October is almost over. Though the month tends to bring about an end to the typical September lull and kick-starts the usual year-end bullishness, this year, the month has been extraordinarily rough.
The S&P 500 is down roughly 8% for the month and doesn’t look particularly well-positioned for bulls seeking stocks to buy. Nevertheless, doesn’t inherently mean stocks should be avoided. Earnings season is going well — the S&P 500’s third-quarter bottom line is on pace to improve by 29% — and we just learned Q3‘s GDP growth rate is on the order of 3.5%. That’s a backdrop that ultimately bodes well for most stocks, even if you have to shop around for the right entry point.
To that end, here’s a rundown of 5 top stocks to buy in November. In some cases they’re just great stocks that are far too oversold, while in other cases these names have been oddly resilient. Either way, they each merit a closer look as potential additions to your portfolio.
1) Delta Air Lines (DAL)
Shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) have had their ups and downs, but by and large they’ve seen more ups than downs. The rising trading range that has framed the gains since early last year is still intact, and the stock just pushed up and off the lower boundary of that range. There’s some room to run. That’s not the only reason an investor might want to make Delta one of their stocks to buy this month, however. In the most recent long-term market outlook regularly updated by aircraft company Boeing (BA), the organization said demand for air travel would grow at an annual pace of 4.7% for the next 20 years … the best growth pace in decades.
Although the outlook is meant to give current and prospective owners of BA stock a feel for what lies ahead, it bodes just as well for Delta Air Lines, which will be flying the planes that meet that air travel need.
2) Verizon Communications (VZ)
Though peers, rivals and in some regards carbon copies of one another, somehow Verizon Communications (VZ) has managed to distinguish itself from AT&T… in a good way. While AT&T may have bogged itself down with a few too many media acquisitions, Verizon has mostly stuck to what it does best — investing heavily in its own network and capabilities. The fact that it was the first to commercialize 5G connectivity is only a microcosm of its capabilities. More important, investors have finally taken notice in earnest. A long-standing resistance line around $55 was finally broken last week. Though there’s a good chance VZ stock will peel back a little and regroup before moving meaningfully higher, the heavy lifting has been done.
3) Amgen (AMGN)
Though it’s certainly capable of dishing out its harrowing moments, one thing has become clear about Amgen (AMGN) — you never want to bet against it for too long. It has earned a spot among the stocks to buy here and now not despite the 10% tumble since late September, but because of it. That said, it’s not just the repeating “two steps forward, one step back” cycle that makes AMGN a buy here. The biopharma company is one that’s built for sustained, predictable growth.
No one drug accounts for more than one-fourth of Amgen’s sales, and only two drugs make up any more than one-tenth of its revenue. The pipeline’s nicely packed too. Amgen has got nine phase-3 trials underway, and is developing five different biosimilars. It’s not overly dependent on any one drug and has plenty of replacements in store for when it does start to lose patent protection on existing drugs.
4) Coca-Cola (KO)
If you think Coca-Cola (KO) is fighting an uphill battle against the health-minded movement that’s steering consumers away from sugary drinks, think again.
It’s a real headwind, but isn’t blowing harder than the beverage company can handle. Coca-Cola just dished out its third quarter results, reporting that organic sales were up 6%, and that beverage volume was up 2%. Granted, the bulk of its growth came from diet sodas and water, but that’s the point — the company is adapting.
5) Valero Energy (VLO)
Shares of Valero Energy (VLO) have been hammered since early October, plain and simple. The stock’s off to the tune of 25% for the month, and at one point was down even more. It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint the cause for the big setback. It coincided with news that Valero was re-acquiring Valero Energy Partners for nearly a billion dollars, but that may have only been a small part of the selloff if it was a reason at all.
The big loss may have had as much to do with new maritime shipping rules that require the use of cleaner fuels. The pullback also coincides with a distinct, albeit subtle, weakening in the price of crude oil. Whatever the cause(s), the bears arguably overshot. Analysts collectively believe VLO stock is worth nearly $126 per share, which is more than 40% better than its current price.