Oil prices have been blistering hot so far in 2018. A barrel of WTI, which is the U.S. oil price benchmark, has rocketed 23% in the first half to more than $74, its highest level since November 2014. Meanwhile, Brent, the global oil benchmark, has been almost as hot, rising 18.8% for the year to more than $79 per barrel.
Those surging crude prices fueled big gains for the stocks of oil producers, with the following five components of the S&P 500 leading the way:
Top Casino Stocks For 2019: Fossil Inc.(FOSL)
The S&P’s single best performer is a stock that many investors had left for dead before the start of the year. In fact, Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) shed 70% of its value in 2017 as demand for wearable tech disrupted its core watch business. The stock has rebounded lately thanks mainly to surprising strength in its new wearables segment. However, for shares to continue their growth, Fossil will need show that it can return to steady sales and profit gains. That isn’t likely this year, given that management is projecting revenue declines of between 14% and 6% in 2018, compared to an 8% drop last year.
These market-thumping gains raise the pressure on each of the companies to show strengthening results in the quarters ahead. The shifting investor opinions on their businesses, meanwhile, are likely to drive future volatility — one way or the other — in their stocks.
Top Casino Stocks For 2019: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation(APC)
Anadarko Petroleum is also sending more money back to shareholders thanks to higher oil prices. After initially authorizing a $2.5 billion repurchase program last fall (enough to retire 10% of its outstanding shares), the oil giant added $500 million to its buyback this year and is expected to spend the entire amount by the end of the second quarter. On top of that, Anadarko announced a fivefold increase in its dividend and committed to repaying another $1 billion in debt by the end of next year. With oil running well above Anadarko’s $50-a-barrel budget level, the company should generate even more excess cash that it could send back to shareholders.
Top Casino Stocks For 2019: Mastercard Incorporated(MA)
There are several ways to find a growth stock, but one of my personal favorites that I believe has a high success rate is investing in well-established companies that are poised to ride the next megatrend. Think digitization, and payment processing companies like Mastercard.
You’d be surprised to know that nearly 80% of consumer purchase transactions across the globe are still made in cash, and that includes rapidly growing economies like India. Incidentally, India is also among the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, which means there’s tremendous underlying potential for a company like Mastercard. And it’s not just about India or e-commerce — it’s about improving financial literacy, greater financial inclusion and the shift of the unbanked population to banks, and the rising adoption of cashless methods of payments like credit cards across nations.
Mastercard is already a global brand that’s been connecting financial institutions, merchants, and consumers for more than five decades and facilitating electronic modes of payments. Over the years, the company has expanded its reach to more than 210 countries and conducts transactions in more than 150 currencies.
Mastercard stock has grown exponentially over the years, backed by solid growth in earnings, cash flows, and 50%-plus operating margins. With management now focused on advanced technologies like biometrics and artificial intelligence to keep up with the times even as the global shift from cash to cashless gathers steam, Mastercard should continue to see investors succeeding in the game.