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Monday, August 1, 2011

Top 50 stocks to buy in August

Could stocks be the safe haven?

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX 0.00%) declined each day during the last week of July as investors sought alternative places to ride out uncertainty over Washington's debt-ceiling feud. Some shunned Treasurys and shoveled money into corporate bonds; others put their faith in gold, the Swiss franc or cash.
But regardless of whether volatility is roiling the markets or ratings companies cut the United States' AAA rating, there should be pockets of the global economy, such as food, mining and energy, that continue to thrive and reward investors.
For investors looking for what's working, StockScouter's Benchmark Portfolio for August is an ideal starting point for investment research.
The 50-stock portfolio was created using StockScouter, MSN Money's stock-picking tool.
Each month, StockScouter generates a list of 50 stocks whose business fundamentals, price behavior, valuation and stock-ownership characteristics appear to predict a rising price in the coming weeks, based on how those factors have influenced stock prices in the past.
Here are StockScouter's best investment ideas for August:
Benchmark Portfolio for August
CompanySectorJuly 29 closeScouter score
Waters (WAT 0.00%, news)Technical instruments$87.8910
Williams Partners (WPZ 0.00%, news)Natural gas storage and transmission$55.8010
Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR 0.00%, news)Oil and natural gas$30.5310
Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN 0.00%, news)Infant formula$71.3710
Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS 0.00%, news)Personal-care products$37.5410
Esterline Technologies (ESL 0.00%, news)Aircraft components$76.3710
Fastenal (FAST 0.00%, news)Building materials$33.6510
Newmont Mining (NEM 0.00%, news)Mining$55.6110
Nordson (NDSN 0.00%, news)Machinery$51.0310
Hansen Natural (HANS 0.00%, news)Sodas, juices, teas$76.6210
Avery Dennison (AVY 0.00%, news)Adhesive labels$31.5510
Core Laboratories (CLB 0.00%, news)Oil-field services$108.0410
Vale (VALE 0.00%, news)Iron ore$32.4410
W.R. Grace (GRA 0.00%, news)Specialty chemicals$50.4410
Noble Energy (NBL 0.00%, news)Oil and natural gas$99.6810
Timken (TKR 0.00%, news)Machine tools and accessories$43.6710
Olin (OLN 0.00%, news)Specialty chemicals$20.9110
Barrick Gold (ABX 0.00%, news)Mining$47.5710
Agrium (AGU 0.00%, news)Fertilizers$87.3810
Kayne Anderson Energy Development (KED 0.00%, news)Asset management$20.4710
Fossil (FOSL 0.00%, news)Fashion accessories$125.6710
FLIR Systems (FLIR 0.00%, news)Sensors, imaging products$27.4610
Cinemark Holdings (CNK 0.00%, news)Theaters$19.4910
EQT (EQT 0.00%, news)Natural gas$63.4810
Rockwood Holdings (ROC 0.00%, news)Specialty chemicals$60.4710
Alliance Holdings (AHGP 0.00%, news)Coal$50.0210
Dresser-Rand Group (DRC 0.00%, news)Oil-field equipment$53.4210
EV Energy Partners (EVEP 0.00%, news)Oil and natural gas$70.4910
Hanesbrands (HBI 0.00%, news)Apparel$30.5110
New Oriental Education & Technology Group (EDU 0.00%, news)Education$127.7310
Iconix Brand Group (ICON 0.00%, news)Brand licenses$23.3310
Concho Resources (CXO 0.00%, news)Oil and natural gas$93.5810
Coach (COH 0.00%, news)Handbags and accessories$64.5610
Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP 0.00%, news)Coal$76.8110
NetEase (NTES 0.00%, news)Online commerce$50.5210
Albemarle (ALB 0.00%, news)Plastics$66.5810
National Oilwell Varco (NOV 0.00%, news)Oil and gas drilling$80.5710
Cabot Oil and Gas (COG 0.00%, news)Oil and natural gas$74.0810
Cummins (CMI 0.00%, news)Engines$104.8810
Oceaneering International (OII 0.00%, news)Oil and gas exploration$43.2010
OM Group (OMG 0.00%, news)Specialty chemicals$36.2810
Goldcorp (GG 0.00%, news)Mining$47.8110
B&G Foods (BGS 0.00%, news)Processed foods$18.7910
Cosan (CZZ 0.00%, news)Sugar cane$12.3310
McDonald's (MCD 0.00%, news)Fast-food restaurants$86.489
Campbell Soup (CPB 0.00%, news)Soup$33.059
ITC (ITC 0.00%, news)Power transmission$70.269
AT&T (T 0.00%, news)Telecommunications$29.269
Idacorp (IDA 0.00%, news)Electric utilities$39.219
Stericycle (SRCL 0.00%, news)Medical wastes$82.129

Put StockScouter to work

Investment research firm Gradient Analytics uses StockScouter to create daily and monthly stock lists. Writer Jon Markman, at the time a columnist for MSN Money, collaborated with the company to devise strategies for putting the tool to work.

One of Markman's strategies involved investing an equal amount of money in each of the stocks in the computer-generated portfolio, selling them six months later, then beginning the process again. For investors who prefer to handle fewer stocks, Markman recommended using the strategy with just the top 10 stocks on the list.
An investor who followed Markman's 10-stock strategy since it was launched in January 2001 would have realized a gain of 691% through June 30 of this year, according to Gradient Analytics, and had an average annual return of 22.8%.
Over the same period, the S&P 500 rose by 9%.

An innovative mix

StockScouter depends on advanced mathematics and software and an innovative mix of measurements and historical testing to forecast the short- and long-term outlook for all U.S. companies that have traded on the major exchanges for at least the past six months.
The analytical tools score stocks on fundamental, valuation, technical and ownership components.
This score is combined with each company's StockScouter rating to come up with the list in the above chart. Only stocks with a final closing price above $3 are eligible for the list.
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