3 S&P 500 Stocks to Buy for the Next Bull Run: March 2024

Stocks to buy

The S&P 500 continues to reach all-time highs as the rally in equities carries on. As we end the first quarter, the benchmark index is up 10% and moving higher. While mega-cap technology stocks have led the rally over the last 18 months, the growth is beginning to broaden out to include other segments of the market. From retailers and restaurant stocks to small-caps, we are seeing gains in other pockets of the market.

This is healthy and shows that the current rally likely has legs and will continue throughout the rest of the year. A growing number of analysts are revising higher their forecasts for the S&P 500’s performance in 2024 as they too expect the good times to continue into 2025. Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Oppenheimer (NYSE:OPY) each lifted their year-end forecasts for the index. Here are three S&P 500 stocks to buy for the next bull run: March 2024.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK)

Source: shutterstock.com/Piotr Swat

Shoemaker Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK) was just added to the S&P 500 index and is currently the fifth best-performing stock year to date. Already in 2024, DECK stock increased 38%. The company’s share price more than doubled over the last 12 months, or a 108% increase. The stock is steadily gaining due to brisk sales of its popular Hoka running shoes.

The company, which also makes Teva sandals and Ugg footwear, reported earnings per share (EPS) of $15.11, crushing estimates of $11.40. Revenue in the final quarter of 2023 totaled $1.56 billion, which topped Wall Street forecasts of $1.44 billion. Both the earnings and sales were record amounts for Deckers Outdoor. The company’s forward guidance also beat estimates and Deckers announced a new CEO starting this summer.

While DECK stock has run far, analysts see more upside ahead for the shoemaker. After earnings, Evercore ISI initiated coverage of Deckers Outdoor with an “outperform” (buy) rating and $960 price target. Evercore ISI says Deckers is a high-quality growth stock that has strong brand momentum behind it.

Meta Platforms (META)

Source: Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

Just ahead of Deckers Outdoor is Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), which is the fourth best-performing stock in the S&P 500 currently. META stock is up 46% on the year and rising fast. In the past 12 months, Meta Platforms’ share price is up 150%. The stock has skyrocketed as Meta successfully executed on its “year of efficiency” in 2023. More recently, the company issued stellar earnings and announced its first dividend payment.

Meta is paying its stockholders a dividend of 50 cents a share. The company also announced an expanded $50 billion share repurchase program. The dividend and stock buybacks were announced alongside sterling Q4 2023 financial results. Meta announced that its net income, or profit, more than tripled to $5.33 from $1.76 a year earlier. The company’s guidance also lapped Wall Street forecasts.

Additionally, Meta Platforms is pushing hard into artificial intelligence (AI), incorporating the technology into products ranging from its social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to its Quest virtual reality headsets. Analysts increasingly see META stock as a bullish AI play.

General Electric (GE)

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Believe it or not, legacy industrial conglomerate General Electric (NYSE:GE) is a leading component of the S&P 500 this year. In fact, GE stock is the sixth best-performing stock in the index year to date, placing just behind META stock and DECK stock. So far in 2024, General Electric’s shares have risen 38%. The company has staged a remarkable turnaround as it broke itself into pieces over the past few years.

General Electric completed the separation of its healthcare business last year and plans to spinoff its energy business in April of this year. Analysts and investors have applauded the break-up, and it has already given the company’s earnings a lift. GE reported EPS of $1.03 for Q4 2023, which was higher than the 91 cents expected by analysts. Revenue in the quarter rose 15% to $19.42 billion, beating estimates of $17.67 billion.

GE stock is now up 86% over the last 12 months. It wasn’t that long ago that GE executed a reverse stock split to artificially raise its languishing share price. Things seem to have definitely changed for the better at the company, and for its shareholders.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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