The Top 4 Magnificent 7 Stocks to Buy in the Year’s Second Half

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As investors prepare for the second half of the year, one question is whether they should take NVIDIA Corp. NASDAQ: NVDA or the field. In this case, the field refers to other stocks that make up the group known as the Magnificent 7. These stocks moved (relatively) in tandem for most of 2023. However, in 2024, NVIDIA has dominated the market, surpassing the $3 trillion mark for market capitalization.

But what comes up can come down sharply. That’s the case with NVDA stock, which dropped 15% from its peak on June 18 to its trough on June 24. The stock has rallied since, and it enjoys favorable analyst sentiment. But before you decide to start or add to a position in NVIDIA, you should take note of something else that happened in the market.

As investors rotated out of NVDA, they rotated into other Magnificent 7 stocks. Inc. NASDAQ: AMZN broke out of a four-month consolidation period. In the last three months, Apple Inc. NASDAQ: AAPL has broken out of a consolidation period that lasted nearly a year.

Meta Platforms Inc. NASDAQ: META looks like it could be ready to take another leg up, and Alphabet Inc. NASDAQ: GOOGL continues to be a comeback story, up over 30% in 2024. What’s the outlook for each of these technology stocks as we head into the second half?

Investors May See What a Fully Functioning Amazon Looks Like 

Many consumers only know Amazon as an e-commerce giant. AMZN investors, however, understand that the company is the world’s largest cloud computing provider via its Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The growth of AWS has fueled the stock’s approximately 130% rise since January 2023, pushing AMZN stock to new all-time highs and a $2 trillion market capitalization.

However, investors may start to find out what happens when both business units are firing simultaneously. The company’s e-commerce business has been impacted as consumers become more discerning about their discretionary spending. However, if interest rates move lower at some point in 2024 (likely before the holidays), it would be a bullish sign for consumer spending.

AMZN stock is within 10% of the consensus target of analysts’ forecasts. However, Wells Fargo & Co. NYSE: WFC just reiterated its Overweight rating on the stock with a $239 price target.

Can Apple Maintain Its Momentum? Key Earnings Insights Ahead

Apple has been one of the best-performing stocks in the last three months. AAPL stock is up over 25%, which has pushed the stock into positive territory for the year. It’s also moved above the consensus price target. That’s great news for Apple shareholders who have watched the stock tread water for the better part of a year.

The reason is that the company’s launch of “Apple Intelligence” is convincing investors that the company has a place in the AI conversation. That’s causing some analysts to bid the stock higher. However, that halo effect may be tested when Apple reports earnings in August.

It may be too early for the company to show a reversal of the trend in which it beats on earnings but comes in light on the top line. But if it guides to higher revenue as the consumer upgrade cycle kicks in, the stock may move much higher.

Does META Need an “And Then What” to Its Upcoming Earnings? 

Meta Platforms stock is up more than 42% in 2024, and in June, the bulls pushed META stock up 8%. That puts it within striking distance of its record high in April 2024. Shareholders know what came next. META stock plunged approximately 18% after the company announced that it would be increasing spending on AI.

However, the bulls gobbled up most of that dip. Meta is scheduled to report earnings later this month, but are investors front-running the company’s earnings numbers?

The bulls will point out that as recently as July 1, Raymond James upgraded META to a Strong Buy and increased its price target from $550 to $600.

On the same day Raymond James issued its upgrade, Needham & Company reiterated its Underperform rating. And the European Union has ruled that Meta’s “pay or consent” advertising model doesn’t give investors enough power to opt out of its ad service.

Alphabet May Have the Most Catalysts 

Alphabet stock is up 30% in 2024 and 52% in the last 12 months. However, despite that market-leading performance, GOOGL stock may still have more catalysts for upside growth.

Valuation is always tricky with tech stocks. However, at a forward P/E of 23.9, GOOGL stock has the most attractive price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio among these four Magnificent 7 stocks.

But there are more reasons to like Alphabet in the second half of 2024. It’s the third largest cloud provider but is growing its cloud business faster than Amazon. That growth is equal to only about 10% of the market. Nevertheless, small advances in market share can make a big difference to the bottom line.

Remember that Alphabet is still the leader in online advertising. Generative AI is boosting that sector even after the company relaunched its Gemini platform.


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