During the week of June 9, TheStreet.com readers searched for the following 10 stocks more than any others. This week, new entrant PetroHawk Energy joins the list as investors seek answers to their questions about the company's recent price action.
Each week, research associate Patrick Schultz makes the Buy, Sell or Hold call on them below, in the order of their popularity.
Top Ten Most Searched Stocks on TheStreet.com
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: Shares followed a classic pattern of "sell on the news" after last week's announcement of the next-generation, 3G iPhone. The near-term trading will be dominated by anything and everything related to the new iPhone launch. Yes, of course, I still think it's a question of when and not if AAPL breaks the $200 barrier, but I am disappointed in shares not hitting the mark before this recent announcement. --
2. Yamana Gold
: Use AUY as a proxy investment for the gold sector. It is a simple to understand trade --- when spot gold prices are up, AUY shares will trade up. When spot gold prices are down, AUY trades down. Don't overthink it.
Further, gold is the primary investment beneficiary of the increasing menace of inflation to global economies. As inflation worries spread, investors flock to gold stocks as a downside hedge. I think every portfolio should have exposure to the precious metal sector, and AUY is a great way to play it. --
: Our nation's massive transmission and power grid has been neglected for decades and now needs a lot of work and investment. The situation has reached a tipping point at which any additional demand on the grid and system will break it (think blackout of August 2003 here). PWR helps utilities build out this basic infrastructure. Also, Quanta benefits from the growth of wind power generation, as most wind farms are in far-off locales and require servicing from Quanta before the electricity is available for distribution and consumption onto the power grid. And as a final kicker, PWR is the service provider for any damages caused by hurricane season. It provides for the emergency on-location staff that rebuilds storm-damaged power lines and restores power to damaged systems and homes. I would buy this one very aggressively here and look for a dip below $30 to add. --
4. PetroHawk Energy
: It is all about energy, as soaring gas and fuel prices have sent even the most speculative of exploration stocks higher. PetroHawk is a run-and-gun "wildcatter" company with significant exposure to the Haynesville and Fayetteville shales in Louisiana and Arkansas. The stock has been on a tear recently, running from the mid-20s, so I would caution jumping in aggressively. However, energy prices remain stubbornly high, so any dip to the $30 level would make for a great entry point. --
5. Deere & Co.
: DE is a cheap way to play the ag bull market. If you believe as I do that the ag story is long term and sustainable, then the near-term selloff of DE shares is a big opportunity that should be aggressively bought right here, right now. The global famine and growing wealth of "BRIC" countries will keep the demand and pricing for food and agriculture products elevated. I really like DE at this level. --
6. Lehman Brothers
( LEH): Last week, shares of LEH along with the whole broker/investment banking group became a focus bordering on obsession of traders and market commentators. With the ouster of the Lehman CFO and its COO and the collapse of Bear Stearns still fresh in the minds of investors, I can understand the fixation on LEH shares. The bearish crowd led by David Einhorn from Greenlight Capital claim that there is significantly more downside ahead for LEH shareholders, while bulls counter that all the bad news is now priced into Brothers Lehman. For retail investors, I would avoid this game of hot potato until the torrent of news and volatility settles. --
7. Goldman Sachs
: Goldman is due to report earnings Tuesday, and as I said about LEH above, trading any of the broker stocks right now is not for the faint of heart. Yes, Goldman is the best of breed in the brokerage group, and I believe it will be the long-term winner, but does that mean it cannot do down (or up) 10%-15% in the blink of an eye? Of course it can and probably will. GS could trade to $160 or $200 in a heartbeat. Further, GS has run over $20 over the past week, so I just don't see a strong risk/reward relationship at these price levels. I would wait for the earnings report to re-evaluate. --
: Visa is stuck in a trading range between the high $70s and high $80s. I don't expect any wild swings until additional fundamental data points are available for review and analysis. Until then, buy in the $76-$79 range and sell in the $86-$88 range. --
: I am stunned and perplexed by the wild volatility of such alarge-capitalization stock. I think it goes to show how much utter confusion is still prevalent in the financial sector. Last week's move below $20 was nauseating, but I still believe the House of Citi will be appreciably higher in two years' time. But holy cow does this stock trade all over the place! --
10. National Oilwell Varco
: NOV is the positive flip-side trade to LEH and GS. The fundamentals are solid and bullish. By now, we all know that energy sources are increasingly difficult to find, tap and bring on line. NOV is the big beneficiary as much sought-after "elephant" oil deposits that exist in hard-to-reach locations in deep offshore waters. These deposits frmand specialized high-tech rigs and services. A limited number of companies in the world can build these rigs, and the demand (as measured by day rates) is off the charts. ---
Patrick Schultz is a research associate at TheStreet.com. He has previously obtained securities licenses under the NASD's Series 7, Series 24, Series 52 and Series 63 exams and has worked in the financial markets on various trading desks in addition to trading for his own account. Schultz holds a bachelor's degree in applied economics from Cornell University.