Market Overview

Pro: Top 4 Picks For Q4

Pro: Top 4 Picks For Q4

The beginning of the fourth quarter picked up exactly where the third quarter ended, with the stock market sustaining its momentum and showing few signs of weakness.

Investors who are in the process of balancing their portfolio and adding names may want to consider Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Air Lease Corp (NYSE: AL and Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), at least according to Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments and Chris Verrone, head of technical analysis at Strategas Research Partners.

The Banks

Citi and JPMorgan are top picks in the bank sector and should outperform when the two-year yield is rising, Verrone said during a recent CNBC "Trading Nation" segment.

JPMorgan's stock is particularly attractive: After being stuck for most of 2017 in a range of $80 to $95 per share, it's now "finally starting to see some signs of life here," he said. JPMorgan's stock could break out as high as $110 to $115 per share, according to Verrone. 

"It's rates that are driving the move and we like the group here in 4Q." 

Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of multiple restaurant chains including Olive Garden, has seen a notable pullback in its stock — an "extreme overreaction," in Binger's view. 

Darden Restaurants' most recent earnings report included a slight miss in comp expectations, which should be viewed as "no big deal" since the company is handily outperforming its peers, Binger said. Heading into 2018, the company should notch 10 percent earnings growth, and a stock with this profile at its current price could be considered "way too cheap," the portfolio manager said. 

Air Lease Corp (NYSE: AL), a Los Angeles-based aircraft leasing company, is expected to show a 17 to 18 percent growth rate next year. The company is led by a strong management team that "does nothing but beat quarters," and with the stock trading at just 10 times earnings, it's also "way too cheap," Binger said. 

Related Links:

Bank Bears Bare Their Claws: Fifth Third, US Bancorp Among Downgrades

Darden Continues To Cook Up Solid Results, But A Better Entry Point For The Stock Is Needed


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