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Beat the Market Like Zacks: Novo Nordisk, Axon, General Mills in Focus

The three most widely followed indexes closed a second straight winning week for the first time since October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.2%, 1.1% and 2.1%, respectively.

Stocks did well earlier in the week on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comment in which he strongly signaled that the central bank would be slowing down its rate hikes. Markets were eagerly awaiting definitive indications from the Fed to this effect ahead of the holiday season.

As the week drew to a close, a hotter-than-expected labor report wiped away some of the gains, sparking a debate on whether the numbers would push the Fed into raising rates yet again by 75 bps in its December meeting. However, investor mood remains upbeat, as December is generally one of the best months of the year for the market.

Regardless of market conditions, we, here at Zacks, provide investors with unbiased guidance on how to beat the market.

As usual, Zacks Research guided investors over the past three months with its time-tested methodologies. Given the prevailing market uncertainty, you may want to look at our feats to prepare better for your next action.

Here are some of our key achievements:

Webster Financial, HF Sinclair Surge Following Zacks Rank Upgrade

Shares of Webster Financial Corporation WBS have surged 17.1% since it was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) on September 23.

Another stock, HF Sinclair Corporation DINO, was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on September 20and has returned 11.8% since then.

Zacks Rank, our short-term rating system, has earnings estimate revisions at its core. Empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

This stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +24.8% since 1988.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here >>>

Check Webster Financial’s historical EPS and Sales here>>>

Check Grupo HF Sinclair’s historical EPS and Sales here>>> 

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Recommendation Upgrade Drives Cactus and Reliance Steel Higher 

Shares of Cactus, Inc. WHD and Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. RS have gained 50.3% and 17.4% since their Zacks Recommendation was upgraded to Outperform on September 28 and September 20, respectively.

While the Zacks Rank is our short-term rating system that is most effective over the one- to three-month holding horizon, the Zacks Recommendation aims to predict performance over the next 6 to 12 months. However, just like the Zacks Rank, the foundation for the Zacks Recommendation is trends in earnings estimate revisions.

The Zacks Recommendation classifies stocks into three groups — Outperform, Neutral and Underperform. While these recommendations are determined quantitatively, our analysts have the flexibility to override them for the 1100+ stocks they closely follow based on their better judgment of factors such as valuation, industry conditions and management effectiveness than the quantitative model.

To access our research reports with Zacks Recommendations for the 1100+ stocks we cover, click here>>>

Zacks Focus List Model Portfolio Axon, Caterpillar Surge Ahead

Shares of Axon Enterprise, Inc. AXON, which belongs to the Zacks Focus List, have surged 53.9% over the past 12 weeks. The stock was added to the Focus List on June 3, 2020. Another Focus-List holding, Caterpillar Inc. CAT, which was added to the portfolio on April 18,2017, has returned 28.9% over the past 12 weeks.

The Zacks Focus List is a model portfolio of 50 hand-picked stocks that possess the right fundamental ingredients to outperform the market over the next 12 months. These 50 stocks are picked from a long list of stocks with the highest Zacks Rank.

Since its inception on February 1, 1996, the Focus List portfolio has delivered an annualized return of +12.9%.

Unlock all of our powerful research, tools and analysis, including the Focus List, Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research Reports, Zacks Earnings ESP Filter, Premium Screener and more, as part of Zacks Premium. Gain full access now >>

Zacks ECAP Stocks Novo Nordisk, AmerisourceBergen Soar

Novo Nordisk A/S NVO, a component of our Earnings Certain Admiral Portfolio (ECAP), jumped 20.1% over the past 12 weeks. AmerisourceBergen Corporation ABC followed Novo Nordisk with 17.9% returns.

ECAP is a model portfolio of 30 concentrated, ultra-defensive, long-term Buy and Hold stocks.

With little to no turnover and annual rebalance periodicity, the ECAP seeks to minimize capital loss by holding shares of companies whose earnings streams exhibit a proven 20+ year track record of surviving recessionary periods with minimal impact on aggregate earnings growth relative to the overall S&P 500.

The ECAP and many other model portfolios are available as part of Zacks Advisor Tools, a cloud-based solution to access Zacks award-winning stock, mutual fund and ETF research. Click here to schedule a demo.

Zacks ECDP Stocks Starbucks, General Mills Outperform Peers

Starbucks Corporation SBUX, which is part of our Earnings Certain Dividend Portfolio (ECDP), has returned 17.4% over the past 12 weeks. Another ECDP stock, General Mills, Inc. GIS, has climbed 14.4% over the same time frame. Of course, the inclination of investors toward quality dividend stocks to secure an income stream amid the heightened market volatility contributed to this performance.

Check Starbucks’ dividend history here>>>

Check General Mills’ dividend history here>>>

With an extremely low Beta and a history of minimum earnings variability over the last 20+ years, this 25-stock portfolio helps significantly mitigate risk. The ECDP has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF NOBL.

Click here to access this portfolio on Zacks Advisor Tools.

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

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Novo Nordisk AS (NVO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) : Free Stock Analysis Report

General Mills, Inc. (GIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (RS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Webster Financial Corporation (WBS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Axon Enterprise, Inc (AXON) : Free Stock Analysis Report

ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL): ETF Research Reports

Cactus, Inc. (WHD) : Free Stock Analysis Report

HF Sinclair Corporation (DINO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research