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Find 'Strong Buy' Stocks for December and Beyond with this Screener

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The market pulled back in late afternoon trading Monday after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both hit new highs earlier in the session. Some of the tech selling continued through early afternoon trading Tuesday, with the technology-heavy index 1% lower through mid-day.

The recent selling is likely driven by profit-taking and some sell the news moves after President Biden officially said he will nominate Jay Powell for a second term. The recent drops have already helped cool things off a bit, as far as some often-tracked technical levels are concerned. There could, of course, be more selling ahead, with all three major U.S. indexes trading near their records.

The overall backdrop has remained the same for the last few months: rising prices, supply chain setbacks, and difficulty filling millions of open jobs. Yet consumers and Wall Street have remained resilient, with the S&P 500 up 9% since early October and last month’s retail sales coming higher than projected.

The current bullish sentiment is driven, in large part, by the simple fact that rates will remain historically low for the foreseeable future no matter when the Fed starts to lift its core rate. And the S&P 500 earnings picture remains strong, despite near-term margin pressures (also read: The Retail Sector Margin Squeeze)

Given this backdrop, investors with long-term horizons should remain on the hunt for stocks heading into December because timing the market is difficult. Utilizing our Filtered Zacks Rank 5 Stock Screener is a great place to start…

Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks outperform the market in both good and bad times. However, there are over 200 stocks that earn a Zacks Rank #1 at any given time. Therefore, it’s helpful to understand how to apply filters to the Zacks Rank in order to narrow the list down to a more manageable and tradable set of stocks.

Parameters

Clearly, there are only three items on this screen. But together, these three filters can result in some impressive returns.

• Zacks Rank equal to 1

Starting with a Zacks Rank #1 is often a strong jumping off point because it boasts an average annual return of roughly 24.4% per year since 1988.

• % Change (Q1) Est. over 4 Weeks greater than 0

Positive current quarter estimate revisions over the last four weeks.

The Zacks Rank looks at earnings estimate revisions for the current year (F1) and the next year (F2). The additional component factors in current quarter (Q1) estimate revisions. The idea is pretty simple.

A company that has experienced downward revisions for the current quarter could soon see longer-term negative revisions. Meanwhile, if a company has earned positive earnings revisions for its current quarter, it might signal that more upward revisions could be coming down the road, which would make it an attractive buy.

• % Broker Rating Change over 4 Week equal to Top # 5

Top 5 stocks with the best average broker rating changes over the last four weeks.

In this screen, we are searching for positive broker rating changes or upgrades over the last four weeks. On top of that, we want to cut down on the number of stocks that come through. So, we configured the screen to select the top 5 stocks with the best broker rating upgrade.

Investors should note that broker ratings typically lean toward the upside. Therefore, our screen makes sure that the brokers are getting more bullish, or at the least not getting less bullish (or even bearish) on the stock.

It is worth noting that the actual broker ratings do not matter as much as the upgrade itself, because stocks with broker rating upgrades have been proven to outperform their counterparts that do not earn positive broker rating changes or downgrades.

This strategy comes loaded with the Research Wizard and is called bt_sow_filtered zacks rank5. It can be found in the SoW (Screen of the Week) folder.

Here are two of the five stocks that qualified for the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 strategy today…

Northern Oil and Gas (NOG - Free Report)

Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (EBC - Free Report)

See the rest of the stocks on this list and start trading the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 (or any of our other strategies) in your own account. Remember, the key to successful screening is finding screens that have produced profitable results in the past. And that's exactly what you get with the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting program.

Get the rest of the stocks on this list and start looking for the newest companies that fit these criteria. It's easy to do. And it could help you find your next big winner. Start screening for these companies today with a free trial to the Research Wizard. You can do it.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance/


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:


Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NOG) - free report >>

Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (EBC) - free report >>