Best stocks to buy for the week ending Nov. 15, 2013: The markets continue to shatter records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average logged a sixth week of gains last week, closing at 15,961.70, and opened this week by topping 16,000 for the first time in history. And the S&P 500 Index hit 1,800 on Monday, Nov. 18, also a first.
Stocks, bonds, and commodities all benefited last week from confirmation hearings for Janet Yellen, slated to become the next head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Yellen could be confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee as early as this week, and her confirmation will be bullish for markets.
There's been no shortage of lucrative opportunities for investors this year with markets hitting record highs. But with some stocks trading at lofty levels, finding the most reliable ones is the challenge.
Every week Money Morning meets that challenge, hand-picking the best stocks to buy now and the best investing moves to make. Here's a recap from last week:
- Janet Yellen's debut performance before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs last Thursday may have inadvertently pointed investors toward the best profit opportunities in the ongoing financial asset bubble. "The bottom line is that Janet Yellen is even more dovish than Ben Bernanke," says Money Morning Chief Investment strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "We're looking at zero level interest rates to continue well into 2014, possibly even into 2016." Yellen's testimony revealed the biggest beneficiaries of continued quantitative easing - find out what (and who) they are, and how to best profit from them.
- It wasn't a great surprise when the dovish Yellen reiterated her intentions to keep interest rates low and the monetary spigots wide open. And loose monetary policies will inevitably lead to trouble down the road. "We all know that, so long as the Fed keeps the printing presses on, the risk of a worldwide currency crisis gets even higher," Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth says. The timeless hedge in such a scenario, Krauth explains, is gold. He makes a solid case for why gold will eventually reclaim its historic role as money in "Democratize Gold and Give the Government a Black Eye."
- Demand for platinum is on track to reach record highs this year. The precious metal is used for everything from catalytic converters to laboratory equipment to electrodes to dentistry equipment to jewelry. Because only a few hundred tons are produced annually, it's a scarce and valuable commodity. Indeed, the platinum market this year is moving toward the largest deficit since 1999. Money Morning shows readers how they can profit from the surging demand in platinum. Some of the best stocks to buy now can be found here.
- Last week, online retailers in China launched promotional sales to mark Singles Day. Singles Day is a version of Valentine's Day for people without partners, and for online retailers, the event has evolved into the biggest shopping day of the year. Alibaba, China's largest online shopping company, processed more than $5.75 billion in its online payment system last Monday - a record for a single day anywhere in the world. The tally surpassed, by two and a half times, the total for American retailers last year on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday). Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined FOX Business News and explained why investors should keep a close eye on Alibaba, which they'll soon be able to get a piece of. China's largest e-commerce company is expected to go public in 2014.
- "That art is not in making money, but in keeping it," as the old saw goes. Undeniably, that's the goal of all investors. Money Morning Global Investing & Income Strategist Robert Hsu has shared a number of ways readers can grow and hold on to their hard-earned money. Last week, he described his favorite kind of money, including three things he loves about it: It grows every year, it only gets taxed once, and it's "lean" (sensitive to costs and retention). Few investments give you all three of these monetary benefits, but Hsu found five such investments that fit the bill. You can find them here.
- Pharmaceutical and biotech mergers and acquisitions is on pace for its best year for non-mega merger deals since 2010. The result has been healthy profits for investors in drug stocks. An example of this vigorous trend occurred last Monday when Shire PLC (Nasdaq: SHPG) inked a $4.2 billion cash deal for Pennsylvania-based ViroPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: VPHM). The $50 per share purchase price represents a 64% premium to ViroPharma's price before rumors of a possible deal surfaced months ago. Fundamentals for deal making in the sector remain strong. Money Morning featured two pharmaceutical companies that are likely targets - get in on them now for big gains.
- In a move that will dramatically alter the way physicians treat high cholesterol, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new treatment guidelines last week calling for a focus on risk factors as opposed to just cholesterol levels. As a result, the number of people prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, is expected to soar. Money Morning highlighted four drug stocks positioned to benefit from the new guidelines.
What's Behind the Recent Surge in Bitcoin Prices? Find out here.