25 Stocks to Buy Before December

REIT Macerich has been among the best stocks in December, historically

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Nov 26, 2018 at 1:41 PM

It's been a rough couple of months for the stock market, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) pacing for a second straight monthly loss -- something we haven't seen since the first quarter. However, several stocks could muscle higher in December, if past is prologue. Most notably, California-based real estate investment trust (REIT) Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC) tends to outperform in the final month of the year.

Below are the 25 best S&P stocks to own in December, looking back 10 years. MAC is only one of two that boast a 100% positive rate, and its average return of 8.01% tops all equities, per data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.

best december stocks

Like the rest of the broader stock market, the shares of Macerich have struggled in November. In fact, the security is pacing for a monthly loss of 5.6%, following a 6.6% decline in October, and a 5.9% drop in September. MAC's recent rebound attempts have stalled at its 30-day moving average, and the stock just touched a six-year low of $48.16 on Nov. 15. At last check, the equity was fractionally higher at $48.75. From current levels, another 8.01% gain in December would put Macerich stock around $52.65 to start 2019.

MAC stock chart nov 26

Should the shares once again break higher in December, a short squeeze could add fuel to MAC's fire. About 7% of the REIT's float is dedicated to short interest, representing about two weeks' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average pace of trading.

Meanwhile, just four of 12 analysts consider MAC worthy of a "buy" or better rating. However, that's not too surprising, considering the security's decline over the past few months. Unless the REIT makes a noteworthy move to the upside, I wouldn't expect many analysts -- or short sellers -- to abandon their bearish positions.

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