Top Stocks for January 2022

The Russell 1000 Index is a market-capitalization-weighted index of the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. It represents approximately 92% of the total market capitalization of all listed stocks in the U.S. equity market. For this reason, it is considered a bellwether for large-cap investing. Some of the largest companies in the index include Apple Inc. (AAPL), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and The Walt Disney Co. (DIS). The Russell 1000 provided a total return of 25.5% over the past 12 months. This market performance number and all data below are as of Dec. 16, 2021.

Here are the top five stocks across all sectors with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.

Value investing is a factor-based investing strategy that involves picking stocks that you believe are trading for less than what they are intrinsically worth, usually by measuring the ratio of the stock’s price to one or more fundamental business metrics. A widely accepted value metric is the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Value investors believe that if a business is cheap compared to its intrinsic value, (as measured by its P/E ratio, in this case) the stock price may rise faster than that of others as the price comes back in line with the worth of the company. These are among the stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing P/E ratio:

Best Value Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
UWM Holdings Corp. (UWMC) 6.68 0.7 0.5
United States Steel Corp. (X) 23.45 6.3 2.1
Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) 7.59 3.0 2.6
Sage Therapeutics Inc. (SAGE) 38.93 2.3 3.1
Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. (BIO) 734.34 22.0 3.3

Source: YCharts

  • UWM Holdings Corp.: UWM Holdings operates as a wholesale mortgage lender. The company originates, sells, and services residential mortgage loans across the U.S., including government loans. UWM employs 8,600 people. In November, UWM Holdings announced the launch of MI Buster, a product that eliminates mortgage insurance (MI) for borrowers who put more than 10% down. Traditional MI requires a down payment of at least 20% to waive it. MI Buster is available for conventional purchase loans of $200,000 or more, as well as for certain high balance loans.
  • United States Steel Corp.: United States Steel is a steel producer with operations in the U.S. and Central Europe. The company makes high value-added steel products, including its proprietary XG3 advanced high-strength steel. It serves the automotive, construction, appliance, energy, containers, and packaging industries. U.S. Steel has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 26.2 million net tons. The company announced on Dec. 9 that it has collaborated with transportation and industrial companies Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) and The Greenbrier Companies Inc. (GBX) to develop a lighter-weight, more energy-efficient gondola railcar. The new car’s unloaded weight has been reduced by up to 15,000 pounds. Gondola railcars are used to transport loose bulk material including coils, wood chips, steel slabs, ore, and metal scraps.
  • Qurate Retail Inc.: Qurate Retail is an e-commerce services company that reaches 218 million homes and operates through seven retail brands: QVC, HSN, Zulily, Frontgate, Ballard Designs, Garnet Hill, and Grandin Road. It partners with television networks, e-commerce sites, streaming services, social pages, mobile apps, and print catalogs to provide video and digital commerce services. 
  • Sage Therapeutics Inc.: Sage Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that develops novel therapies for people with debilitating brain disorders. The company targets diseases and disorders of the brain within key areas such as depression, neurology, and neuropsychiatry. It markets ZULRESSO, a drug for treating postpartum depression, and has a number of drugs in its development pipeline. For Q3 2021, ended Sept. 30, the company reported widening net losses and a 12.1% year-over-year (YOY) decline in net product revenue. The company said that both research and development costs, as well as selling, general and administrative expenses, increased YOY.
  • Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.: Bio-Rad Laboratories develops and manufactures a wide array of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. Its customers include university and research institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and applied laboratories. The company operates globally and employs roughly 7,800 people worldwide.

These are the top stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB) 89.11 29.7 1,490 87.4
Nucor Corp. (NUE) 113.90 32.6 1,060 109.3
Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD) 62.40 12.4 931.9 118.3
Nielsen Holdings PLC (NLSN) 20.31 7.3 1,300 5.5
Westlake Chemical Corp. (WLK) 92.24 11.8 942.2 61.0

Source: YCharts; Petco Health and Wellness Co. Inc.

  • LyondellBasell Industries NV: LyondellBasell Industries is a Netherlands-based multinational plastics, chemicals, and refining company. The company produces a range of chemicals, polymers, and fuels. It is also the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies and the largest producer of polypropylene compounds. LyondellBasell’s products are sold in more than 100 countries.
  • Nucor Corp.: Nucor is a manufacturer of steel and steel products with operating facilities throughout North America. The company makes a broad range of carbon and alloy steel products, including bars, beams, sheet, electrical conduits, precision castings, steel fasteners, insulated metal panels, steel grating, and more. It also sells both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. On Dec. 13, Nucor announced that it had agreed to acquire a majority position in California Steel Industries Inc. (CSI). Nucor will purchase a total equity interest of 51% in two separate purchases: one from a subsidiary of Vale S.A. (VALE) and the other from JFE Steel Corp. (JFE). The 50% equity interest purchased from Value has a cash purchase price of $400 million. The purchase price of the remaining 1% interest from JFE Steel was undisclosed.
  • Steel Dynamics Inc.: Steel Dynamics is a steel producer and metals recycler with operation facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico. The company produces hot roll, cold roll, and coated sheet steel, as well as structural steel beams and shapes, cold finished steel, merchant bar products, steel joists, and other products. It also produces liquid pig iron and processes ferrous and non-ferrous scrap. Steel Dynamics has steelmaking and coating capacity of roughly 13 million tons as of Dec. 31, 2020. On Dec. 16, the company provided earnings guidance for Q4 2021 of between $5.46 and $5.50 per diluted share. This represents record quarterly EPS performance for the company.
  • Nielsen Holdings PLC: Nielsen Holdings is a global data and analytics company that focuses on the media industry. The company offers audience measurement, audience outcomes, content, and other analytics. Nielsen offers measurement and analytics service in over 55 countries.
  • Westlake Chemical Corp.: Westlake Chemical is a maker and supplier of petrochemicals and polymer materials including building products, infrastructure materials, packaging, healthcare products, automotive, and consumer goods. The company employs roughly 14,700 employees and operates worldwide. For Q3 2021, ended Sept. 30, Westlake reported a nine-fold surge in net income on robust net sales growth YOY. Quarterly net sales, net income, and EBITDA achieved company records, driven by higher selling prices and margins.

