best stocks to buy now
Last price15,179.80Prev Close15,070.20
Day Low15,078.70Day High15,261.70
52 Wk Low12,938.1052 Wk High15,409.40
When considering stocks to buy, sometimes cheaper (and smaller) is better.
Most retail investors are better off taking a pass on those splashy household names and looking for stocks to buy that go for more modest prices - stocks that trade for less than five bucks a share.
Stocks trading for $5 or less often are considered riskier, but offer more upside than their bigger, pricier brethren.
That's because stocks of small companies are less liquid and more volatile relative to the rest of the market. Typically, their prices tend to be move in bigger chunks, making for bigger gains (or losses).
Simply put, these stocks can provide more bang for your buck.
Here's what you need to know...
Why Income Investors Will Love These Preferred Stocks to Buy Now
If you're looking for new types of stocks to buy now to ramp up your portfolio yield, have you considered preferred stocks?
Preferred stocks ("preferreds") trade like regular stock but they are more like bonds in that they provide a higher fixed-dividend payment than their common stock counterparts and they generally have less upside potential.
They're called "preferred" because they have higher claim on the assets and earnings of the company.
Preferred stocks are an oft-overlooked option for snagging income in today's yield-challenged markets, but several preferred stocks in industries like banking, real estate and energy can bring stability to a portfolio. And preferred stocks that have been issued recently in this lower rate environment can provide better value.
How the Stock Market Today is Following Up Friday's Big Rally
Investors took a breather in the stock market today after driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average 207.5 points higher on Friday.
Friday saw the Dow's second-biggest gain of 2013, after investors cheered a "Goldilocks" jobs report: not too hot, not too cold. For the week, the Dow added 132.55 points, or 0.88%.
There was plenty of news to sway the stock market today despite its muted open.
The world's largest credit rating agency Standard & Poor's boosted its credit outlook for the United States to "stable" from "negative" and reduced the threat of further downgrades.
Citing receding fiscal risks, S&P said the chance of a ratings downgrade is now "less than one in three."
"It was a quite shocking event for the markets when the U.S. was downgraded to negative, so to have that rating repaired is meaningful," Lawrence Creaturea, a Rochester, NY-based manager at Federated Investors Inc. told Bloomberg News. "Economic data has been improving gradually and S&P's upgrade is a recognition of that."
Overseas news was mixed.
A Huge LNG Energy Boom Has Begun
Oh, the law of unintended consequences and the opportunities it brings.
Thanks to the new standard of Keynesian Abenomics, the Nikkei has blasted 47% higher since November. The Yen has lost about 25% against the U.S. dollar in the same time.
While we don't know what the future will hold for these trends, there's something else going on that will not fade quickly: The weak Yen has made imports to Japan a whole lot more expensive...including energy.
Since the Fukishima-Daiichi nuclear disasters in March 2011, Japan has compensated for its offline nuclear power plants by importing copious amounts of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). It was the fastest way to keep electricity output stable in an economy reliant on non-domestic energy suppliers.
Energy now accounts for about one-third of all Japanese imports. In March, those imports were valued at $17 billion Yen for the month. The following month, that number hit $22 billion.
Not surprisingly, in April Japan set a new record for spending on LNG imports. To be sure, a foundering Yen has contributed greatly. But this nation built on exports needs to keep the lights on. If all of Japan's nuclear plants were up and running at capacity, they'd supply 30% of the country's electricity needs. Instead, they account for just 2%.
And Japan is not alone.
Stocks to Buy Now: Two Companies with Strong Insider Buying
Tracking insider buying and selling activity has been proven to be a very effective method of finding good stocks to buy.
Insiders usually buy when the stock price is down, since they are usually long-term investors by nature and are fond of bargain prices.
When they are buying into shares on the rise - especially when they're hitting 52-week highs - it demonstrates a high amount of confidence in the direction of the company they oversee and operate.
All insider activity is filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, so interested investors can easily find out which stocks insiders love - and which ones they're dumping.
Tracking activity can be done using a stock screener like finviz.com, that lists the stock, the buyer's name, relationship to the company, date of sale, number of shares and total value.
This week we have a couple more stocks hitting our radar with high insider buying, making good stocks to buy now if you like to invest where the key officers put their money. Take a look.
How to Invest in the U.S. Natural Gas Revolution
It's no secret America has been in the midst of a natural gas revolution.
The technological advancement of fracking is causing nothing less than a full on shale boom, opening up amazing new profit opportunities if you know how to invest in natural gas - which I'll get to later.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), shale's share of U.S. oil & gas production will soar over the next 20 years. By 2035, the agency expects as much as 25% of U.S. oil and 50% of U.S. gas production will come from this source alone.
Thanks to the complexity and time involved, fracking a well is expensive, with costs running up to $10 million per well. It also requires a lot of room, a number of vehicles, and sophisticated and powerful equipment to get the job done.
But finding, drilling, and production costs are coming down as efficiencies are being gained. And this phenomenon will accelerate the rate at which supply hits the market.
Since late 2010, the time to drill a Bakken well has fallen dramatically - from 36 to 22 days currently.
Two Turnaround Stocks to Buy Now that Most Investors Will Miss
One style of investing that is underutilized by most investors hunting for stocks to buy is picking up "turnarounds."
You see, we all know investors who have gotten caught up with buying what is popular, at the height of its popularity. The Peter Lynch adage about buying what you know has investors chasing stocks like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) or Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU) because they like the products regardless of valuation.
Buying stocks of companies that have experienced serious problems and fallen out of favor with Wall Street requires more work and attention than just buying the stocks talked about on TV or around the office - but it can be far more lucrative as well.
A stock that recovers from operational of financial difficulties can soar in price over a few years.
Two Natural Gas Stocks to Buy Now Before the Transportation Revolution
Exploration and drilling for oil in America's newfound shale fields has unleashed a game-changing byproduct - enormous pools of natural gas that could meet the nation's energy needs for the next century.
In fact, the discoveries are so colossal they're set to rattle energy markets around the planet.
"North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world," the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its 2013 medium-term report.
But the first place to feel the effects will be right here at home.
You see, the supply surge will spur a massive switch away from smog-belching diesel engines to clean-burning, natural gas-powered vehicles.
How to Find the Best Undervalued Stocks to Buy Now
When looking for the best undervalued stocks to buy now, you can't just consider those that have lagged the broader market.
Many companies that are down for the year in what has been a strong stock market have declined for solid reason and the near and intermediate-term outlook is still weak.
While there is a tendency for these undervalued stocks to eventually revert to the mean, you can increase your odds of a successful contrarian investment by selecting those that are also cheap on one important valuation measure.
Why Insiders Love these Stocks to Buy Now
One of the most powerful positive indicators of stocks to buy is insider buying by officers and directors of a publicly traded corporation.
There is often a good reason why an insider buys stock in the company he works for and it is the same reason you and I buy a stock: He or she thinks it is going to go higher in the months and years ahead.
The big difference is that insiders know more about the direction and finances of the company and are in a better position to make an informed decision. Both research and practice shows that following the insiders often leads to excess profits.
Following insiders when deciding on stocks to buy has been a reliable approach to selecting investments over the years.