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Top 5 Stocks for January

7:48 AM

It's Time to Lock and Load!

Most investors are aware of the “January Effect,” a seasonal occurrence where the market tends to really rally in the first few months of a New Year. This is because this is the time of year when institutional investors really get down to business with pension funding and other year-end trading events. This seasonal phenomenon creates a spike in volume and very favorable conditions on Wall Street.

I expect that this January bounce will be only the beginning of the surge we see on Wall Street in 2010. Easier year-over-year earnings during the fourth-quarter reporting season will cause a buying party in late January and February, and then improving economic indicators will build momentum for several months into the New Year.

To help you capitalize on this seasonal strength, here are my Top 5 Stocks for January.

Top Stock #1 - (AMZN) (AMZN) was my top pick for December, and remains my #1 pick for January. Shares really took off after a strong quarterly report at the end of October, but the momentum has only gotten stronger behind this stock. Just recently, UBS became the latest firm to upgrade the company, raising its price target from $140 to $160. That’s significantly above where shares are right now, so buy in before the surge!

Top Stock #2 – AmBev (ABV)

AmBev (ABV) is another old favorite back again from last month’s list. Formally known as Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, translated to “the American Beverage Company,” AmBev dominates the Brazilian beer market with brands such as Antarctica, Brahma and Skol. Additionally, the company sells Pepsi brands, Lipton iced tea and other drinks like mineral water and sports drinks. As an emerging middle class in Latin America acquires Western tastes, I expect big things from this company.

Top Stock #3 - Baidu (BIDU)

Baidu (BIDU) is the leading Chinese-language Internet search engine, with more than 70% of China’s search market. Some people say this company is China’s Google, but in fact this company is faring even better than that iconic company since Google’s head in China resigned after failing to beat back BIDU’s rapidly growing operations. As China continues to lead the economic recovery and more of this nation’s 1.3 billion people hop online, BIDU is uniquely positioned to profit.

Top Stock #4 - Cognizant Technology (CTSH)

Cognizant Tech Solutions (CTSH) is a leading IT firm that provides a wide array of data and software services to businesses around the world. It offers its services to all manner of businesses, including financial services, health care, manufacturing and logistics, retail, telecommunications and the media. The company enjoys big margins because most of Cognizant Tech’s software development centers and employees are located in India. Outsourcing has been big business as corporations in the developed world look to cut costs, and CTSH is really cashing in on this trend.

Top Stock #5 - Marvell Technology (MRVL)

Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) is a Bermuda-based firm that offers data storage and broadband communications gear. This “fabless” semiconductor company designs and sells hardware but outsources the actual fabrication of the devices to keep down costs. Marvell is a global player, deriving more than 80% of its revenue from Asia, though it relies on just a few customers like Western Digital, Toshiba and Samsung for the bulk of its sales traffic. As the tech sector takes off in 2010, MRVL will be the first link in the chain for the big players — and one of the first companies to profit.

By Louis Navellier

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