Amid the grim numbers of the novel coronavirus, there is understandably little to cheer about. More than 45,000 Americans have succumbed to Covid-19. This is far worse than the 17,000 killed in the U.S. from the swine flu pandemic over a decade ago. However, two positives are apparent. First, coronavirus cases appear to have peaked and second, the initial round of stimulus checks have been sent out. Naturally, the latter brings up the topic of stocks to buy.
Recently, the markets have bounced higher off anticipation of the U.S. economy reopening. As you know, President Trump has expressed optimism that some states may open sooner than the May 1 date that the administration has targeted. Of course, some may criticize Trump’s statements as politically motivated. Cynically, you cannot avoid the fact that this is an election year. Nevertheless, a vote of confidence from the highest level is an organic lift for stocks to buy.
But in my opinion, the President’s desire to restart the economy is more than just politics. What I’m particularly worried about is the impact to our collective health. If we close society for longer than is necessary, we may witness a spike in deaths of despair. Given the sacrifices Americans have already made, this is unacceptable.
Further, pockets of the economy are healthier than headlines would suggest. For instance, the labor force participation rate of prime working age people is still up during the Trump administration. Therefore, the concept of stocks to buy is not necessarily a speculative one.
Still, you want to be smart and pick relevant names. For that, I have selected the following stocks for your consideration:
- Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL)
- 3M (NYSE:MMM)
- Republic Services (NYSE:RSG)
- Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU)
- Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD)
- Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK)
- American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOBC)
No matter what, we’re entering unprecedented territory. Therefore, exercise caution, even with these relevant companies. Your stimulus check — assuming you have your necessities covered — may be the best way to engage these stocks to buy.
Stocks to Buy: Alphabet (GOOG)
I think I speak for most Americans when I say that Alphabet has been the most vital company in adjusting to our new normal. Through the company’s Google search engine, I’ve kept up with all important news. Furthermore, it has been instrumental in finding out which services were open and which were simply locked down due to the pandemic.
Of course, GOOG stock is more than just its search engine. From cloud computing to streaming, Alphabet has both kept me productive and entertained me. Frankly, I don’t know how I would have fared in quarantine without its YouTube platform.
Better yet, GOOG stock will be relevant in the post-coronavirus era. Again, with pertinent businesses like cloud computing, Alphabet has already ingrained itself in our Internet of Things society. If anything, the coronavirus has demonstrated how reliable its various platforms are. Despite an overwhelming surge of internet traffic for obvious reasons, Alphabet has handled the incoming wave with aplomb.
And if they’re that good in a pandemic, imagine their acumen when things are reasonably normal. For that reason, I’m bullish on GOOG stock.
During this strange, unprecedented time, one peculiar theme has emerged among certain stocks to buy. A lucky few publicly traded companies that were once out of favor with investors have suddenly emerged as bullish candidates. One of those is industrial giant 3M.
Now, it’s fair to say that 3M hasn’t had the smoothest ride during this quarantine period. With accusations that the company sold N95 facemasks to the highest bidder as opposed to American healthcare workers in need, MMM stock didn’t necessarily win the public relations front. Nevertheless, I anticipate continued strong demand for 3M’s personal protective equipment due to collective behavioral shifts.
Unlike other high-profile tragic events, Covid-19 has impacted all of us significantly. Whether we lost loved ones or were forced to seclude in our homes, no one escaped unscathed. Therefore, I forecast greater emphasis on preparedness, which benefits MMM stock.
Finally, the flipflopping regarding governmental guidance on facemask usage has left many Americans suspicious about so-called health experts. To prepare for the next pandemic — and it will come — people will trust their instinct. That translates to higher PPE sales, which means you should keep 3M on your list of stocks to buy.
Republic Services (RSG)
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2017, the U.S. generated 267.8 million tons of municipal solid waste. That amounts to 4.51 pounds per person per day. Therefore, waste management firm Republic Services easily belongs in your short list of reliable stocks to buy. Simply, we are a wasteful people and we’re increasingly producing more garbage annually.
In fact, we produce so much trash that we export our recyclable materials to other nations for processing. But recently, these countries — typically Asian ones — have rejected American trash, citing dignity issues along with asserting their own economic strength and influence. For the time being, that leaves the U.S. in a quandary. However, for RSG stock, this dynamic essentially represents an upside catalyst.
