Merrill Lynch Gets More Bullish on 8 Top Stocks

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Having a long-term perspective on the market is generally a good idea. It’s better to look past what could be a rocky path in the short-term if gains can be realized down the road. On principle, Merrill Lynch created a list just last year of stocks that it thinks will outperform in the longer term.

Just recently, Merrill Lynch updated its Bull Trenders List and added a few new companies into the mix. 24/7 Wall St. has taken a quick look at these companies and added some additional color.

For some background: Bull Trenders is Merrill Lynch’s technical analysis best long ideas list, which was introduced in September 2016. This list identifies its most technically favored Buy- or Neutral-rated stocks in the S&P 1500. The goal of this list is to outperform the S&P 500 over the long term. When selecting stocks for the Bull Trenders List, the brokerage firm relies on both absolute and relative trends (versus the S&P 500 or any other benchmark) and looks for confirmation and sometimes divergences between the two.

AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC) sources and distributes pharmaceutical products in the United States and abroad. The company has a total market cap of $20.3 billion. Shares were trading at $93.03 on Monday, with a consensus analyst price target of $93.07 and a 52-week trading range of $68.38 to $94.50.

American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) sells and provides insurance products for commercial, institutional and individual customers in the United States, Europe and Japan. AIG has a market cap of $59.2 billion. The stock was recently trading at $63.99, with a 52-week range of $48.41 to $67.47 and a consensus price target of $68.80.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (NYSE: HII) is known for designing, building and repairing ships in the United States. The company has a market cap of $8.8 billion. Shares were changing hands at $191.42, with a consensus price target of $210.42 and a 52-week range of $146.52 to $220.68.

Henry Schein Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC) provides health care products and services across a wide spectrum. It has a total addressable market cap of $14.7 billion. Its shares were trading at $185.45, with a consensus analyst target of $183.92 and a 52-week range of $146.23 to $186.71.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is one of the largest cigarette manufacturers in the United States. Shares of Altria traded at $75.01, with a 52-week range of $60.82 to $76.55 and a consensus price target of $74.31. The market cap is $144.9 billion.

Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) is the bank holding company for Synovus Bank, which provides various financial products and services. Shares were last seen at $41.63, with a consensus price target of $44.50 and a 52-week range of $26.90 to $44.09. Synovus has a market cap of $5.1 billion.

Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) operates as a utility company that deals in North and South America. The company has a market cap of $29.5 billion. The stock was trading at $117.44, with a consensus price target of $119.27 and a 52-week range of $92.95 to $117.92.

United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) operates one of the largest airlines in the United States and provides service across the globe. Shares of United Continental were trading at $81.76, with a consensus price target of $86.38 and a 52-week range of $37.41 to $83.04. It has a market cap of $25.3 billion.