A Year Into the COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Stock Winners

This week officially marks the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had brought the economy to a standstill and led to a crash in the stock markets.

Though the U.S. economy is far from pre-pandemic levels, it has shown solid improvement driven by an unprecedented and continued stimulus, progress on more coronavirus vaccines, and faster vaccine deployment. The combination of factors has led to higher demand for all types of products and services in the economy.

The rounds of solid upbeat economic data indicate stronger-than-expected recovery. The United States added 379,000 jobs — the highest since October — in February while unemployment fell to 6.2%. U.S. manufacturing activity increased to a three-year high last month with acceleration in new orders. Consumer spending rose the most in seven months in January while construction spending surged to a record high, boosted by strong private and public outlays. Strong corporate earnings as well as signs of a healing labor market also bode well for economic growth.

Additionally, the Fed has pledged to maintain its accommodative stance and will continue to buy $120 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities per month. A low interest rate bodes well for the stocks as it pushes up economic activities and results in higher spending. Further, Biden administration and its proposals have also infused optimism into the economy.

Meanwhile, the stock market has strongly bounced back and reached new milestones with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones hitting series of new highs lately. Investors should note that the tech-heavy Nasdaq Index has outperformed in the past year, having climbed about 86% though it is 5% below the all-time highs. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones have risen nearly 60% and 53%, respectively, in the same time frame.

While every corner of the market has rallied, information technology was the strongest winner for most part of the pandemic on e-commerce boost. However, it was overtaken by cyclical sectors lately with improvement in the economy. Below, we have highlighted some stocks that have more than doubled since the onset of the pandemic. These stocks have a solid Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), suggesting their continued outperformance even in the post-pandemic world. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Denbury Inc. DEN – Up 11517.7%

This oil and natural gas company is involved in exploitation, drilling and proven engineering extraction practices. It saw positive earnings estimate revision of $1.23 over the past 90 days for this year. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1.

Riot Blockchain Inc. RIOT – Up 8693%

This company focuses on building, supporting and operating Blockchain technologies ecosystem. It is involved in digital currency mining operation, which utilizes specialized computers that generate digital currency primarily bitcoin. It saw positive earnings estimate revision of 68 cents over the past 90 days for this year with estimated growth of 234.6%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2.

Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. MARA – Up 6926.9%

This digital asset technology company mines cryptocurrencies, with a focus on the blockchain ecosystem and generation of digital assets. The stock saw solid earnings estimate revision of $1.14 over the past 90 days for this year and has estimated growth of 731.6%. Marathon Digital has a Zacks Rank #2.

Silvergate Capital Corporation SI – Up 1304.3%

This company operates as a bank holding company for Silvergate Bank that provides banking products and services to business and individual clients in the United States and internationally. The stock saw solid earnings estimate revision of 80 cents over the past 60 days for this year with estimated growth of 69.1%. It has a Zacks Rank #1.

Cassava Sciences Inc. SAVA – Up 1214.5%

It is focused on the early detection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The stock saw positive earnings estimate revision of 67 cents over the past 90 days for this year and has estimated growth of 607.5%. Cassava Sciences has a Zacks Rank #2.

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