On the first Friday of March 2021, the equities market — after having been beaten up over the past few weeks — finished the session on a high note. Yet worries still abound, leaving many folks to question their longer-term exposure. Still, if you want to test your luck despite the dark clouds forming, you may want to consider short-term stocks.
Before we get into it, I want to be clear that I’m getting very uncomfortable with equities, particularly non-dividend paying growth firms. True, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that he wants to maintain the present cheap money environment. However, he gave no clear signal that he would attack rising bond yields, which sent jitters across several popular publicly traded names.
Also, posing risks for investors with longer-term exposure is the equities trading on margin. It has hit a record and continued to defy logic and gravity until recently. Perhaps the harsh reality of incoming margin calls got people to think clearly, causing a rotation out of certain assets. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to accept volatility risk and are agile enough, you could theoretically do well with short-term stocks.
In large part, this is because the fallout is disproportionately impacting the hot flavors of the week. Thanks to a combination of general exuberance and new phenomena such as meme trades, many companies are sitting on ridiculous valuations. However, some short-term stocks have avoided the craziness so they may have some legs remaining.
Also, with a narrow time frame, your thesis doesn’t necessarily need to be correct — or even make sense for that matter. Instead, you’re looking to be right for the time it takes for you to make the trade and exit it. If danger is your middle name, check out these short-term stocks to buy:
- Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW)
- EnLink Midstream (NYSE:ENLC)
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
- Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA)
- Digital Ally (NASDAQ:DGLY)
- Ammo Munitions (NASDAQ:POWW)
- Bombardier (OTCMKTS:BDRBF)
Although these investments offer upside potential, it’s always treacherous to trade against the prevailing sentiment of the market. Therefore, if you are going to wager on these short-term stocks, please do so with money you can comfortably afford to lose.
Short-Term Stocks to Consider: Illinois Tool Works (ITW)
I’m going to start off this list of short-term stocks with one of the (relatively) safest options, Illinois Tool Works. For one thing, no one’s talking about ITW stock, which I think is a benefit in this environment. The less distractions the better. As well, this may help Illinois Tool Works avoid the boom-bust cycle that will surely impact the high-profile growth names.
Specializing in engineered fasteners and other industrial components and equipment, ITW stock took a hard hit during the worst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But with cases starting to decline significantly, the belief is that the underlying company will enjoy a resurgence of business.
True, as a blue chip, you’re not going to get rich off ITW. However, this doesn’t have the speculative energy of a meme stock. And with the options market, the company qualifies as one of the short-term stocks to wager on.
EnLink Midstream (ENLC)
Back during the coronavirus-fueled lockdowns, I did not cover the oil sector with much enthusiasm. Indeed, I was downright bearish. With demand being sucked out of society, I didn’t see a comeback opportunity. However, as we made progress against this infectious disease, I started to change my mind.
I even took a shot with EnLink Midstream earlier this year. So far, ENLC stock has treated me very well.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a bit surprised about its positive momentum. Personally, I thought it was going to take a bit longer for the narrative to pan out. However, the Texas winter storm may have contributed to ENLC stock and the storyline for fossil-fuel-based investments.
With the grid down for several days in storm-affected regions, it sent a sharp reminder to consumers that energy diversity, in addition to clean energy is vital. This gives oil firms extended relevance, making EnLink an intriguing name among short-term stocks.
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
About a year ago to this day, I would have thought you were crazy if you had told me that Exxon Mobil could be one of the best short-term stocks to buy in 2021. Whether short term, long term or any term, XOM stock seemed like the perfect money pit. As people sheltered in place and with millions adopting remote-work platforms, there was simply no need for oil.
Plus, in the midst of this crisis, shares of electric vehicle firms skyrocketed. Unfortunately, that was a distraction that XOM stock didn’t need. But as I explained above, the Texas cold snap may have changed consumers to the reality of clean energy: when the grid goes down, you want your personal vehicle to run on something other than electricity.
Admittedly, XOM has already had a brilliant run as one of the most viable short-term stocks. However, it may have some legs left for day traders who want to get in and out.
Murphy USA (MUSA)
Since the coronavirus turned our world upside down, I haven’t driven nearly as much as before the pandemic. Still, during the times that I did, I observed a ridiculous decline in traffic. Perhaps the best example was when I was at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — I was able to navigate the grounds without dying (or the fear thereof).
Today? I was out for a drive in the afternoon and the traffic level appeared at least 75% of pre-pandemic levels. Checking data from TomTom.com, traffic is about 67% of normal capacity. So, not too far off from my anecdotal observation. This bodes well for Murphy USA and MUSA stock.
As an operator of retail gas stations mainly located near big-box stores, Murphy USA is positioned perfectly as one of the short-term stocks to consider. The lockdowns created an atmosphere of pent-up demand, which should translate to upside for MUSA stock.
Digital Ally (DGLY)
Last year wasn’t just traumatic because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We also saw acts of violence which later sparked protests calling for social equity and justice. However, I believe these protests could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for body cameras and other video-recording technologies.
Specializing in body-worn cameras and in-car video systems, Digital Ally is one of the most relevant short-term stocks to consider. Thanks to video evidence, we can see nuances in police interactions with their community and particularly, communities of color. Hopefully, such footage of said interactions will propel productive discussions about race in America and move us away from unproductive dialogue stemming from extreme binarism.
Also, DGLY stock is levered to the normalization narrative via its underlying ThermoVu business, which is a no-contact temperature checking device. Still, with shares priced under $2 at time of writing, you’ll want to be very careful how you approach this company.
Ammo Munitions (POWW)
You never know how gun control measures are going to pan out. However, with the Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches of government, it’s a relatively safe bet that they’ll do something to curb guns in America. Therefore, one of the more compelling short-term stocks to consider is Ammo Munitions.
Manufacturing a variety of small-arms calibers, Ammo Munitions was on the end of searing hot demand, both in the retail floor and the investment market via POWW stock. Of course, during the initial strike of the coronavirus, many people feared a societal breakdown, cynically bolstering the guns and ammo business. Even this year, people are stacking up based on political reasons.
Additionally, we’re seeing a rise of hate crimes as mentally deranged criminals lash out violently. Sadly, it’s not surprising. This is a country where field goal kickers receive death threats for poor performance. It’s terrible but I see POWW stock moving higher in both the short and long term.
When Covid-19 cases started spreading across the U.S., the last thing anybody wanted to do was to fly. For several weeks, airports resembled ghost towns rather than busy transportation hubs. Naturally, demand for private business jets also cratered as remote work and teleconferencing became the preferred communication platform.
Of course, this badly hurt Bombardier, one of the manufacturers of business jets. But with the encouraging results from the vaccine rollout, BDRBF stock might very well be one of the short-term stocks to buy, provided you can handle the risk.
And believe me, there’s plenty of risk here. Priced at under 60 cents at time of writing, BDRBF stock isn’t something where you wager more than a small portion of your “dumb money” portfolio. Still, as the domestic and global economies inch closer to recovery, Bombardier might be worth a look.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto held a long position in ENLC.
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.