2018 Laggards May Be Big 2019 Winners: 5 Stocks to Buy Now

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Needless to say, the pressure on the markets due to trade issues was surely relieved as President Trump and President Xi of China came to an agreement at the G20 summit to temporarily halt tariff increases and to work on finding lasting solutions to everything from tariffs to intellectual property. The good thing for investors is that the recent selling during October and November has made some areas of the market incredibly attractive.

A new Jefferies research report notes that sectors that have lagged the S&P 500 this year most notably are the autos, banks, housing and materials stocks. Some of the top companies in those areas could provide investors with some solid stock picks for 2019. The report noted this data point:

Looking back to 1990, the six worst-performing industry groups in January to November have tended to outperform by 92 basis points in December to May, not a huge number, but at least the bleeding tends to stop.

While not a huge number, less than 1%, it makes sense to look in the rubble and see if there are some companies that could achieve outsized gains over the next six months. The Jefferies analysts provided 21 stocks to choose from, all are rated Buy. We picked the five that look to have among the best potential upside.

Broadcom

This stock has been crushed over the past two months and is a top value play now at Jefferies. Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) has an extensive semiconductor product portfolio that addresses applications within the wired infrastructure, wireless communications, enterprise storage and industrial end markets.

Applications for Broadcom’s products in its end markets include data center networking, home connectivity, broadband access, telecommunications equipment, smartphones and base stations, data center servers and storage, factory automation, power generation and alternative energy systems and displays.

Top Wall Street analysts like the leadership in the mobile, data center and broadband markets, and especially in the radio frequency (RF) arena. Many on Wall Street see a cyclical rebound in industrial and communications demand.

Broadcom investors are paid a 2.97% dividend. Jefferies has a $278 price target on the shares, and the Wall Street consensus price target is $288.74. The stock closed Monday’s trading at $242.07 a share.

Ford

This is another solid value play now, and demand could jump with a trade deal with China paving the way. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is one of the world’s largest vehicle producers, with over 6 million units manufactured and sold globally. The company has made significant progress executing on its One Ford plan and delivering best-in-class vehicles.

The company also remains committed to positioning itself well within the evolving auto industry through balanced investments across electrification, autonomy and mobility services.

A stronger mix of trucks and sport utility vehicles increased Ford’s overall average transaction pricing, hitting a new record of $37,000 in November, a $1,600 increase over last year. This compares to a $780 increase across the board for all vehicles. Overall, Ford Expedition sales increased 7.9% last month with 4,264 SUVs sold. At the retail level, Expedition sales grew at a faster pace of 17.7%.

Shareholders of Ford are paid an outstanding 6.38% dividend, though it has the potential to be cut going forward. Jefferies has a $16 price target, and the posted consensus price target is much lower at $9.89. The shares closed at $9.60 on Monday.