Well, 2011 is almost over, there is now less than 3 months until 2012, so the title of the article should have been “What were the hottest stocks in 2011?”…
In any case, here’s what I think the hottest stocks in 2011 (note that a hot stock does not mean that the stock is performing well, it just means that the stock has a lot of investor’s attention):
AAPL: With a year to date increase of 26%, an average volume of 21,435,000 (which translates into $8.75 billion of transactions every day), and an overall technical analysis of “bullish” (medium and long term), Apple is by far the hottest stock for 2011. The stock is probably recommend by everyone on the planet, and is said to be worth at least $600 even in this market condition.
BAC: A stock that I really hate, but BAC is really hot. Why? Well, because many (crazy?) investors believe that Bank of America is a bargain. And still, the more investors believe it’s a bargain, the more its stock prices goes down. Right now it’s trading at $6.46, which 51% less than opening price on the first trading day of 2011, and two fifth of the yearly high (so imagine if you bought $100,000 worth of BACs at the yearly high’s price, you would be only having $40,000 right now – not bad!). BAC has a daily volume of 272,548,000 and is technically bearish on the short, medium, and the long term.
C: I love Citigroup and I have always made money with it. Almost all investors love this stock as well. The “hotness” of Citigroup comes from the fact that it’s actually making money, while Bank of America (a very similar bank in market capitalization and operations) is losing money. Citigroup has good fundamentals and is traded heavily on the stock market: C has an average volume of around 50 million shares/day, an is technically neutral for the short, medium, and long term. C is down 38% for the year, but I think it’s set for a huge rebound, once all the dust (the European dust, that is) is settled. I (as well as many other investors) think that C is worth at least double its current price. C may rebound heavily in January (I predict a rebound of a 100%, let’s see).
NFLX: I have warned against Netflix so many times before it’s not even funny! Investors had high hopes (I have no idea what were they basing their high hopes on – Netflix keeps on treating its customers as if they were cash cows) about this stock, but then, as I predicted, the stock crashed, and I think the stock will keep crashing (with some short rebounds) until it reaches about $40 (it is already down 35% for the year, and may soon test the double digit price – down from a 3 digit price). A P/E of 10 is more than enough for a company that doesn’t care about its subscribers. After being recommended by every single investor on this planet, the stock is now very bearish on the short, medium, and long term. Should be avoided like the plague.
SPY: SPY is always one of the hottest stocks in the market as it is the most traded ETF (and maybe the most traded stock, I’ll probably write about this). Investors love SPY because it is much more predictable than other stocks: When the market is rebounding, it will rebound for a few days, when the market starts crashing, it will crash for a few days/weeks. Not only that, SPY is very predictable if you watch the news (for example, see what’s going on in the US/Europe/etc…). One can make a lot of money with SPY, the trick is not to get greedy. SPY is down 3.51% for the year, has an average volume of 295,012,000 shares/day, and is technically neutral on the short and the long term, but bullish on the medium term. One thing to remember about SPY, the stock market is bullish for the long term (there’s no such thing as double dip recession), so when you see it down for an extended period, start buying gradually. SPY is by far the safest stock out there.