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Stock market volatility: Here's a large-cap worth a closer look

Michael Green

Shares in Relx (LON:REL) are currently trading at 1788 but the question for investors is how much the market chaos of 2020 will impact on its price.

The answer comes down to judging whether Relx is well placed to ride out economic shocks and market volatility. To do that, you have to look at its profile to see where its strengths lie.  

Relx is a major player in the market's Professional Information Services sector. The good news is that it scores well against some important financial and technical measures. In particular, it has strong exposure to two influential drivers of investment returns: high quality and strong momentum.

Here is why that's is important...

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Why quality stocks pay off

When it comes to stock analysis, company quality tends to show up in high profitability and strong industry-leading margins. These kinds of firms are stable, growing and often have accelerating sales and earnings. They also have strong and improving financial histories with no signs of accountancy or bankruptcy risk.

One of the stand out quality metrics for Relx is its 5-year Return on Capital Employed, which is a solid 23.0%. Good, double-digit ROCEs are a pointer to companies that can grow very profitably.

Harnessing the power of momentum

Positive momentum trends show up in share prices and earnings growth. You can find the clues in stocks that are trading close to their 52 week high prices and outperforming the market. They’ll often be beating broker estimates and getting forecast upgrades and recommendation changes.

This is true at Relx, where the share price has seen a 29.7% return relative to the market over the past 12 months. Market volatility and economic uncertainty can be a major drag on momentum, but previously strong stocks can be quick to recover when confidence returns.

In summary, good quality and momentum are pointers to some of the best stocks on the strongest uptrends. This combination of factors can be a clue to finding shares that can deliver solid investment profits over many years. 

In good times, these shares can become expensive to buy. But in volatile markets, there may be chances to buy them at knock-down prices.

Find the strongest shares in the stock market

Finding good quality stocks with strong momentum behind them is a strategy used by some of the world's most successful investors. If you want to find more shares that meet these rules, you can see a comprehensive list on Stockopedia's StockRanks page.