The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace) -- Even with the political strife erupting around the globe, stocks logged their third straight month of gains this February. I expect this strong performance to continue and for the top stock picks to do even better in March as a fresh wave of buying pressure enters the market.
Whether you're one of those investors who has been riding the bench or you've been in the game all along, you want to have quality blue-chips in your portfolio. So I have put together a list of the top blue-chip stocks to buy to take advantage of this coming strength.
AutoZone Inc. (AZO - Get Report) remains my favorite blue-chip. The company will release earnings for its fiscal second quarter today, and I think we'll really see the stock take off. Analysts are currently forecasting that the company will post earnings of $3.06 per share and sales totaling $1.6 billion. AutoZone has a history of beating analysts' estimates, and I'm confident that the company will pull out another good surprise this time around.The company has a history of buying back stock, which helps increase earnings per share and, thus, drives the share price higher. I expect it to post strong quarterly earnings, and when that happens, much of the investor hesitation that has surrounded the stock of late will fall away. Buy AZO when it's trading for less than $274.