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Money Morning's best stocks to buy last week focused on key earnings reports, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and the continued climb of market indexes.
Markets closed out October - a month haunted by the specters of the 1929 and 1987 crashes - with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 3.6% and the S&P 500 higher by 5.4%. Year to date, the indexes are up 19.7% and 24.2% respectively.
The S&P has enjoyed some 34 record closes thus far in 2013, the most since 1999. Tech stocks are also enjoying 1999-like growth, as investors bid up shares of sector leaders like Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), LinkedIn Inc. (NYSE: LNKD), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), and Yelp Inc. (Nasdaq: YELP).
But we all remember the bubble that burst in 1999. That means you can't dive in to the bull market without knowing which stocks are most at risk, and which ones are winners.
To help our readers prepare for any coming volatility, Money Morning has gathered the best stocks to buy now and investment strategies that we shared last week. Here's our recap:
- 3D printing is a fairly new technology with a host of fun and exciting applications. But according to Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, 4D printing is more than just "gee-whiz!" novelties. Think machines that assemble themselves, bridges that self-manufacture from a pile of parts, and medical applications that instinctively adapt to individual patients' needs. 4D printing will eventually "change the role of labor and the consumption of energy on a truly global scale." Fitz-Gerald discusses two segments that hold immediate-term potential and lists five companies worth watching in 4D Printing Potential Makes Me Drool.
- Obamacare drama took center stage last week as lawmakers on Capitol Hill drilled Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius over the healthcare overhaul's website launch debacle. While the president's team is working feverishly to rectify the situation, working out the kinks will require at least several weeks, a timeline that remains questionable. "Ironically, this embarrassment might have been avoided altogether had the HHS used the services of a fast-moving, small-cap leader with deep expertise in this field," said Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson. The company builds government websites that run flawlessly and is a stock investors should keep an eye on. Find out how to profit here.
- Barron's recently projected a downright dismal rate of growth for the U.S. economy over the next 20 years, at less than 2% per year, and technological innovation will continue to displace middle-class jobs. One industry, however, will benefit greatly and could add $1.7 trillion per year to the U.S. economy by 2030. This industry is human talent development, tasked with outfitting workers with the skills needed to reshape the economy. Money Morning showcases two stocks to buy now to profit from this industry.
One of the stocks is a darling of the tech industry - and the dark horse of social media - LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD). Money Morning's Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson is bullish on the professional networking site, too. He makes a very compelling case for why LNKD will continue to climb higher.
- A new revolution is changing the way consumers pay for products ranging from coffee to electronics. Mobile payment applications are now a global phenomenon. According to eMarketer, the industry is expected to swell to $58 billion by 2017. With consumers increasingly doing more and more with their mobile devices, the number of retail companies expected to adopt new payments systems is poised to surge. Money Morning features five stocks to buy now to join the mobile payment revolution.
- Bigger isn't always better. When it comes to stocks, investors can miss out on some great opportunities if they pass up the little guys in favor of big stocks. Although large-cap stocks are having a good year, small caps are trading near record highs. Latest numbers show the large-cap S&P 500 is up 24.2% since January, yet the small-cap-concentrated Russell 2000 has returned 27.4% in the same period. Bloomberg reports Russell 2000 companies are beating estimates at twice the rate of the Dow, a trend expected to accelerate next year. Money Morning shares some small-cap companies with big potential in Why Bigger Isn't Better Right Now.
- Washington's wrangling over the country's budget, the debt ceiling, and the nation's swollen balance sheet has left scars. Standard & Poor's trimmed its credit rating on the United States one notch to AA+, Fitch placed America's AAA credit rating on watch, and Chinese credit rating agency DaGong recently downgraded it. That leaves only eight countries with stellar triple-A credit ratings from the four major agencies: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany. Money Morning shows readers how to invest in these AAA-rating countries without ever leaving home.