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Top 3 Wall Street stock picks for March

Top 3 Wall Street stock picks for March

While the stock market is not yet free of recessionary fears and remains affected by high interest rates, 2024 has, so far, brought significant positive developments if things are to be judged by major indices such as the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) which have been running close to record highs with generally favorable forecasts.

As many have foreseen – among retail investors as well as among banks and other major institutions – the technology sector, and the AI industry in particular, have been driving the boom with firms like the semiconductor giant Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ: SMCI) leading the way.

Despite the dominance of the sector, the artificial intelligence technology companies are not the only ones expected to achieve great things in times to come, and Finbold decided to take a look at three companies Wall Street experts appear particularly optimistic about.

Walmart (NYSE: WMT)

Given Walmart’s (NYSE: WMT) position as a long-standing blue-chip stock and decades of success, it hardly comes as a surprise that the firm is still well-regarded by analysts.

This year, Walmart has already recorded a strong performance, and WMT shares are 13.07% in the green year to date (YTD). The more recent trend is similarly positive. The last 30 days saw Walmart rise 6.08%, and the retail giant also rose 1.25% in Tuesday’s session, closing at $60.04.

WMT YTD stock price chart. Source: Finbold

The 27 experts represented on the stock analysis platform TipRanks are also highly bullish about Walmart’s future and WMT boasts 24 “buy” ratings and another 3 analysts are neutral.

The average price target for the retail chain is also fairly high at $85.55 – which would, if reached, constitute a 42.49% upside from the latest close. The highest target stands at a staggering $228, and the lowest would see WMT decline only slightly to $58.99.

WMT analyst rating. Source: TipRanks

Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI)

As of 2024, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) is perhaps the biggest surprise in its industry. At a time when firms from the sector have been either declining, or recording only modest growth, LI shares have – driven by a strong earnings report – surged more than 60% in February alone.

Indeed, since the year started, Li Auto stock surged 9.16%, and the last 30 days featured both a skyrocketing and a correction, meaning Li is, in total, 22% in the green in the time frame. The EV maker was also fairly stable during the latest full trading day – March 5 – and rose 0.43%, closing at $37.76.

LI YTD stock price chart. Source: Google

Despite the recent retracement, the 10 analysts represented on TipRanks are universally bullish, and all rate LI stock as a “buy.” On average, they assign Li Auto a 12-month price target of $55.61 – 47.42% above the latest close. The highest forecast would see LI shares soar to $63, while even the lowest would have the EV maker rise to $48.

LI analyst rating. Source: TipRanks

Guardant Health (NASDAQ: GH)

As it turns out, experts are not only bullish when it comes to the AI segment in the technology sector. Biotech companies have been popular with regular investors, institutions, and even certain elected officials, and, among them, Guardant Health (NASDAQ: GH) stands out this March.

Unlike Walmart or Li Auto, the healthcare company – best known for its cancer tests – has done little other than decline in the stock market in 2024. In fact, year-to-date, the company is down 29,20%. 

The trend is observable in the last 30 days – 16.69% – one week – 3% – and the latest full trading day – 0.79%, which saw GH close at $18.77.

The company is, at press time, rising somewhat in Wednesday’s pre-market – it is 1.23% in the green.

GH YTD stock price chart. Source: Google

Still, if anything, the protracted decline made the average analyst forecast for the company only more impressive. As many as 11 out of the 13 analysts featured on TipRanks recommend buying the stock, while 2 are neutral. Despite the downtrend, not a single one believes selling is the right call.

The average price target – which stands at $41.60 – itself represents a jaw-dropping upside of 121.63%. Simultaneously, the highest forecast would see Guardant stock surge even higher to $50, and the lowest would also see GH shares rise significantly to $30.

GH analyst rating. Source: TipRanks

Generally, there is a trend for analyst remaining bullish on biotech stocks despite their recent decline with Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTLA) – with a 1.85% decline in 2024 and a 99.21% forecast upside – and Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI) – with a 4.39% YTD drop and a predicted surge of 1234.94% – being other prominent examples.

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