Three S&P 500 Giants Lead This List Of Stocks Near Buy Points

Feb 24, 2024

After Nvidia (NVDA) electrified the market, S&P 500 stocks Lennar (LEN), Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) along with TechnipFMC (FTI) and Manhattan Associates (MANH) are in focus this week.


While Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and AI stocks stormed higher late in the week, a number of non-tech stocks also showed bullish action.

With the stock market rally on the cusp of being extended, investors will want to be cautious about new buys and adding too much exposure. With caution the name of the game right now these are five stocks to keep an eye on this week — giving exposure to the housing market, oil field services, travel and pharmaceuticals.

S&P 500: Lennar Stock

The Warren Buffett-backed S&P 500 component Lennar advanced 1% during Friday’s market action. On the week, shares gained 3.2% to 155.08.

LEN shares have a flat base with an official buy point of 156.01, according to MarketSmith analysis. The Miami-based homebuilder is building on a 44% run and its fourth straight monthly gain.

Lennar surprised Wall Street on Dec. 15 with better-than-expected Q4 earnings and revenue. But Lennar’s Q1 guidance came in under analyst predictions, sparking shares to reverse from a record high and tumbling more than 3%. Despite the dip on its outlook, the S&P 500 stock gained 21% in December and has continued to rally in January and February.

On Jan. 9, Lennar hiked its annual dividend 50 cents to $2 per share. The homebuilder also authorized an increase to its stock-repurchase program to $5 billion.

“Given the strength of our balance sheet, our strong cash position and our operating strategy driving cash flow, we are focusing more of our capital allocation on maximizing total shareholder returns,” co-Chief Executive Stuart Miller said in the news release.

Lennar stock has a 94 Composite Rating out of 99. The S&P 500 stock has a 91 Relative Strength Rating. The EPS Rating is 82.

TechnipFMC Stock

The oil field services provider that competes with S&P 500 stocks Halliburton (HAL) and Baker Hughes (BKR) surged more than 6% on earnings Thursday. On the week, FTI leapt 9.2% to 21.53.

TechnipFMC stock cleared resistance at 20.57 and 20.71 while also decisively clearing a downward-sloping trendline on Thursday. Investors could still use those entries.

Shares are moving toward the official 22.78 buy point in a cup base. However, the stock could use a handle or at least a pause.

The Houston and Newcastle, U.K.-based company topped fourth-quarter earnings and revenue expectations Thursday, with EPS of 14 cents, up from a 5-cent-per-share loss a year ago. FTI sales grew 22% in Q4 to $2.078 billion.

For the full year, FTI reported earnings of 45 cents per share, breaking two straight years of losses.

The oil field service firm also forecast 2024 revenue between $8.4 and $8.95 billion. Analysts predict 2024 sales of $8.71 billion, according to FactSet.

Rebounding oil prices also have been helping TechnipFMC and other oil plays.

TechnipFMC stock has a 93 Composite Rating, an 84 Relative Strength Rating and an 81 EPS Rating.

S&P 500: Vertex Pharmaceuticals

S&P 500 biotech giant Vertex Pharmaceuticals gained 1.9% to 430.11 on the week. Shares broke out of a flat base with a buy point at 387.42 in December 2023.

VRTX is attempting to rebound from its 50-day and 10-week moving averages after a gradual pullback. Investors could use the Feb. 15 high of 427.41, clearly above the 50-day and 21-day lines, as a specific entry.

The Boston-based global biotech company dominates the cystic fibrosis treatment market. Vertex also has other products in late-stage clinical development that target sickle cell disease, Type 1 diabetes and certain genetically caused kidney diseases. That includes a gene-editing partnership with Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP).

Crispr Stock Whipsaws As Wall Street Watches Its Gene-Editing Blockbuster Candidate

On Feb. 5, The S&P 500 giant reported that the fourth-quarter featured $2.52 billion in sales, above expectations for $2.51 billion. Trikafta, which can treat 90% of patients with cystic fibrosis, generated nearly 93% of those sales. Adjusted earnings also rose 12% to $4.20 a share. That beat projections for $4.07 a share.

For the year, Vertex guided to $10.55 billion to $10.75 billion in product sales. That incorporates sales expectations for Casgevy, a sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia gene-editing treatment developed in partnership with CRSP. There are an estimated 30,000 patients with sickle cell disease and 7,000 beta thalassemia patients in the U.S. and Europe.

S&P 500 stock Vertex ranks sixth in the Medical-Biomed/Biotech industry group. VRTX has a 96 Composite Rating. Its Relative Strength Rating is 88 and its EPS Rating is 91.

Manhattan Associates Stock

The enterprise software firm advanced 2.1% on the week to 250.09. MANH shares are attempting to clear a shelf that is slightly above a buy zone from a flat base entry of 230.61. The stock is bouncing from its 21-day exponential moving average.

Investors could enter the stock as it breaks the downward-sloping trendline from its Jan. 31 high of 258.91, along with the 21-day bounce. Or, investors could look for a move to 251-252 to get above the bulk of the current shelf. Manhattan Associates stock is on the IBD 50 and the IBD Big Cap 20.

Manhattan Associates makes supply chain management software for businesses. MANH stock has high technical ratings with its Composite Rating at 98 out of a best-possible 99. Its EPS and RS ratings stand at 96 and 90, respectively.

On Jan. 30, Manhattan Associates easily topped fourth-quarter earnings and revenue expectations. The company reported EPS growing 27% to $1.03 with sales increasing 20% to $238 million. Manhattan Associates has averaged around 38% earnings growth over the past three quarters.

The software firm also expects 2024 earnings between $3.69 and $3.79 per share with revenue of $1.015 to $1.025 billion.

S&P 500: Royal Caribbean Stock

The S&P 500 stock dipped Friday but gained 5% on the week to 121.91, just below the 50-day line. Investors could use Thursday’s high of 124.92 as an early entry for Royal Caribbean stock. The stock is in a valid flat base with a 130.97 buy point, the high on Dec. 29.

The S&P 500 component towed fellow cruise stocks higher after hiking its 2024 earnings guidance Wednesday night, citing stronger-than-expected vacation demand. RCL was the IBD Stock Of The Day on Thursday.

The cruise line now expects full-year earnings per share of $9.90 to $10.10, up 40 cents from its February target of a record $9.50 to $9.70. About 15 cents of that increase reflects an improved revenue outlook in the first quarter.

“Since our last earnings call, robust demand for our vacation experiences has significantly exceeded our initial expectations,” Royal Caribbean Chief Executive Jason Liberty reported.

Royal Caribbean at the beginning of February cleared fourth-quarter estimates and projected a 40% adjusted earnings jump for 2024 at the time. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.25 per share, improved from a loss of $1.12 per share the prior year.

Revenue leapt about 28% to $3.33 billion but slowed for the sixth straight quarter as sales growth normalized following the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said.

Royal Caribbean’s relative strength line is climbing off recent lows toward late-December highs. The S&P 500 stock has a 91 RS Rating out of a best-possible 99. It has a 95 Composite Rating and an 82 EPS Rating.

Please follow Kit Norton on X, formerly known as Twitter, @KitNorton for more coverage.


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