2019 turned out to be a great year for investors, as the market moved continually higher despite rising concern about lofty valuations and impending economic weakness. With stocks trading near all-time highs, making picks for the new year can be a daunting task.
However, experts say concerns about a market crash are likely overdone; Meaning, you’d likely miss out if you stay on the sidelines all year.
With that being said, let’s take a look at five stocks possible investors should be looking at as we get into the new year.
Stocks to Consider for the New Year: Apple (AAPL)
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the Dow’s best performer last year. And while the tech giant may not deliver an 89% share price increase as it did in 2019, the stock is likely to perform yet again in the new year.
AAPL stock is a conservative bet for those who are worried about an economic downturn. The firm’s massive cash coffers make for a trustworthy safety net if times get tight.
Plus, Apple looks likely to benefit from the 5G revolution. The firm’s newest devices will come equipped with 5G connectivity, which will likely prompt customers to renew in the new year. On top of that, Apple’s streaming service will have gotten off the ground, giving investors a sense of whether or not the firm can compete with rivals like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
Speaking of streaming, Disney (NYSE:DIS) looks like another good bet for the new year. A big part of the firm’s growth story is its new streaming platform Disney+, which looks likely to become one of the top choices among cord cutters.
Like Apple, DIS stock will be able to give investors an idea of how the service is performing this year.
However, its worth noting that Disney is much more than just a streaming play. The firm’s theme parks have become a huge revenue driver and it’s been performing well. In fact, this winter, Disney had to temporarily suspend ticket sales after its California location hit capacity.
CVS Health (CVS)
It may seem risky to choose a healthcare stock in an election year where universal healthcare is a hot topic. However, even if a progressive candidate takes office, a wide-scale overhaul is unlikely to happen within their first three years as president. Plus, CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) looks like a good bet even in a tougher environment.
That’s because the firm is in the process of pivoting it’s business into a one-stop-shop for all things healthcare related. The firm has become a pharmacy chain, a pharmacy benefits manager and a health insurance company all rolled into one. Not only does that offer CVS a unique position to drive customers to its own services, but it gives the firm more control over its prices. That means CVS could be part of the solution to lowering healthcare costs.
Duke Energy (DUK)
Compared to the wider market, shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) was a bit of a dud in 2019. However, the fact that the firm hasn’t been a part of the 2019 rally means it’s a bit more attractive from a valuation standpoint.
There’s no doubt that Duke Energy is a boring investment, as its 4.2% dividend yield has long been a major draw for investors. The firm has a long history of stable, dependable operations, and its revenue has been steadily increasing in recent years.
Most are expecting to see the slow and steady growth continue in the years ahead, making DUK stock a great buy-and-hold option.
Another tech stock investors should consider for the new year is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
MSFT stock has seen its share price rise considerably over the past year. Furthermore, 2020 looks likely to deliver more of the same, as the firm hits its stride in the cloud computing space and continues making advances in artificial intelligence.
Microsoft’s cloud business won a massive government contract last year, a victory that further supports the theory that Azure is catching up to Amazon Web Services. Gartner research shows that Amazon controlled 47.8% of the cloud computing market in 2018, with MSFT coming in second with a 15.5% share. However, compared to Amazon Web Services’ 35% revenue growth, Azure’s 59% revenue growth in the most recent quarter suggests Microsoft is chipping away at that lead.
As of this writing Laura Hoy was long AAPL, DUK, AMZN, NFLX and CVS.