Further, the pandemic has really brought home the importance of waste management. Considered essential services, this industry helped prevent another outbreak caused by a mass-scale sanitation crisis. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened due to the countless thousands of sanitation workers doing their jobs while risking their health.
Personally, I don’t think this dedication has gone unnoticed and it may pan out with a higher market value for RSG stock.
Among the feasible group of stocks to buy, few have been as wild as streaming equipment provider Roku. Around mid-February, the narrative for ROKU stock, along with most other investments, shifted negatively. A month later, shares had plummeted to ridiculous depths.
However, ROKU stock bounced back on its strength as a coronavirus-fueled investment. With millions across the nation sheltered in place, there wasn’t much to do to whittle away the time. Therefore, many streaming companies like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) enjoyed a surge in demand.
But can ROKU stock take this momentum and carry it forward beyond the lockdowns? Honestly, I’d be surprised if it didn’t. For one thing, Roku received the greatest gift it could get from Covid-19: free marketing. Those who were unfamiliar with streaming devices had plenty of time to catch up with everyone else.
Second, if we enter a prolonged recession — and unfortunately, that’s what the data suggests — the company offers a compelling pitch: entertaining content at a lower price than traditional linear TV. Although it’s wild, ROKU is one of the more interesting stocks to buy right now.
Trade Desk (TTD)
Another example of stocks to buy that has witnessed extreme fluctuations in its equity pricing is Trade Desk. As an advertising specialist for the next generation of digital media, Trade Desk’s profile has skyrocketed in recent years as consumers shift from linear to connected TV. What makes the organization stand out is their data analytics, aligning advertiser dollars to the most effective campaigns possible.
At the same time, the coronavirus was something that impacted everyone. In late February, I sent an email to my contact at the company, who handles corporate communications. She informed me that at the time, the CEO of Trade Desk reported very little impact. To use her words, “advertisers are still advertising.”
Well, given the volatility of TTD stock in March, investors at least perceived some impact to the business. However, I think longer-term buyers should focus on the fact that yes, advertisers must still advertise; otherwise, they’ll go under for sure.
Plus, you’ve got to imagine that for the advertising industry, the mandatory shutdowns are blessings in disguise. With so many folks watching connected TV, advertisers can benefit from targeted campaigns. Therefore, TTD stock should have some upside potential in the months ahead.
Due to the various shelter-in-place orders that governments imposed, stocks to buy levered toward the suddenly popular work-from-home industry have captured investor eyeballs. Among them is Upwork, an organization that specializes in connecting gig workers with companies seeking temporary or project-based assistance. After a lengthy downturn, UPWK stock appears to have found a bottom in April.
I wouldn’t be surprised if shares continue to move higher from here on out. For starters, Upwork distinguishes itself from similar employment agencies by utilizing proprietary analytics to automatically filter for the best candidates. That way, when Upwork sends prospective lists to their clients, they’re not wasting time with less-qualified individuals.
Obviously, UPWK stock is pertinent because of the quarantining of our work force. But even when governments lift their stay-at-home orders, Upwork should see upside. In large part, the nature of how we view work has changed.
In fact, prior to the pandemic, some insiders labeled the gig economy the “new normal” of the workplace. Therefore, UPWK belongs on your list of stocks to buy well after this crisis has passed.
American Outdoor Brands (AOBC)
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best in people. In this madness, I’ve witnessed neighbors helping those less fortunate. Out of nowhere, even I have benefited from the kindness of a stranger. Truly, this is what makes America so unique.
On the other hand, it has been far too easy for folks with nefarious agendas to wreak havoc on innocent people. And with law enforcement officers preoccupied with tremendous responsibilities, the burden of protection has fallen on individuals. Due to this harsh reality, I’m bullish on American Outdoor Brands and AOBC stock.
Better known as the manufacturer of Smith & Wesson firearms, this sector isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has forced us to confront ugly truths. One of them is that violent criminals have no respect for either contagions or governmental mandates.
According to the New York Times, Americans purchased approximately two million guns in March. If we have an economic recession, we’ll definitely see that number spike. Nothing brings out fear more than the possibility of social unrest. For that and many other reasons, I suggest taking a close look at AOBC stock.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.