Best stocks to buy for the week ending Feb. 28, 2014: The S&P 500 Index finished February up 4.3% at 1,859.45, its best month since October and its best February since 1998.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended February 4% higher, trimming year-to-date losses to 1.5%. And the Nasdaq closed out the month up 5%. The tech-heavy index is up 3.2% in 2014 and sits at a 13 1/2-year high.
Five years ago this Sunday, on March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 closed at 676.58, its lowest level since the start of the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, stock returns have more than tripled.
Although stocks are poised to log more gains this year, they're expected to be modest compared to 2013's record run and will be accompanied by greater volatility.
Best Stocks to Buy Now
- We love spin-offs here at Money Morning thanks to the market-beating profit opportunities they offer. Typically our in-house experts make recommendations before separation transactions take place. But Executive Editor William Patalon III is so enthusiastic about this company that he's recommending it now despite the spin-off having already happened. Get the four reasons why this company is positioned to profit from the growing home security solutions market - it's already up 21% in 2014.
- Biotech stocks are on fire this year - the Dow Jones U.S. Biotechnology Index (INDEXDJX: DJUSBT) is up 151.58% year to date. Although investing in a company with a breakthrough drug can reap huge gains, Money Morning Bioscience Investment Strategist Ernie Trembly shared a better strategy: investing in a game-changing technology platform that can fuel a company's entire pipeline. The trick is to get in on these cutting-edge technologies early - and here are three bioscience breakthroughs you can't afford to miss.
- Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson often focuses on obscure, little-known tech companies with big potential. But his current pick is a well-known industrial giant not usually linked to tech. This "special situation" play is getting ready to make a move that's traditionally been a harbinger of hefty gains, and company insiders just picked up thousands of shares of the stock. All this (and more) point to a big winner - and it's currently flying under Wall Street's radar.
- Shares of 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) slipped more than 15% on Feb. 5 after the company reduced its full-year guidance, but when the company reported Q4 earnings on Feb. 28, there was more good news than bad. Fourth-quarter revenue increased 52% over the prior year, and 2013 full-year revenue grew 45% to a record $513.4 million. Since its tumble on Feb. 5, DDD stock has regained the lost ground and then some, up 21.48%. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald feels the stock's rocky start to the month is not a bearish signal for the company in 2014. Get details on 3D Systems' Q4 earnings and all the reasons why the company's future looks strong.
- Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) ran up 17% last week and are up 64% year to date. That follows an astounding 643% rise in 2013. Propelling the stock this week was the company's announcement of a Gigafactory that will increase production of the lithium batteries used in its cars. Also goosing shares was Morgan Stanley, which doubled its price target for TSLA stock from $153 to $350. Find out why there's no telling how high TSLA shares can rise.
- This year's initial public offering (IPO) market is off to its best start since the dot-com heyday. In the first three weeks of February alone, 35 companies launched IPOs, up 75% from the same period a year ago. Investors who got in on winning IPOs early are boasting big gains. Picking winners isn't always straightforward, but there is an optimal way for investors to get in on the action: IPO exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Money Morning highlights two IPO ETFs for trading the IPO market.
- This year's brutal winter, with record low temperatures and snowfall, continues to blast much of the country. The harsh weather has sent demand for natural gas soaring, with prices rising and falling based on meteorological forecasts. But even beyond winter, natural gas stocks remain a lucrative play. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) stock prices are forecast to soar 118% in 2014 compared to 2013, underscoring the huge potential of this sector. Money Morning delivered the company name that tops the list of the best LNG investments, along with the biggest factor pushing LNG share prices higher.
- Gold and silver took it on the chin last year, with the precious metals down 28% and 36% respectively. But things are looking much brighter for both metals, with each up some 10% so far in 2014. Driving gains are a flight to safety amid growing geopolitical tensions, melting emerging markets, and fears of contagion. Additionally, gold and silver have taken up their classic roles as inflationary hedges as questions mount regarding the Fed's commitment to easing its ultra-loose stimulus measures. Find out why more gains from gold are expected, and learn what will keep silver prices surging in 2014.
Today's Top Story for Investors: Double Your Money with Our "High-Tech" GPS