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10 Best Stocks So Far in 2012

The 5 best Dow Jones and S&P 500 stocks at the midway point

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#1 S&P Stock: Sears

Sears Holding logoSector: Retail
YTD Gain:

Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) isn’t exactly the belle of the ball. In late 2011, it announced it would close more than 100 underperforming Sears and Kmart stores. The company is projected to operate at a loss through 2014. Revenue is caught in a steady downward spiral, stores are old and unattractive to many … what’s to like?

Well, according to investors, a lot. First there were rumors of a Sears buyout in January. That caused shares to spike and scared out the short-sellers. Then SHLD returned to profitability in May with a strong earnings report. And of course investment guru Eddie Lampert, whose ESL Investments controls 65% of outstanding stock, has a strong track record leading companies like AutoZone (NYSE:AZO).

Yes, Sears has a five-year return that is nearly 65% in the red. But we are simply talking about the past six months with this list — and while Sears might never get back to where it once was, there is no doubt it has bounced back strongly from lows last year.

Jeff Reeves is the editor of, and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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