10 Top-Rated Mega-Cap Stocks to Buy Now

When market volatility is high and economic uncertainty is rising, there's comfort to be found in mega-cap stocks.

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When market volatility is high and economic uncertainty is rising, there's comfort to be found in mega-cap stocks. Stocks with market values of at least $50 billion tend to be bigger, more stable holdings. They tend to have stronger balance sheets and often pay dividends.

When it comes to finding such stocks, there’s no substitute for roll-up-your-sleeves fundamental analysis. Factors such as revenue growth, earnings estimates, profit margins and debt levels are just some of a long-term investor’s most important tools. Traders and tactical investors might also consider technical analysis, which attempts to divine patterns from changes in a stock’s price and volume.

Then there’s quantitative analysis, which takes a wide swath of fundamental, technical and other data, runs it through a mathematical model and calculates a recommendation. Quantitative analysis usually is the preserve of so-called quant funds, which guard their methods jealously. But thanks to StockReports+ from Refinitiv, we know what at least one quant model has to say.

StockReports+ combines a weighted quantitative analysis of six widely used tools: earnings (including estimate surprises and analyst recommendation changes, among other factors; fundamental analysis, which encompasses profitability, debt and dividends, among other considerations; relative valuation, which looks at measures such as price-to-sales and price-to-earnings ratios; risk, which considers magnitude of returns, volatility and other factors; price momentum, which is based on technical performance factors such as seasonality and relative strength; and insider trading, which looks at whether top corporate executives have been net buyers or sellers of their company’s stock.

For mega-cap stocks, or stocks with market values of at least $50 billion, StockReports+ gives greater weight to price momentum and insider trading to calculate an optimized score, since those have proven to be important predictors of future performance. A score of 8 to 10 is considered positive, 4 to 7 is neutral, and 1 to 3 is negative.

It’s a lot to digest. But these are the top 10 mega-cap stocks to buy right now, based off their high marks from the quantitative analysis from StockReports+.

Data is as of May 31, 2019. Quantitative analysis is from StockReports+ from Refintiv. Analysts’ recommendations, price targets, price-to-earnings ratios and long-term growth forecasts are from Refinitiv. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent quarterly payout and dividing by the share price. Stocks are listed by strength of optimized score, from lowest to highest.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

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 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.