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Best stocks in the US: Top picks for May 2021

These US-listed stocks are well worth watching in the year ahead.

No single stock or list of stocks will suit all investors, as we all have different goals and needs. What’s best for you might not be best for someone else. These are starting points for your own research and should not be taken as advice to buy any particular stock.

US stocks continue on an impressive run in 2021. The NYSE Composite is up 12% year to date and around 45% from May 2020. The Nasdaq Composite has trailed so far this year with a 10% gain, but it beats the NYSE with an overall 62% gain since May 2020.

If you’re feeling bullish about stocks in 2021, but you’re not sure where to start, this list of 20 Nasdaq and NYSE stocks may be worth watching. We will update it monthly based on the results of our proprietary ranking system.

May could be the month for financial stocks. Five of ranks among our top 20, including names like Charles Schwab, JPMorgan and Citizens Financial Group. Goldman Sachs also ranked high enough to join the list, but it shared the same score with Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, a Brazilian steel producer. For the tiebreaker we used the six-month return, which was higher for the Brazilian company.

How to pick stocks

There’s no single winning strategy to filter “the best stocks,” because the most important consideration is your own circumstance. Besides, the best stocks are those that perform well in the future, and past performance is no guarantee.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework and invest. Whether you care more about short-term capital gains or long-term dividend growth, it’s important to know whether a stock is performing well, making a profit, paying dividends or going backwards.

Stocks to watch in 2021

To help identify stocks to watch, we used Finder’s proprietary algorithm to filter Nasdaq- and NYSE-listed companies that have strong fundamentals. We take into account historical prices, dividends, revenue growth, (low) price volatility and profit margins, which might indicate a quality stock.

To avoid smaller, more speculative stocks, we only include companies with a market cap of more than USD $10 billion. In order to better compare historical data, we filtered out stocks that have been listed for less than five years. This methodology no doubt filters out some good stocks, and not making this list is not a negative.

This also doesn’t mean these are the best stocks for you. Always do your own research, and chat with a professional when in doubt.

The algorithm was last updated 27 January 2021. This list and data was compiled April 18, 2021.

How did we pick this list?

We use a proprietary algorithm that rates stocks based on price performance, profit, revenue and dividends. The information provided is general in nature, not personal financial advice, and your personal objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into consideration. The companies displayed on this page may not be the best for you, and you’re encouraged to do your own research. Always remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments can go up and down, and we do not guarantee the performance of or returns of any investment. For more information about our algorithm, head to our stock ranking page.

Quest Diagnostics logo

1. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX)

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a clinical laboratory based in the US that offers diagnostic testing for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, neurological disorders, COVID-19 and employment and court ordered drug testing.

  • Healthcare
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 1.89%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 9.96

About Quest Diagnostics Incorporated stock

Charles Schwab logo

2. The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW)

The Charles Schwab Corporation is a financial service company that provides banking, commercial banking, a trading platform and wealth management advisory services to retail and institutional clients.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 1.08%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 29.60

About The Charles Schwab Corporation stock

logitech logo

3. Logitech International (LOGI)

Logitech International is a manufacturer of computer peripherals and software.

  • Technology
  • Exchange: Nasdaq
  • Dividend yield: 0.74%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 21.45

About Logitech International stock

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners logo

4. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP)

The Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P is a Canadian company that acquires and manages infrastructure assets worldwide.

  • Utilities
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 3.79%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 131.08

About Brookfield Infrastructure Partners stock

The Cooper Companies logo

5. The Cooper Companies (COO)

The Cooper Companies, Inc. is a medical device company that provides its services through CooperVision and CooperSurgical.

  • Healthcare
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.015%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 9.12

About The Cooper Companies stock

JPMorgan Chase & Co. logo

6. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM)

JPMorgan Chase & Co is an investment bank and a financial services holding, and a major provider of various investment banking and financial services.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 2.39%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 11.94

About JPMorgan Chase & Co stock

Perkin Elmer logo

7. PerkinElmer (PKI)

PerkinElmer produces analytical instruments, genetic testing and diagnostic tools, medical imaging components, software and medical instruments.

  • Healthcare
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.21%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 20.78

About PerkinElmer stock

Ubiquiti Networks logo

8. Ubiquiti (UI)

Ubiquiti develops networking technology for service providers, enterprises, and consumers, and consumer electronics for professional, home and personal use.

  • Technology
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.55%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 35.87

About Ubiquiti stock

Vale logo

9. Vale S.A (VALE)

Vale S.A is a Brazilian mining corporation and the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world.

  • Materials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 7.37%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 20.50

About Vale S.A stock

Western Alliance Bancorporation logo

10. Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL)

The Western Alliance Bancorporation offers personalized banking experience and access to senior management to business clients.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.94%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 17.33

About Western Alliance Bancorporation stock

ebay logo

11. eBay (EBAY)

eBay is an Internet retail marketplace that connects buyers and sellers worldwide.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: Nasdaq
  • Dividend yield: 1.18%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 17.20

About eBay stock

KKR logo

12. KKR & Co. (KKR)

KKR & Co. is a private equity and real estate investment firm specializing in direct and fund of fund investments.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.98%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 16.53

About KKR & Co stock

Scotts Miracle Gro logo

13. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG)

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company manufactures, markets and sells consumer lawn and garden products.

  • Consumer discretionary
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 1.07%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 27.30

About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company stock

Thermo Fisher Scientific logo

14. Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO)

Thermo Fisher Scientific provides analytical and other instruments, laboratory equipment, software, consumables, reagents, instrument systems, chemicals, supplies and services worldwide.

  • Healthcare
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.21%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 30.55

About Thermo Fisher Scientific stock

Expeditors logo

15. Expeditors International of Washington (EXPD)

Expeditors International of Washington, Inc offers logistics and freight forwarding services worldwide, including ground transportation, airfreight, ocean freight, order management, customs brokerage and more.

  • Industrials
  • Exchange: NASDAQ
  • Dividend yield: 0.94%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 27.21

About Expeditors International of Washington stock

Nvidia logo


NVIDIA designs graphics processing units used in gaming and other industries.

  • Technology
  • Exchange: Nasdaq
  • Dividend yield: 0.10%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 88.52

About NVIDIA stock

Ares logo

17. Ares Management Corporation (ARES)

Ares Management Corporation is an investment management company that covers equities, credits, real estates, financial planning and investment advisory services.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 3.02%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 68.99

About Ares Management Corporation stock

Bio-Rad Laboratories logo

18. Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO)

Bio-Rad develops specialized products for the life science research and clinical diagnostics markets.

  • Healthcare
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: N/A
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 5.07

About Bio-Rad Laboratories stock

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional logo

19. Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (SID)

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional is a Brazilian company and one of the largest crude steel producers in Latin America, but it also produces a line of steel products, including slabs, hot- and cold-rolled, galvanized and tin mill products.

  • Materials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 0.019%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 17.55

About Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional stock

Citizens Financial Group logo

20. Citizens Financial Group (CFG)

Citizens Financial Group provides commercial banking services, including consumer loans, commercial loans, mortgage loans, deposit products, internet banking and trust services.

  • Financials
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Dividend yield: 3.47%
  • Price-earnings (P/E) ratio: 12.60

About Citizens Financial Group stock

Buy shares through an online broker

To invest in any of these stocks, you’ll need a brokerage account.

Name Product Available asset types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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