10 Stocks for Big Short-Term Gains

Investors eager to rack up quick profits may want to consider recommendations from Morgan Stanley (MS) and its Fresh Money Buy List. The financial services firm was founded in 1935 and has more than 55,000 employees in more than 40 different countries. Morgan Stanley operates three different divisions including the investment securities segment, wealth management, and investment management and serves a variety of clients including individuals, governments, and corporations.

Fresh Money Buy List

Morgan Stanley's Fresh Money Buy List, a concept originated by legendary investment strategist Byron Wien during his years with the firm. After Wien left, the list was taken over by the firm's chief U.S. equity strategist Michael Wilson. According to the latest research note, the average holding period for the stocks in the list is nine months and produced average returns of 13% relative to the S&P.

The Fresh list generally has 10 different stocks for consideration. The current list, which was updated in March 2019, has picks that represent a number of sectors including financials, healthcare, communications, energy, information technology, utilities, and materials. The names are all listed in alphabetical order by stock ticker:

  • Walt Disney (DIS)
  • Humana (HUM)
  • IQvia Holdings (IQV)
  • Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
  • LyondellBasell Industries (LYB)
  • Microsoft (MSFT)
  • NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE)
  • Procter & Gamble (PG)
  • Progressive Corp. (PGR)
  • T-Mobile US (TMUS)

The new list has three changes from the previous year. Morgan Stanley added Las Vegas Sands and Proctor & Gamble to the list, and removed Occidental Petroleum (OXY) in March 2019.

The stocks listed in this article are from Morgan Stanley's Fresh Money Buy List and are not meant to be taken as financial advice. Be sure to do your own research and check with your financial advisor on stocks that best fit your investment strategy and goals.


Morgan Stanley says that its Fresh Money Buy List is "a compilation of some of our best near-term risk-reward stock ideas that stand on their own merit." While maintained by the firm's U.S. equity strategy team, it is developed on a bottom-up basis by its equity research analysts. Selections are "based on specific catalysts such as a change in industry fundamentals, a positive earnings per share (EPS) surprise, or new product introduction." 

The list, which includes 10 stocks in total, is not meant to be a diversified portfolio or to reflect any sector views or other macro constraints. Annual turnover of 50% to 100% among list members is expected.

Key Takeaways

  • Investors eager to rack up quick profits might consider recommendations on the Fresh Money Buy List from Morgan Stanley.
  • This list includes stocks that are expected to outperform the market during the next three to six months.
  • The list, which includes 10 stocks in total, is not meant to be a diversified portfolio or to reflect any sector views or other macro constraints.
  • Annual turnover of 50% to 100% among list members is expected.

The information noted below comes primarily from Morgan Stanley and its current Fresh List.


The Walt Disney Company operates as a worldwide entertainment company. It has a number of different segments including its media networks, parks, and resorts, studio entertainment, direct-to-consumer international. Morgan Stanley says the company is a world-class brand that stands to gain from transitioning its television business "from legacy distribution to streaming." Disney also has strong growth potential through the Fox assets under its brand, its direct-to-consumer business, and growth through EPS.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: $135
  • Percentage to price target: 17%
  • Total return since inclusion: 12.6%


Humana is a for-profit healthcare and health insurance company that was founded in 1961 and is based in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the third-largest provider of health insurance in the United States.

Morgan Stanley recommends this stock for several reasons. First, the company is part of the Medicare Advantage market, which continues to grow in the high single digits as the population continues to age. Secondly, its main business—health insurance—is expected to see significant growth through 2019 and beyond. Money saved from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed in 2017, into enhanced benefits. Humana also has a strong capital position with low leverage, as well as strong capital investments. Morgan Stanley expects to see Humana EPS growth of 12% to 15% in the long-term.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: $383
  • Percentage to price target: 37%
  • Total return since inclusion: -11.3%

IQvia Holdings

IQvia holdings serves both the clinical research and health information technologies sectors. It provides biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services, and has offices in more than 100 countries.

