Analysts' Top S&P 500 Stocks to Buy Now

Amazon, Microsoft and Delta Air Lines make the list of stocks scoring rare Strong Buy consensus ratings.

buy Delta Air (DAL) stock
(Image credit: Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

If the idea is to buy low, then going shopping for stocks when markets are at record highs might not seem like the greatest idea. But there are always select names set to outperform – and that's especially true when market leadership is comparatively narrow.

Although select members of the Magnificent 7 stocks have done much of the bull market's heavy lifting, that hardly means these names are doomed to underperform from here. Indeed, as we'll see below, three of Wall Street's top five stocks to buy now hail from the Magnificent 7. Companies from the real estate, oil & gas and, uh, french fry sectors are also ably represented.

Here's how we found the top S&P 500 stocks to buy now. It's well known that industry analysts are reluctant to slap Sell ratings on the names they cover. There are a bunch of reasons for this, some more defensible than others. What's less commonly understood is that Strong Buy recommendations, while not as rare as Sell calls, are in short supply too. 

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If you run a screen of the S&P 500 using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, you'll see that analysts' assign a consensus recommendation of Sell to a total of three stocks. At the other end of the ratings spectrum stands the Street's highest recommendation of Strong Buy. A total of 19 stocks make the cut there, as you can see in the chart below. 

But first a note on our methodology: S&P Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts' stock recommendations and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals Strong Buy and 5.0 means Strong Sell. Any score of 2.5 or lower means that analysts, on average, rate the stock a Buy. The closer the score gets to 1.0, the stronger the Buy call. In other words, lower scores are better than higher scores.

Have a look at the chart below to see the 19 stocks in the S&P 500 that score an elite Strong Buy recommendation from industry analysts. Investors who fear it's too late to buy (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) or Nvidia (NVDA) will be happy to see they easily made the list. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Analysts' top S&P 500 stocks to buy now
Company (ticker)Analysts' consensus recommendation scoreAnalysts' consensus recommendation (AMZN)1.30Strong Buy
Microsoft (MSFT)1.32Strong Buy
Delta Air Lines (DAL)1.35Strong Buy
Nvidia (NVDA)1.38Strong Buy
Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE)1.39Strong Buy
DexCom (DXCM)1.42Strong Buy
Lamb Weston (LW)1.42Strong Buy
Bio-Techne (TECH)1.43Strong Buy
Elevance Health (ELV)1.46Strong Buy
Targa Resources (TRGP)1.46Strong Buy
NiSource (NI)1.46Strong Buy
SLB (SLB)1.47Strong Buy
Las Vegas Sands (LVS)1.47Strong Buy
UnitedHealth Group (UNH)1.48Strong Buy
Uber Technologies (UBER)1.49Strong Buy
Assurant (AIZ)1.50Strong Buy
Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO)1.50Strong Buy
Mastercard (MA)1.50Strong Buy
Mondelez (MDLZ)1.50Strong Buy

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Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.