5 Great S&P 500 Stocks To Buy In 2019

Wall Street staggered into 2019, leaving behind the worst year in a decade. Its three major benchmarks posted the worst annual performance since the financial crisis. The S&P 500, in particular, closed in the red for the first time in three years.

The year was also the first since 1948 when the index ended in losses after increasing in the first three quarters. But is it all doom and gloom as we head into 2019? Many market watchers would want us to believe so.

But on closer examination, a near-term recession seems unlikely. Meanwhile, the job market remains robust and the Trump administration continues to promise that the trade dispute with China will have an agreeable ending. This is why it makes sense to bet on select S&P 500 stocks, as the index is likely to close 2019 on a far better note.

Near-Term Recession Unlikely

Ultimately, most of last year’s losses were attributable to a dismal fourth quarter and a horrifying December. The S&P 500 suffered its worst December since 1931. Trade tensions, a tougher rate environment, and the recent government shutdown intensified the negative movements on the bourses.

However, the economy is still on expansion mode. Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) has cut its outlook for the first half of the year from 2.4% to 2% and its projection for the second half is at 1.75%. However, it thinks a cooling off is required to “land the plane.” Several economists share this view, dismissing talks of a near-term recession.

By this July, the current expansion, which started on Jul 1, 2009, will be the longest in U.S. history. It will then overtake the decade-long economic expansion which started in March 1991. Consumer confidence remains strong and debt burdens are low.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley projects that tax inflated paychecks will result in a “record-high tax refund season.” Additionally, the continuing slump in gasoline prices will enhance the purchasing power of the U.S. consumer.

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