As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant in the U.S. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped by more than 461 points.
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Investors and analysts are watching the market closely for "bargains" right now, and everyone from Jim Cramer (of "Mad Money") to the analysts at The Motley Fool are sharing their top picks in the face of growing Omicron fears.
If you're looking for a value proposition and have some money ready to invest, consider some of these stocks that experts are calling "buys" right now. It may be wise to plan to hold said investments for the longer term as they all have solid fundamentals and a bright future, according to the experts.
And if you're looking for a unique holiday gift, consider picking up one of these stocks for a loved one to give them a gift that will continue giving, potentially for years.
As a media and entertainment company, Disney stock took a hit as fears of the Omicron variant emerged. Advance ticket sales of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" continue breaking records, but advance sales will mean nothing if people are afraid to go to the theater.
Additionally, with Disney+ subscriber numbers falling short of projections, now - not later - is the time to buy Disney according to Cramer. Although Disney climbed slightly on the morning of Dec. 2 from its 52-week low at just over $142 on Dec. 1, there's still time to get in. Plus, if you have children or Disney / Star Wars / Avengers fans on your holiday wish list, Disney stock could make a great holiday gift that keeps on giving.
2. Teladoc Health
The Motley Fool is calling this telemedicine company "one of the biggest winners over the short term." It may be a bargain right now at $93.25, down from a high of about $285 in February 2021. However, this company also has staying power, the publication advises, deeming it "an exciting disruptor of health care." If the Omicron variant does progress into something worth worrying about, the telemedicine industry will likely see huge gains. And if economic recovery continues and the market rebounds quickly, Teladoc is still a solid long term buy, per Motley Fool analysts.
Cramer is calling PayPal a buy, especially as it hovers in the low $180s. On Dec. 1 it dipped to $179, a 52-week low. Cramer urges investors to look past PayPal's less-than-stellar chart and consider the company's future growth and potential as a long-term investment.
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With a marquee name and a (relatively) low price, PayPal stock could make a fabulous stocking stuffer for your favorite online shopper, too.
Omicron variant or not, the past year has shown us that e-commerce isn't going away and will only continue to grow. Latin e-commerce and digital payments platform MercadoLibre opened low on Dec. 2, at $1,104.20, close to its 52-week low of $1,090.12. But the holiday season should bode well for this stock and you only need to look at its 52-week high of around $2,020 to see the potential as a long-term investment here. As The Motley Fool points out, "taking advantage of this dip should reward investors once again."
GameStop stock took a dip in line with the market yesterday amidst Omicron fears, but it still sits at less than 50% of its 52-week high. Hovering around $180 and down 12% in the past five days, GameStop may present a buying opportunity. Plus, if you're looking for a great gift to get your teen or tween started in investing, bundle a print-out of their new stock option with their favorite video game, controller, or headphones. In spite of the controversy surrounding the original meme stock, GameStop stock continues to generate buzz and make headlines, making it an enticing investment, especially as a gift.
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As Bloomberg Businessweek noted on Dec. 1, people bought GameStop during the frenzy last winter not because of its "future cash flows," but to become part of a fun online community - for a sense of belonging and for nostalgia. All these things make this stock an interesting gift to get a child interested in investing.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: These 5 Stocks Could Yield Huge Gains if Omicron Fears Recede