BOSTON (TheStreet) -- This year's cruel summer in stocks may get worse if history serves as a guide.The S&P 500 has recorded an average decline of 0.4% in September over the past 40 years, the worst month for the benchmark index, according to Capital IQ. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tends to fall 1.1% dating back to its beginning in 1896, says Dow Jones Indexes. That compares to an average gain of about 0.7% for all other months combined. Yet, several stocks in the S&P 500, such as Google ( GOOG) and Netflix ( NFLX), tend to outperform.
10. Nike ( NKE) Company Profile: Nike is the largest seller of athletic footwear and athletic apparel in the world. Average Return Since 2001: 6.6% Best September Performance: +17.3% in 2009 Worst September Performance: -6.1% in 2001 Analysts Ratings: Nike still has significant upside potential, based on analysts' price targets. The average target price of $99.61 is about 14% above current price levels. Seventeen investment research firms, from FBR Capital to Stifel Nicolaus, rate the stock a "buy." The five other analysts covering the firm say investors should hold onto the stock.
8. BlackRock ( BLK) Company Profile: BlackRock is one of the country's largest investment managers. Average Return Since 2001: 7.1% Best September Performance: +19.9% in 2010 Worst September Performance: -10.5% in 2008 Analysts Ratings: Fifteen analysts, or 79% of those following the stock, say BlackRock shares are a "buy." Those firms include Credit Agricole and Wells Fargo. Another three say investors should hold onto shares, while one lone analyst says investors should sell the stock. The average price target of $217.21 means analysts expect the stock to rise an average of 31% from current levels.
6. Netflix ( NFLX) Company Profile: Netflix streams movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sends DVDs by mail. Average Return Since 2002: 8.1% Best September Performance: +29.2% in 2010 Worst September Performance: -26% in 2002 Analysts Ratings: Netflix has become a favorite for investors looking for growth opportunities, but analysts are split in their view of the company. Twelve firms, including Piper Jaffray, say Netflix is a "buy," while another 11 analysts have a "hold" rating on the stock. Seven research firms, though, have a "sell" rating on the stock, including Wedbush and Northland Securities. On average, analysts expect Netflix to rise to $273.33, which represents upside of about 17%.
4. Google ( GOOG) Company Profile: Google is the iconic Internet search and advertising tech giant. The company also builds Web applications and software, including the Chrome Web browser and the Android mobile operating system for handsets and tablet computers. Average Return Since 2004: 9.2% Best September Performance: +26.6% in 2004 Worst September Performance: -13.5% in 2008 Analysts Ratings: Google is massively popular with analysts, garnering 38 "buy" ratings from firms like Jefferies, Piper Jaffray and Stifel Nicolaus. The only other four analysts covering the stock say investors should hold on to shares. Google shares have underperformed the broader market, falling 10% this year, but analysts on average expect the stock to climb 34% from current levels.
2. Salesforce.com ( CRM) Company Profile: Salesforce.com provides cloud computing to businesses. The company's cloud apps offer business customers sales force automation, customer service and support solutions, social media monitoring and engagement, and other application development. Average Return Since 2004: 9.8% Best September Performance: +26.9% in 2007 Worst September Performance: -13.6% in 2008 Analysts Ratings: Salesforce.com gets high praise from analysts, even though the stock has dropped about 20% since mid-July. Twenty-seven firms have a "buy" rating on Salesforce.com, including BMO Capital and Canaccord Genuity. Another 10 researchers have a "hold" rating on the stock. Only two analysts say investors should sell shares. The average price target of $160.69 implies upside of 25%. Sanford C. Bernstein is among the most bearish with a price target of $112, which is 12% below where the stock currently trades.