Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:30 a.m. EDT on Real Money . Sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
Right about now, every single year, the market anoints stocks. The anointed stocks are those that get bought at every single dip between this juncture and the end of the year.
Before I give you the dozen stocks that I believe are being anointed right now, let me just say that I hate the anointment process. It was something that was paid no attention when I was working at Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) in the early 1980s, and I didn't even see it happening in the late '80s, when I started my hedge fund. But, beginning in 1990, I saw the pattern. Growth-stock managers just couldn't resist. They simply picked the stocks they liked and wouldn't let them come in. They did it in part because they knew they could get away with it, and in part because they would value the stocks on the "out-years," meaning out three and four years from that time. They could make up any old estimate for those periods and decide it had gravitas.
By the end of 1994, I had had enough. I could always tell which ones they were going for: 3Com; UnitedHealth (UNH - Get Report); U.S. Robotics; Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report). I got to the point at which I could isolate exactly what those growth-stock managers would walk up -- and, every time the stocks were hit, I would just buy deep-in-the-money calls with as little premium as possible. I would then sell some common against them as they recovered, and I was profitable, but never even by as much as one-half the position.It became an annual fourth-quarter game. In the end, not only did I make my peace with it, but I found it a pretty terrific way to try to make money. Obviously, if the market gets crushed between Monday and the end of the year, these stocks won't save you. But, if it doesn't, I think the following names will be the best bets for fourth-quarter romps. Without further ado: 1. Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) -- OK, here's the story. You know people will soon be saying that this will be an Amazon Christmas, and that the numbers are coming in far better than expected. I know, given comments from United Parcel Service (UPS - Get Report) that its expensive overnight business was weaker, that that's because Amazon has been opening warehouses all over the place that don't need quick overnight because they are so close to customers. That means the gross margins for Amazon Prime could be through the roof. Amazon is just a terrific story that people love to bet against.