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3 S&P 500 Giants Worth Buying as Their Shares Climb to Fresh Highs

Published 27/03/2024, 09:58 pm
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  • The S&P 500 is off to a strong start to the year, topping the 5,200-level for the first time ever.
  • The benchmark index is set to extend its record rally amid favorable market conditions.
  • As such, investors should consider adding the three stocks about to be discussed in this piece to their portfolio.
  • Looking for more actionable trade ideas? Join InvestingPro for under $9 a month for a limited time only and never miss another bull market by not knowing which stocks to buy!
  • As the S&P 500 continues its ascent to record highs, investors are eyeing new opportunities among the index's stalwart companies.

    The benchmark index - which topped the 5,200 level for the first time in history last week - has added 2.1% in March as of Tuesday’s close, bringing its year-to-date gains to over 9%.

    Against this backdrop, our predictive AI stock-picking tool can prove a game-changer. For less than $9 a month, it will give you the best companies in the market on a monthly basis for sustained market outperformance.

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    S&P 500 Monthly Chart

    Source: Investing.com

    Amidst the ongoing rally, three S&P 500 giants - JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), and American Express (NYSE:AXP) - stand out as compelling investment choices, driven by their strong fundamentals, favorable market dynamics, and promising outlooks for 2024 and beyond.

    Now, using the power of InvestingPro, let's delve into what makes these three market-beating giants stand out as their shares rise to new all-time highs.

    1. JPMorgan Chase

    • 2024 Year-To-Date: +15.1%
    • Market Cap: $564 Billion

    JPMorgan Chase is a leading global financial services firm, offering various banking, investment, and wealth management services to individuals, businesses, and institutions.

    With a solid reputation and extensive reach, the Jamie Dimon-led banking powerhouse has established itself as a cornerstone of the financial industry.

    The New York-based company has been on a major uptrend since the start of the year, with shares gaining 15% so far in 2024, as it benefits from improving economic conditions, robust demand for banking services, and a supportive regulatory environment.

    JPMorgan Chase Daily Chart

    Source: Investing.com

    JPM stock ended Tuesday’s session at $195.73, just below the prior record high close of $199 from March 21. At its current valuation, JPMorgan Chase has a market cap of $564 billion, earning it the status of the biggest bank in the world.

    Looking ahead, JPMorgan Chase is poised to continue its upward trajectory, driven by favorable macroeconomic trends and strategic initiatives aimed at driving growth and enhancing shareholder value.

    The company's diversified business model, prudent risk management practices, and innovative product offerings bode well for its future performance.

    ProTips Headwinds: As InvestingPro points out, JPMorgan Chase is in great financial health condition, thanks to strong earnings and revenue growth prospects, combined with its attractive valuation and pristine balance sheet.JPMorgan Chase ProTips

    Source: InvestingPro

    Additionally, it should be noted that the company has maintained its dividend payout for 54 years running, demonstrating the resilience of its underlying business.

    JPMorgan Chase is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 12. Consensus estimates call for a profit of $4.18 per share, rising 2% from EPS of $4.10 in the same quarter last year.

    Revenue is forecast to increase 9% from a year ago to $41.78 billion, which if confirmed would mark the megabank’s highest quarterly sales total in its history.

    2. Caterpillar

    • 2024 Year-To-Date: +20.5%
    • Market Cap: $178.1 Billion

    Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is a global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and more.

    With a legacy spanning almost 100 years, Caterpillar is synonymous with quality, reliability, and innovation in the heavy machinery industry.

    Shares - which climbed to an all-time peak of around $365 last week - are up 20.5% year-to-date amid optimism over the resilience of the global economy as well as robust infrastructure spending, particularly in the U.S. and other key markets.

    The industrial giant, which is widely viewed as a proxy for global economic activity, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction, mining, and energy equipment.

    Caterpillar Daily Chart

    Source: Investing.com

    CAT stock closed at $356.39 on Tuesday, a tad below its record high. At current levels, the Deerfield, Illinois-based heavy machinery maker has a market cap of about $178 billion.

    Caterpillar's prospects for the rest of the year remain promising, supported by ongoing infrastructure development initiatives and strong demand for its products and services.

    As global economies continue to hold up better than expected in the face of higher interest rates, Caterpillar is well-positioned to capitalize on increased investment in infrastructure projects worldwide.

    ProTips Headwinds: As InvestingPro points out, Caterpillar trades at a low forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio relative to near-term earnings growth. Additional factors that would helpfully push the manufacturing giant forward include high earnings quality, and robust free cash flow prospects.

    Caterpillar ProTips

    Source: InvestingPro

    ProTips also mentions that CAT has maintained its annual dividend payout for 54 consecutive years, a testament to the strength of its diverse product portfolio.

    It is worth noting that analysts are extremely bullish on Caterpillar ahead of the company’s first quarter update on April 25, with eight out of the 11 analysts surveyed by InvestingPro raising their EPS estimates.

    Wall Street sees Caterpillar delivering a profit of $5.08 per share, increasing 3.5% from the year-ago period, while revenue is expected to inch up about 1% year-over-year to $15.97 billion.

    3. American Express

    • 2024 Year-To-Date: +19.8%
    • Market Cap: $161.6 Billion

    American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a global payments and financial services company, offering a wide range of products and services, including credit cards, charge cards, traveler's checks, and financial planning services.

    With a focus on premium customer service and innovative payment solutions, American Express has established itself as a leader in the payments industry.

    Shares of the New York-based credit card giant, which is one of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s top stock holdings, have gained nearly 20% since the start of the year thanks to strong growth in cardmember spending and increased digital payments adoption.

    American Express Daily Chart

    Source: Investing.com

    AXP stock closed at $224.46 last night, putting it within sight of its recent record high of $231.67 reached on March 21. At current valuations, American Express has a market cap of roughly $162 billion.

    Looking ahead, the company’s ongoing focus on enhancing its digital capabilities and expanding its customer base has positioned it for continued success in an evolving payments landscape.

    Amex’s strategic investments in technology and customer engagement initiatives are expected to drive further growth and market share gains in 2024 and beyond.

    ProTips Headwinds: As seen below, InvestingPro paints a mostly bullish picture of AXP’s financial health, highlighting its attractive valuation, encouraging fundamentals, dependably profitable business model, and enormous cash pile.American Express ProTips

    Source: InvestingPro

    ProTips also mentions that American Express has a solid history of dividend payments, having distributed an annual dividend for over 50 consecutive years.

    American Express is forecast to deliver upbeat profit and sales growth when it reports its financial results for the first quarter on April 18.

    As could be expected, the Street is optimistic ahead of the print, as per an InvestingPro survey, with analysts raising their sales estimates nine times, compared to just two downward revisions.

    Consensus calls for earnings of $2.99 per share, climbing 24.6% from EPS of $2.40 in the year-ago period, while revenue is forecast to increase 10.2% annually to $15.76 billion.

    Be sure to check out InvestingPro to stay in sync with the market trend and what it means for your trading.

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    Disclosure: At the time of writing, I am long on the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq 100 via the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY (NYSE:SPY)), and the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ). I am also long on the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE:XLK).

    I regularly rebalance my portfolio of individual stocks and ETFs based on ongoing risk assessment of both the macroeconomic environment and companies' financials.

    The views discussed in this article are solely the opinion of the author and should not be taken as investment advice.

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