Morgan Stanley has kept IQvia on its list because it has greater growth potential in what it calls a defensive sector. IQvia is poised to be a leader in research and development (R&D), and will likely benefit from the continued digitalization of drug development.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: $156
  • Percentage to price target: 10%
  • Total return since inclusion: 33.9%

Las Vegas Sands

Las Vegas Sands was added to the Fresh Money Buy List in 2019, as the company aligns with Morgan Stanley's favorable views of China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth. The company owns and operates resorts in Asia and the United States. Morgan Stanley says the company has seen significant growth in Macau and Singapore, thanks largely to Chinese gamblers. LVS is poised to retain market share because of the number of hotel rooms it has available to travelers—roughly two-thirds of unsold inventory—as well as its position in the mass market.


The London-based chemical and plastics maker is attractively valued at a forward P/E ratio of only 10, while Morgan Stanley believes that EPS estimates are too bearish, with the consensus $2 to $3 below what they project. The firm's bull case is driven by an upcycle for LyondellBassell's products, plus market recognition of its financial strength, with ample free cash flow and low leverage.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: N/A
  • Percentage to price target: N/A
  • Total return since inclusion: -17.9%


Morgan Stanley believes Microsoft is positioned to be the "best in tech" because of its computing and storage services, its platform-as-a-service capabilities, along with its productivity and front office apps, and its core financials. This is, in addition, to its strong existing assets which include a large customer base, distribution channels, and on-premise technologies. According to Morgan Stanley, Microsoft will see stable growth in its commercial businesses, which represents more than 60% of its revenue. The firm forecasts a three-year revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: $140
  • Percentage to price target: 21%
  • Total return since inclusion: 24.9%

NextEra Energy

Utilities are considered by Morgan Stanley as a defensive play, and calls NexEra as a "best-in-class utility." The company provides electrical power to both retail and wholesale consumers across North America through wind, solar, nuclear, and natural gas-fired facilities. Morgan Stanley projects 6% to 8% EPS growth through 2021, as well as dividend growth of 12% to 14% through at least 2020.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: $191
  • Percentage to price target: -0.1%
  • Total return since inclusion: 26.9%

Procter & Gamble

This American consumer goods company was added in 2019 as it aligned with Morgan Stanley's call for low margin volatility and margin improvement. Procter & Gamble has been gaining market share in the U.S. and around the world because it has been expanding in more categories and business segments. The company also stands to benefit from lower commodity prices, which, in turn, are leading to lower material costs. Morgan Stanley considers this stock a buy because of its dividend yield and earnings visibility give investors a defensive return profile.

Progressive Corp.

You probably recognize the Progressive name from its television commercials and spokesperson Flo, who has appeared in more than 100 ads for the company since 2008. Progressive offers consumers several types of insurance—notably auto insurance. Other forms include home, life, motorcycle, RV, boat, and other commercial vehicle insurance.

Progressive fits in with Morgan Stanley's call for value stocks that have achievable earnings expectations. The firm estimates Progressive's EPS in 2020 at $6, which is 13% above analyst consensus. This estimate is driven by double-digit growth from premiums and margins that should be better than expected.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: $84
  • Percentage to price target: 14%
  • Total return since inclusion: 15.3%

T-Mobile US

According to Morgan Stanley, T-Mobile US has been rapidly gaining market share since 2013, and "This growth came as the company reshaped itself as the Un-carrier, determined to solve the industry's pain points (overage charges, international roaming, inflexible device upgrades, etc.)." The firm expects the company "to generate significant free cash flow (FCF) over the next several years" and to "significantly expand margins given a high degree of operating leverage." As a result, Morgan Stanley anticipates large returns of capital to investors, mainly through share repurchases.

  • Morgan Stanley's target price: N/A
  • Percentage to price target: N/A
  • Total return since inclusion: 13.1%
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