by Jim Woods | December 15, 2011 8:00 am
This time of year, everyone seems to be scrambling for the perfect gift. What to get the husband or wife, what to get Mom and Dad, and what to get the kids — it’s often an overwhelming chore. So the last thing you probably want to do is try to figure out what top stocks to add to your portfolio. Well, to that I say, “bah, humbug!”
Now is the perfect time to be picking up bargain stocks because the market is filled with euro zone jitters. Even though Europe remains a Scrooge to the market, the contrarian inside me says the bold investor might benefit from a possible year-end Santa Claus rally.
Here are a few stocks that could add to your holiday cheer:
Giving great gifts is easy for me thanks to one of my favorite holiday shopping destinations, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The premier online retailer continues to be a game-changer, and sales of its new Kindle Fire e-reader are en fuego. One thing that makes AMZN shares attractive here is that they’ve actually sold off about 18% during the past month. The recent decline in the stock means it’s a great time to buy this formidable online retailer at a holiday discount.
This year, shoppers decided they’ve had enough of holding back on spending, and that made the beginning of the holiday shopping season a blockbuster. Black Friday weekend saw record spending, and in the four days following Thanksgiving, shoppers laid down $52.4 billion. That metric was up 16% from the $45 billion spent last year. Cyber Monday also saw record online sales that were up 33% over last year. Now, ask yourself this: What do many of these retail and online transactions have in common? The answer is a great many used a credit card or debit card issued by MasterCard (NYSE:MA). If we continue to see stellar holiday retail sales, it could translate into some very big upside for MA shares.
The palatably profitable fast-food giant tastes really good these days. The company just reported a 7.4% surge in November same-store sales, the key measure of restaurants open at least a year. That good news caused McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) shares to surge to an intraday all-time high of $98.43 on Friday, Dec. 9. If you’ve been a MCD shareholder for any length of time, you know what kind of present this stock has been. And despite the recent surge in the stock, it’s not too late to pull up to the window and order your very own holiday portfolio Happy Meal.
This article originally appeared on Traders Reserve.
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