a PR beating and has still held up well. The mega-cap bank is expected to benefit from commercial loan growth and an upturn in capital spending. Investors are paid a 2.6% dividend. The consensus price target is at $65.45. J.P. Morgan closed Friday at $59.40.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) is a name that seems to go in-and-out of favor about once every two years. The athletic apparel industry is poised to grow this year as more consumers jump on the sportswear-as-everyday apparel bandwagon. The yoga-related athletic wear the company had become famous for is expected to be right in the middle of that growth. Plus an increased focus on marketing to its core base is returning buyers to the stock. The consensus price target for the stock is $59.32. Lululemon closed Friday at $49.61.
Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI) is a stock that is the epitome of the change in information for consumers. After comScore reported that unique visitors to Angie’s List’s website had accelerated last month, reversing a negative seven-month trend, Oppenheimer views the acceleration as “very bullish.” The firm reports that there is a strong correlation between unique visitors and paid memberships, and it thinks the stock is “highly attractive” in comparison with its high-growth Internet peers. The consensus price target is $19.40. Angie’s list closed Friday at $13.23.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) is a stock to buy at Oppenheimer and a potential acquisition target. The Oppenheimer analysts see likely accretive near-term to an acquirer, given $1.5 billion revenues that are big enough to be significant to a bigger company. The consensus target is $184.42. The stock closed Friday at $130.61 a share.
Celldex Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX) focuses on developing therapeutic antibodies, antibody drug conjugates, immune system modulators and vaccines, and was it a top name mentioned last week by Wall Street firms. Investors are interested in Celldex because of the unmet need therapies the company is developing. Celldex is working on drug indications that include therapies for glioblastoma, breast cancer, dense deposit disease and lymphoma. A late 2013 secondary stock offering helped shore up the company coffers. The consensus target is $36.33. Celldex closed Friday at $25.36, down more than 6% last week.
While many on Wall Street are beginning to bring out their bearish theses, the bottom line for investors is 2014 growth is expected to be better than last year. While volatility in the market should remain higher, the investors that stay weighted to stocks rather than bonds, especially U.S. government debt, should continue to do well.