The market dip in the first half of October put a lot of investors on alert, but fears about the market running out of steam quickly abated as the indices found their footing and headed to new record highs.
No one will question the fact that there are risks out there. China's economic growth is slowing, Europe remains on shaky ground, and Ebola continues to be a concern. While the risks are ever-present, the good news is that most analysts agree that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing.
Wall Street has definitely proven its confidence in the overall economy, but perhaps more importantly, so has the general population. Consumer sentiment and consumer confidence hit levels in October that we have not seen since 2007, which should lead to impressive holiday sales for retailers.
Retail spending is a major component of the nation's GDP. If the holiday season lives up to expectations, there is no reason to believe that the U.S. economy on the whole will not keep its momentum into next year. The National Retail Federation has forecast a 4.1% increase in holiday spending this year versus last year, compared with last year's 2.8% increase.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are both trading near record-highs, and the NASDAQ is just below its 52-week high. With the markets trading near their highs, it should come as no surprise that a lot of big-name stocks are currently trading near their 52-week, or even all-time highs. The real question is, which of these stocks have the potential to say the same by the end of the year? Let's look at a few stocks which I believe have a high likelihood of trading at recent highs, or even new all time highs, by the end of the year.