Best Stocks to Buy: How to Play 2014's Most Lucrative Trends Now

Every week we highlight the best stocks to buy and the newest profit opportunities that no one else is telling you about. Here's what we covered last week.

Best stocks to buy for the week ending Feb. 14, 2014: All three major benchmarks neared record highs last week, posting their biggest weekly gains of 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.3% to end the week at 16,154.39. The S&P 500 Index tacked on 2.3% to 1,838.63 - within spitting distance of its 1,848.38 record close. The Nasdaq rose 2.9% to 4,244.03, its highest level in 13.5 years.

But the best gains came from precious metals. Concerns about a flagging U.S. economy ignited renewed interest in gold and silver as reluctantly bullish investors hedged their bets.

With both markets and metals on the rise, here is our Money Morning roundup of the best stocks to buy now and investing tips to profit from these moves.

Best Stocks to Buy Now

  • "Miracle materials" bring to mind advanced composites and discoveries like graphene, but materials science also involves using existing materials in innovative ways. One such material is essential to an industry projected to be worth $64 billion by the end of 2017 - a 50% increase over 2012. And Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson has discovered a company poised to profit from it. Its shares are up roughly 85% since its IPO in 2012 - but Robinson still sees plenty of upside. Shares are trading at a discount due to a recent sell-off - for now. Don't miss this "miracle material" bargain.
  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is firing on all cylinders. Shares are up 387% since the start of 2013, and the stock is up nearly 18% so far in 2014. While Netflix shares are getting pricey - they hit a record high of $439.35 Thursday - there's no sign of the stock slowing down. NFLX continues to add exclusive content and is changing the way consumers watch television. But according to Robinson, it's this new technology that's the biggest reason to bet on NFLX in 2014.

  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China's largest e-commerce company, will go public soon in one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in years. Investment banks have valued Alibaba at as much as $150 billion, making it the third-largest Internet company behind Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and (Nasdaq: AMZN). While the exact debut date is unknown, shares are expected start trading by the end of Q1. But you don't have to wait to profit - Robinson has found an even better way to invest in China's e-commerce boom before the Alibaba IPO hits the market.
  • Stocks got off to a rocky start this year, but a select group of liquefied natural gas (LNG) stocks have logged robust year-to-date returns - including one that surged 20%. The outlook for LNG stocks remains bright thanks to increased global demand and the high number of export facilities awaiting approval to begin construction in the United States. Last week Money Morning featured five LNG stocks that widely outperformed the markets in January, in addition to the top LNG shipping stocks to buy now.
  • Gold is up more than 10% this year after falling 28% in 2013 and posting its first annual loss in 13 years. One way to profit from the yellow metal's rise is by investing in physical gold; another is to invest in gold stocks like gold miners, royalty companies, and exchange-traded funds. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth shares which gold stocks are best suited to each investor's risk level and what he believes is the single best gold stock to buy now.
  • Private Briefing Executive Editor William Patalon III is proud of the fact that we don't follow Wall Street's lead here at Money Morning. But we're happy when Wall Street follows ours, as was the case last week after he recommended the "Ultimate MacGyver Stock." Patalon even joked that Wall Street players would love to bug our phones and get Money Map Press' exclusive research before it's released. Find out which of Patalon's stock picks got a boost from a recent Wells Fargo upgrade - and why it's headed even higher.
  • Investing in experimental drugs is tricky. New drugs must pass through a regulatory gauntlet that includes at least three phases of clinical testing, and assumptions regarding Food and Drug Administration approval (or denial) can make biotech stocks highly volatile. Money Morning BioScience Investment Specialist Ernie Tremblay shares which types of drugs are most likely to fail during the regulatory process - and when the odds are in your favor. Here's how to bypass the pitfalls to major profits in bioscience.

Insurance-related costs can put a massive dent in your wallet, and some are unavoidable. But here are two ways you can convert those costs into profits.