6 Stocks to Buy Before Black Friday

Thinking about playing the stock market to take advantage of the holiday uptick? Consider investing in these stocks to boost your gift-shopping budget. Or, just scrap it all and go on vacation. Merry Christmas to you!

1. UPS

It makes perfect sense that global-shipping giant United Parcel Service [NYSE: UPS] would see a surge in stock prices as the height of shipping season approaches. A recent survey conducted by comScore reveals that online shopping will increase this year — to nobody's surprise — and that only means more business for UPS. According to independent trader and investor Tela Holcomb, UPS stock has risen from early November to early December for nine out of the last 10 years. Given data that even more packages than ever before will crisscross the country this year, 2016 should be a boon for business as well. She notes, however, that stock trends are based on historical data and should not be taken as investment advice; your personal decision on whether to invest should be supported by current stock charts.

2. Amazon

Amazon [NASDAQ: AMZN] has given department stores a run for their money and their stock price shows it. Like UPS, Amazon's stock has a trend of rising from early November to early December, nine out of the last 10 years, with the highest increase being over 11%, according to Holcomb.

3. eBay

If Amazon doesn't have what you're looking for when shopping for gifts, eBay [NASDAQ: EBAY] probably does — which is why each of these platforms continues to perform at peak levels during the holidays. Vic Patel is a professional trader and investor with over 20 years' experience in the Stock, Futures, and Foreign Exchange Markets, and he's particularly bullish about eBay in the short term going into Black Friday.

"Last year, eBay posted a healthy 4% gain from early November leading into Black Friday; I see a similar seasonal tendency for the stock this year as well," he says. "This is especially likely given that the stock has been beaten down a bit over the last few months and is ready for a bounce upwards."

4. Priceline

The holiday period has a stronghold on many industries, including restaurants, retail, and travel. Which is why it stands to reason that during the most traveled period of the year — the day before Thanksgiving through New Year's — travel sites like Priceline [NASDAQ: PCLN] start climbing.

"Analyzing changes in Priceline's stock price shows the stock has a trend of going up the last two weeks of November into the beginning of December," Holcomb says. "With Thanksgiving being the day before Black Friday, it's no surprise their stock is up around this time."

5. Big 5 Sporting Goods

In a year that saw one of the biggest sporting goods store in the United States — Sports Authority — go belly up, it's a surprise (or maybe not, thanks to less competition) to see Big 5 Sporting Goods [NASDAQ: BGFV] projecting gains. But the company, with an e-commerce platform and brick-and-mortars limited to the western U.S., is dazzling investors. In fact, Forward View, an investment research provider, moved the company from a sell rating to a buy rating while increasing its target price to $20, up from $15, based on new modeling.

6. A Few Things You've (Maybe) Never Heard Of

The election of soon-to-be President Trump sent the market into a tailspin leading up to the results, but the Dow bounced back to post a six-day winning streak, closing at a record high despite a tech fall, according to CNBC, with Goldman Sachs [NYSE: GS] and UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] contributing the most gains. Before the election, however, GoBankingRates predicted a few stocks poised to grow, including Applied Materials [NASDAQ: AMAT], Edwards Lifesciences [NYSE: EW], ARRIS [NASDAQ: ARRS], Lam Research [NASDAQ: LRCX], and Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC]. These stocks represent a wide range of industries — from entertainment and communication technology (ARRS) to aerospace and defense tech (NOC) — none of which are tied to the holidays outright. It's sometimes wise to look beyond the obvious.

The General Consensus

Invest in seasonal or holiday-driven companies to make the most out of this time of year. Get in and get out.

"Chances are if you're spending more than usual during the holidays, so is everyone else," says financial expert Dustin Jacobs, VP for marketing at BrightStar Credit Union. "Use this to your advantage by buying stocks in companies that are most profitable during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's like airlines including JetBlue, retailers like Target and Amazon, and transportation companies such as UPS and FedEx. Do it before the 'January Effect' kicks in and you'll be ready to ring in the New Year with a champagne toast to a temporary bull market."

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