5 Stocks to Outperform in 2018’s Volatile Market

TipRanks, a website that ranks analysts based on average return and success rate of buy-sell rating recommendations over the last year, has picked a handful of stocks across sectors that it suggests are safe bets in an uncertain market.

As fears of higher interest rates and rising inflation inject volatility to the nine-year bull market, 2018 has seen its fare share of market bears calling for an inevitable correction, or at the very least, a prolonged period of choppiness. 

All five of TipRanks' picks have a beta under 0.5, suggesting that they are theoretically less volatile than the overall stock market, which is defined as having a beta of 1. Among the most promising "strong buy"-rated stocks, Skechers USA Inc. (SKX), 2U Inc. (TWOU), Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NBIX), Abiomed Inc. (ABMD) and Bofl Holdings Inc. (BOFI) are top picks among analysts with the most profitable track records of the 4,7000 tracked by the platform. (See also: Luxury Retail Stocks ‘Too Cheap to Ignore’: Nomura.)

Beta-Led Best Bets 

SKX, with a beta of 0.26, is set to jump 35% from Tuesday afternoon as it rides momentum from fourth-quarter earnings results into the year, according to Susquehanna's Sam Poser. He expects another significant earnings beat coming for the shoe maker, driven by a strong domestic wholesale business and growth in international markets such as China. 

Online education platform 2U Inc., has seen its stock, with a beta of -0.02, more than double over the most recent 12 months. Bulls expect new partnerships and education programs, such as its second domestic graduate program launching in 2019, providing significant revenue upside and cross-sell opportunities.

NBIX, a biotech stock with a beta of 0.3, has spiked as the Street applauds its Ingrezza drug, the first FDA-approved treatment for adults with a mental illness called tardive dyskinesia. Abiomed, also a biotech play, should gain on expanded FDA pre-market approval for new heart pumps.

BofI Holding, the parent company of BofI Federal Bank, is set to gain on myriad factors including loan growth, strong profitability, clean credit and expansion opportunities, according to B. Riley FBR's Steve Moss. (See also: Three Big Tech Stocks We Still ‘Love’: Susquehanna.)

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