STOCK NOW These high beta stocks will lead the way if...

These high beta stocks will lead the way if the year-end comeback continues


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Storage tanks are seen at Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles Refinery, which processes domestic and imported crude oil, in Carson, California, March 11, 2022.

Bing Guan | Reuters

As the market continues its positive swing amid a broader period of volatility, CNBC Pro screened for stocks that can see especially large gains. 

Stocks have rallied in recent weeks as new economic reports show that inflation is finally cooling down. The S&P 500 is up nearly 2% week to date, putting it on pace for its third straight week of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.8% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite has gained more than 2% over the same period. Both are also headed for a third consecutive positive week. 

The twenty stocks featured on CNBC Pro’s screen could see outsized upward momentum if Wall Street sentiment remains positive, as they have beta values of 1.5 or higher, according to LSEG. A beta value greater than 1 indicates that the stock is more volatile than the broader market, while a value below 1 suggests the stock is less volatile.  

Essentially, if the broad market index rises by 1%, the following high beta stocks could jump by 1.5% or more. To be sure, the strategy involves a high level of risk. If the S&P 500 pulls back by 1%, these shares could fall by 1.5% or more.

CNBC Pro also screened for expected upside potential. The following stocks have consensus buy ratings from analysts and price targets that suggest shares could rally 20% or more. 

Wall Street’s favorite high beta value stocks

Symbol Company Market Cap Beta Analyst Consensus Upside to Avg PT (%)
APA APA Corp (US) 11155.3846 3.3823 Buy 36.3486
CZR Caesars Entertainment Inc 10034.6461 2.8782 Buy 34.5042
DVN Devon Energy Corp 28547.1573 2.2698 Buy 28.7812
MRO Marathon Oil Corp 14625.3325 2.2298 Buy 35.5342
TRGP Targa Resources Corp 19115.6982 2.2068 Buy 24.6355
MGM MGM Resorts International 13878.5335 2.1786 Buy 33.5466
HAL Halliburton Co 33962.7406 2.0797 Buy 28.6599
FCX Freeport-McMoRan Inc 51659.0214 2.0186 Buy 27.0784
APTV Aptiv PLC 22657.2622 1.9879 Buy 45.0811
WYNN Wynn Resorts Ltd 9809.3601 1.9626 Buy 36.304
FANG Diamondback Energy Inc 27528.9336 1.9052 Buy 20.6521
BBWI Bath & Body Works Inc 7326.2094 1.8414 Buy 40.0062
ON ON Semiconductor Corp 30540.7668 1.8259 Buy 21.4497
SLB SLB 76022.588 1.7363 Buy 30.6652
NVDA NVIDIA Corp 1198258.75 1.723 Buy 29.478
ZBRA Zebra Technologies Corp 11115.5014 1.6933 Buy 22.7538
ALB Albemarle Corp 14685.952 1.6338 Buy 62.1734
WBD Warner Bros Discovery Inc 25775.6426 1.6019 Buy 53.0747
ALK Alaska Air Group Inc 4741.166 1.6006 Buy 37.9608

Source: LSEG

Several energy companies were featured on the list. Oil companies have seen large fluctuations in recent weeks, as questions on supply have led to a rise and fall in crude prices. A rise in oil prices will likely help these stocks benefit. 

APA Corp has the highest beta value of 3.38 on the list, meaning that it could jump more than 3% if the broad market index gains 1%. Analysts forecast shares rallying 36.3% from their current levels. Shares are down 23.6% year to date, however, and tumbled nearly 5% Thursday. 

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APA Corp year to date

Devon Energy and Marathon Oil have the third- and fourth-highest beta values on the list at 2.27 and 2.23, respectively. Both stocks also fell around 4% on Thursday as crude prices tumbled amid higher inventory levels and demand concerns. 

The consensus price target on Devon Energy suggests nearly 29% upside ahead, according to LSEG. Meanwhile, analysts forecast Marathon Oil share prices could gain more than a third from Wednesday’s close. 

The two companies have had a vastly different 2023 — shares of Marathon Oil are up 24.3%, while Devon Energy is down 28.6% year to date. Goldman Sachs recently recommended the pullback in Devon Energy shares as a buying opportunity, citing the company’s strong balance sheet as a factor.

Chipmaker Nvidia has soared 234.1% in 2023, and analysts believe the stock could rise an additional 29.5%. UBS reiterated its buy rating on Nvidia on Thursday, citing a low PE multiple. The company has a beta value of 1.7 and is scheduled to report earnings on Tuesday. 

“We are unlikely to get much new to sway this debate as NVDA likely maintain a similar tone to last Q by simply reiterating that visibility extends several Qs [quarters],” Wells Fargo said in a Thursday note. 

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Nvidia shares surged in 2023

Warner Bros Discovery stock is just 5.8% higher year to date, with a beta of 1.6. The stock has struggled amid broader challenges in the streaming industry and the Hollywood strikes. CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels told investors on the company’s earnings call on Nov. 8 that the negative financial impacts of the strike could extend into 2024. 


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