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The Fiscal Cliff and Investment Opportunities

The fiscal cliff is looming but solid stocks are still available

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AutoNation (NYSE:AN) is the largest U.S. retailer of new vehicles, with 315 dealerships across the country and 32 different manufacturer brands under its belt. AutoNation sells used cars, but it derives more than half of its revenue from the sale of new cars. And unlike industry competitors like General Motors (NYSE:GM), AutoNation’s share price has steadily increased from its 2009 low of $4, to the $40 range where it trades today, climbing11% this year alone.

But it is AutoNation’s position in the market that has me watching this stock as it closes out the year. AN reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, and shares soared to their highest levels since September 2009. Sales were up 17%, to $3.9 billion, and profits from continuing operations beat 13 analysts’ expectations of 59 cents, coming in at 66 cents per share.

Jack Henry & Associates

Jack Henry (NASDAQ:JKHY) is a dominant player in processing transactions and managing information for financial institutions and corporations. Today, the company serves almost 11,000 clients and generates almost $1 billion in sales.

JKHY has a strong market position, and solid financials. In the most recent quarter, revenues were up 9%, operating income was up 18% and earnings increased by 20% to 42 cents a share from 35 cents the previous year.

Electronic payments are the future of money, and we are well on our way to being a cashless society. Debit cards now rule the day — outpacing credit card use for the first time ever. But now Jack Henry & Associates is bursting onto the scene with a new payment method that could make both debit AND credit cards obsolete. This is just one of the reasons I’m excited about JKHY, and the stock is already proving to be a winner for my GameChangers readers.

Despite the uncertainty, now is still a great time to take advantage of select opportunities in the market as we close out the year. While I am keeping a close eye on the political and economic developments that could move stocks in the last quarter of the year, there are still plenty of worthwhile investments to take advantage of, and my strategy puts us in the right place to make the most of all the market has to offer.

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