Everyone knows by now that the holidays are the slowest time of the year for the stock market. Go ahead, call any one of those 'dependable' brokers on Wall Street, and find yourself falling asleep to the jingle and 'Your call is very important to us.' Alright, not all of them, but surely the VIX doesn't lie.
Being below 13.0%, the VIX is signaling that there is very little, in fact, the lowest volatility in the stock market since 2019. While this may be a good thing since it signifies absent fear from investors and tons of upside potential, it also reminds markets that 'what goes up must come down'.
You see, there is only one way to go at this level: up. And when this happens (likely at the end of the holidays, busy season), stocks are in trouble, but not these.
As you will learn in just a minute, stocks like Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), Cemex (NYSE: CX), and Crescent Energy (NYSE: CRGY) can help you cushion a rise in the VIX while also offering some upside.
Extended Black Friday sales
Suppose you have any disposable cash left after the Black Friday shopping sprees or even after Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) rolled out its Cyber Monday promotions. In that case, you should seriously consider the discounts in these stocks, another thing they share besides being in the same NYSE family.
While you will hear about 10%, 20%, maybe even 30% discounts your friends and family landed on items all day, you can then be the financially responsible one and show off the 56.7% discount you found in CEMEX stock.
That's right, while the entirety of the building products industry trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 17.2x, which essentially looks to place a value on the next twelve months of a company's earnings, CEMEX falls way behind its peers at a valuation of 7.5x forward P/E.
You will surely hear someone at the table say, 'Yeah, but it's cheap for a reason', to which you will nod and reply: Do you think analysts would place a price target of $8.5 a share on the stock if there was a reason for it to be cheap?
By the way, that's 26.0% higher than today's stock price. If you need more proof, just pull up the company's peers in the construction sector and compare their prices today to their 52-week highs.
The concrete industry trades at an average of 91.8% of its 52-week highs. At the same time, the CEMEX's stock chart suggests this one is only at 79.0%, meaning it is at an official bear discount defined by Wall Street as a 20% or larger decline from highs.
Now, you might be faced with plenty of discounts on more than one item, so here's the rest of the list for you to show that you also got your fair share of good deals.
Rinse and repeat
There is a reason why The Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) has placed Southwest stock in its 'conviction list.' Markets - as well as analysts - are placing a great deal of faith in this stock's future, so it would be wise for you to listen to these forces of nature.
When you break down the list of airline stocks, you will realize that the industry is trading in a deep bear market, at an average of 67.2% of its 52-week high. However, your selling point here is that the average forward P/E is 5.0x, significantly below Southwest's 11.3x.
Now, why would the most expensive stock in the industry make for a good buy? Well, when markets are willing to pay for 'just another airline,' you better pay attention in an industry that is in severe contraction.
Just as in a state of emergency, you will pay whatever price the best doctor in town would command, the industry's panic makes it clear who the best is.
Analysts won't argue with this point, as they have placed a 29.0% upside from today's prices in this stock. But where does that leave Crescent Energy?
There's no question about it: oil prices are set to go as high as $100 in the coming months; even Goldman was bold enough to put its reputation on it. Despite OPEC's meeting delay, there are forces in play that will make this the case.
So look, when oil prices head up eventually, perhaps right alongside a rising VIX, investors and consumers will be more welcoming of alternative sources of cheaper energy. This is where Crescent's alternative energy portfolio is set to shine through.
Today's forward P/E will put the stock at a 68.0% discount to the alternative energy's 19.1x average, and analysts are aware of the effect rising oil will have on the sentiment for this stock.
With a price target of $17.2 a share, there is an implied 47.6% rally pending from today's prices, such an easy sale.
Get them cheap and early, and watch the earnings come in. If you skipped on a shopping spree next year and potentially follow this strategy, your shopping list could grow twice as big on the returns.