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All eyes are on "battleground states" as they race to tally up all their mail-in votes - which could take days, according to the latest reports. Eventually, we will have an answer, but the uncertainty hasn't slowed down the stock market one bit.
The Dow has raced 5% higher this week, and it could be on track to head even higher as we get more clarity on who won.
If you've been keeping your powder dry in these uncertain markets, then right now could be an excellent time to jump in.
As investors, the best action now is to focus on companies that will deliver outstanding returns no matter what the politicians do next year.
Today I'm giving you three stocks we're buying now because of their solid long-term potential, no matter what we learn about who will be in Washington for the next four years.
Cybersecurity Stocks Will Always Be in Demand
Cybersecurity is not going to stop being a problem after this election. Cybercrooks are not going to take so much as a day off from their criminal activities. Denial of service and ransomware attacks are going to keep happening. Data will be pilfered and identities stolen no matter who sits in what office in Washington, D.C.
Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) is a leader in cybersecurity software. Although it was initially in the firewall business, it is currently transitioning into the much higher margin software as a service subscription model. These models will help protect cloud computing operations. Much of the world is shifting into the cloud, and Palo Alto is uniquely situated to protect both physical and cloud-based businesses.
Palo Alto's full product line now includes firewall appliances, virtual firewalls, endpoint protection, cloud security, and cybersecurity analytics.
Cybercrime is going to be a perpetual threat and, unfortunately, a leading growth industry. It is also extremely difficult to police as the corks can be anywhere. Cybercriminals can be anyone from hackers in a garage anywhere in the world to a fully funded government operation.
Palo Alto Networks is a market leader and has shown that it can adapt and change as the criminals change. It will remain a market leader in what will be one of the fastest-growing segments of the technology markets.
Cloud Computing Stocks Are Leading Tech
Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is going to benefit from all the rapid changes we have seen this year, especially remote work trends. In fact, it's one of the leading cloud computing stocks on the market.
Microsoft Azure is allowing businesses of all sizes to learn how to move their business, or some of their business, onto the cloud. That will be required as work from home is with us to stay, and moving to at least a hybrid cloud model will be a requirement for many businesses around the world.
Microsoft has a huge presence in the physical server market, so it already has a relationship with the decision-makers in many cases. That makes Azure the easy decision for chief information officers looking to move to a hybrid or even a full cloud business model.
With 54 locations around the world, Azure has the largest data center network in the world. Many countries require local data storage, which gives Azure a competitive advantage over some potential competitors.
Azure just brought in $35.7 billion in Q1 revenue for Microsoft on 48% growth. As cloud computing grows, Microsoft's Azure will be leading the pack.
Plus, Microsoft still has a mortal lock on office software with its Office suite of software products, giving it an edge as businesses shift toward cloud solutions.
A combination of an office software monopoly, a fast-growing cloud computing business, and a slow transition to the subscription-based software and platform as a service model should keep Microsoft shareholders very happy regardless of who is in power for the next few years in Washington.
Home Building Will Soar in 2021
The election will not change the demand for new homes we have seen emerge in 2020 either. We didn't have enough new homes in the United States before the pandemic began, and the increase in demand has made the situation worse.
A unique combination of a virus that spreads quickly in a densely populated area, working and learning from home during the lockdown, and civil unrest in big cities has created a surge in housing demand, especially in suburbs and exurbs.
Low interest rates have helped further drive the demand for new homes too, with rates plunging below 3%.
The Fed has made it clear that rates are not going any higher for a very long time.
All of this adds up to a very positive outlook for PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM). Pulte is one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, with operations in 44 markets across 24 states. Pulte builds homes for the entry-level, move-up, and active-adult buyers' segments of the market.
This is not a complicated story. This is a fantastic time to be a homebuilder in the United States. People are rethinking how and where they want to live. In many cases, the answer has been out of the large cities and into single-family homes in suburban areas and smaller cities.
Pulte has the highest margins of any of its competitors and is poised to grow rapidly as demand increases.
Pulte beat estimates for the fourth quarter in a row when it reported earnings last month. Analysts are scrambling to raise their estimates.
Business is good and is getting better.
Pulte Homes shares will do well no matter who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Three Stocks Even Better Than PHM
Chief Investment Strategist Shah Gilani just held his first-ever stock-picking lightning round event - running through more than 50 stocks to tell you if they are stocks to buy or stocks to sell.
Dozens are overpriced and overhyped - you should ditch them ASAP.
But Shah says THESE three stocks are "screaming buys."
All three are trading at a discount... they're under-the-radar companies most people haven't even heard of... and they have massive tailwinds ready to send their share prices into the stratosphere.
To get the company names, tickers, and price targets for Shah's picks, go here now.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.