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Barron's Picks And Pans: Bank Mergers, Comcast, Dogs of the Dow, Square And More

Barron's Picks And Pans: Bank Mergers, Comcast, Dogs of the Dow, Square And More
  • This weekend's Barron's cover story shares thoughts from a panel of experts on what to expect for stocks in 2021.
  • Other featured articles examine Barron's picks for 2021, the preliminary 2021 Dogs of the Dow, and whether dividends and buybacks are about to rebound.
  • Also, the prospects for a media and tech giant, hypergrowth stocks, bank mergers and more.

"The S&P 500 Could Gain Another 10% Next Year" by Nicholas Jasinski indicates that even as the market hits new highs, a Barron's panel of experts sees room for stocks to rise in 2021 as COVID-19 is vanquished and the economy reopens. Find out what part, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and more may play in that rise.

Andrew Bary's "Our Top 10 Stocks for the New Year" shows that the Barron's list for 2021 again has a value bent and includes two returning companies and eight new ones, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). See how the picks also provide some downside protection if the stock market falters next year.

In "Comcast's Sprawling Business Could Add Up to a Great Reopening Play," Daren Fonda points out that Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) shares have long trailed rivals like Disney and Charter Communications, but its wide collection of assets, from theme parks to sports channels, are well positioned for a post-pandemic world.

It appears that several of the high-yielding 2020 Dogs of the Dow, including Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), will carry over into 2021 list. So says "The Dogs of the Dow Stock-Picking Strategy Didn't Work This Year" by Al Root. However, new additions include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).

In Eric J. Savitz' "After a Big Year for Tech Stocks, 2021 Looks Very Different," the case is made that the landscape for tech will become trickier in the coming year, with regulatory challenges and rising rates. However, the biggest headwind for stocks such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is simple: They look way too expensive.

"DraftKings and Square Are Growth Stocks With Ambitions to Be Like Amazon" by Jack Hough suggests that while hypergrowers such as Draftkings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG) and Square Inc(NYSE: SQ) can be difficult to value, understanding where they see opportunities for gains is a good start.

See also: Benzinga's Bulls And Bears Of The Week: Comcast, DoorDash, Exxon, Moderna, Tesla And More

Considering how bad things looked for dividends earlier in the pandemic, 2020 has turned out to be a serviceable year for equity income investors, according to Lawrence C. Strauss' "Dividends and Buybacks Look Poised for a 2021 Rebound." The coming year could be even better. Will that include Boeing Co (NYSE: BA)?

In "The Market Has Seen Big Gains in 2020. Next Year Will Bring New Surprises," Ben Levisohn examines the biggest mistake investors may be making: looking at the past decade and extrapolating into the future. See what to expect now from the likes of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC).

Carleton English's "Banks Have Begun to Merge Again. Next Year Could See Even More Deals" ponders, after this past week's announced acquisition of TCF Financial Corp (NASDAQ: TCF), whether bank merger activity has resumed after a long pause. Will a reviving economy, low interest rates and increasing digitization lead to more deals in 2021?

Also in this week's Barron's:

  • How to play bitcoin at record highs
  • Whether all the good news is baked into stocks
  • How S&P 500 changes have revived the indexing debate
  • Whether the coming European rebound will be a weak one
  • How the stars are aligning for emerging market growth stocks
  • How the options market could get even crazier in 2021
  • The pent-up demand for M&A deal making
  • Robinhood's hurdles to its next stage of growth
  • How to fix America's yawning retirement gap
  • Whether lawmakers are on the verge of passing new stimulus bill
  • Stocks benefiting from China's surging economy

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

Keep up with all the latest breaking news and trading ideas by following Benzinga on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Comcast.


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