Momentum investing is a factor-based investing strategy that involves investing in a stock whose price has risen faster than the market as a whole. Momentum investors believe that stocks that have outperformed the market will often continue to do so because the factors that caused them to outperform will not suddenly disappear. In addition, other investors, seeking to benefit from the stock’s outperformance, will often purchase the stock, further bidding its price higher and pushing the stock higher still. These are the stocks that had the highest total return over the past 12 months.

Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
GameStop Corp. (GME) 144.59 11.0 944.0
Upstart Holdings Inc. (UPST) 140.64 11.5 377.2
Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) 40.36 27.3 169.6
Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) 43.28 15.8 153.7
Alcoa Corp. (AA) 52.59 9.8 144.2
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 25.5

Source: YCharts

  • GameStop Corp.: GameStop is a specialty retailer that offers games and entertainment products through its e-commerce properties and stores. It operates a chain of 4,816 stores in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. It sells video game hardware, software, gaming accessories, and other entertainment products. The company primarily operates under the names GameStop, EB Games, and Micromania. GameStop’s stock has soared this year amid the “meme” stock frenzy. For Q3 FY 2021 ended Oct. 30, GameStop reported widening net losses despite 29.1% YOY growth in net sales.
  • Upstart Holdings Inc.: Upstart Holdings is an artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform focused on improving access to affordable credit while reducing the risks and costs faced by its bank partners. Its platform uses machine learning to identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional lending models. The company has originated $16.7 billion in loans as of Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Devon Energy Corp.: Devon Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company. It owns a portfolio of assets located in the U.S. and is primarily engaged in the exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and NGLs. The company employed 1,400 people across the U.S. as of Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Continental Resources Inc.: Continental Resources is an oil and natural gas exploration and production company. It is the largest leaseholder and among the largest producers in the Bakken oil field region of North Dakota and Montana. The company employed 1,201 people throughout the U.S., as of Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Alcoa Corp.: Alcoa is a leading producer of aluminum, bauxite, and alumina products. The company serves customers in the aluminum industry around the world. Alcoa has access to bauxite reserves at seven global mines and a portfolio of seven alumina refineries, among other operations. On Dec. 13, the company announced the closure of its Wenatchee Works aluminum smelter in Washington state. The move will cost $75 million in restructuring and related charges to decommission the smelter, which had an aluminum smelting capacity of 146,000 metric tons.

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  1. YCharts. “Financial Data.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  2. UWM Holdings Corp. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020,” Page 2. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  3. UWM Holdings Corp. “UWM launches MI Buster, eliminating mortgage insurance for borrowers who put more than 10% down.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  4. United States Steel Corp. “United States Steel Corporation Further Strengthens Balance Sheet by Permanently De-Risking a Portion of its Pension Plan.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  5. United States Steel Corp. “U. S. Steel, Norfolk Southern, and Greenbrier Collaborate on New, Sustainable High-Strength Steel Railcar.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  6. Qurate Retail Inc. “Welcome to Qurate Retail Group.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  7. Qurate Retail Inc. “Investor Relations.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  8. Sage Therapeutics Inc. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020,” Page 1. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  9. Food and Drug Administration. “Drug Trials Snapshots: ZULRESSO.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  10. Sage Therapeutics Inc. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020,” Page 5. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  11. Sage Therapeutics Inc. “Sage Therapeutics Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Highlights Pipeline and Business Progress.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  12. Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. “Bio-Rad Reports Third-Quarter 2021 Financial Results.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  13. LyondellBasell Industries NV. “LyondellBasell Reports Third Quarter 2021 Earnings.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  14. Nucor Corp. “Nucor Reports Record Quarterly Earnings for the Third Quarter of 2021.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  15. Nucor Corp. “Nucor Acquires Majority Ownership of California Steel Industries.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  16. Steel Dynamics Inc. “Steel Dynamics Reports Record Third Quarter 2021 Results.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  17. Steel Dynamics Inc. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020,” Page 3. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  18. Steel Dynamics Inc. “Steel Dynamics Provides Fourth Quarter 2021 Record Earnings Guidance.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  19. Nielsen Holdings PLC. “NIELSEN’S THE GAUGE: MONTHLY TOTAL TV AND STREAMING SNAPSHOT FOR NOVEMBER.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  20. Westlake Chemical Corp. “Overview.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  21. Westlake Chemical Corp. “Westlake Chemical Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  22. GameStop Corp. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2021,” Pages 1 & 2. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  23. GameStop Corp. “GameStop Reports Financial Results for Q3 2021.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  24. Upstart Holdings Inc. “Investor Relations.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  25. Upstart Holdings Inc. “About.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  26. Devon Energy Corp. “About Us.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  27. Devon Energy Corp. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020,” Pages 6 & 7. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  28. Continental Resources Inc. “Home.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  29. Continental Resources Inc. “About Us.” Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  30. Continental Resources Inc. “Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020,” Page 23. Accessed Dec. 18, 2021.

  31. Alcoa Corp. “Overview.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.

  32. Alcoa Corp. “Alcoa Announces Closure of Wenatchee Smelter in Washington State.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2021.