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5 of the best stocks to buy for November

U.S. News & World Report - Money logo U.S. News & World Report - Money 11/1/2017 John Divine

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This year has been pretty good to the stock market; the Standard & Poor's 500 index is up more than 15 percent in 2017, which is already good enough to be an above average year. 

And with two months left to go, 2017 has the opportunity to add on to its impressive gains – or completely reverse them. Hunting for the best stocks to buy for November should help you guard your portfolio against reversals.

From small-cap to megacap names, momentum plays and value stocks, the best stocks to buy for November have a little bit of everything.

Editas Medicine

Ticker: EDIT

There are more than a few things that make Editas a strong portfolio pick, but its momentum coming into the month is what makes it one of the best stocks to buy for November. Having recently crossed over its 20-day simple moving average (SMA), EDIT now trades above its 20-day SMA, 50-day SMA and 200-day SMA, all considered bullish technical indicators.

More substantively, Editas is a nice stock to buy for the long term, as it's a pioneer in the CRISPR gene-editing technology, which allows scientists to easily and affordably edit genes with such precision that there's hope CRISPR could ultimately treat or fully cure hundreds of known diseases.

That said, it's probably not wise to allocate anything other than a small chunk of your portfolio to EDIT, which has a market cap of only $1 billion on virtually non-existent sales.

Facebook

Ticker: FB

One of the usual suspects on U.S. News's monthly best stocks to buy list is FB, which simply still remains a bargain. Regardless of how third-quarter earnings go on Wednesday, there is literally no other company like Facebook on the face of the planet. With troves of data on 2 billion users, the company owns what advertisers consider the holy grail, and they're willing to pay Facebook handsome sums to reach highly targeted potential customer groups.

It's also been expanding into areas beyond purely social media. "The platform's video advertising capabilities are growing in relation to its chief rival YouTube – more than 500 million people watch videos on Facebook daily," says Chaitanya Chandrasekar, CEO & co-founder of QuanticMind.

"FB videos tend to have 10 times more viral reach than YouTube links," says Chandrasekar. Facebook hopes that will not only help it compete for advertising dollars typically spent on YouTube, but attract traditional TV ad budgets as well.

Still, with all the negative publicity about Facebook's role in spreading fake news throughout the 2016 campaign, it's likely there's less buying pressure than there should be. As Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) all attested this earnings season, large-cap tech is in this season, and that means so is Facebook.

IPG Photonics 

Ticker: IPGP

IPG Photonics has been on a monstrous bull run for, well, a while. Already up about 120 percent in 2017 going into November, shares are up more than 250 percent in the last five years and more than 1,000 percent in the last 10. 

Read More: The 10 Most Anticipated IPOs of 2017

IPGP makes lasers. It turns out, they make pretty darn good ones, too. And most people wouldn't know it, but lasers play an absolutely vital role in the 21st century supply chains of practically countless products and services. IPG Photonics lasers are heavily used in manufacturing, where their precision and efficiency is crucial in high-quality manufacturing at scale.

Its products are also used in areas like telecom, broadband, LIDAR, 3-D printing, ophthalmology, dentistry, medical imaging and many others.

At 36 times earnings, shares aren't cheap, but you've almost always got to pay up for stellar growth, which is what this company does. On Halloween, IPGP reported record third-quarter results, with revenue up 48 percent and earnings per share up 64 percent.

BofI Holding

Ticker: BOFI

You may not have heard of BOFI, but the $1.6 billion San Diego, California-based bank is one of the best stocks to buy for a few simple reasons.

Firstly, in today's bull market, some valuations have gotten a little stretched. Some might even argue that the previous stocks on this list have "stretched" valuations, though their growth and potential would seem to justify it. Regardless, BOFI is an out-and-out value stock, trading at 12.6 times earnings and 9.6 times forward earnings.

As the Federal Reserve in the years ahead continues on its pace to steadily ratchet up interest rates, banks should be big beneficiaries, and undervalued, overlooked small banks like BOFI are great opportunities for investors to capitalize on.

Alibaba Group Holding

Ticker: BABA

Last but not least of the best stocks to buy for November is Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant that might be considered the Amazon of Asia. Not only is BABA disrupting physical retail on its side of the planet, it's run by an ambitious visionary, it's a leading cloud computing provider, it's unafraid of entering new markets, and its shares are up huge in 2017 – more than 110 percent, in fact.

But unlike Amazon, Alibaba's revenue growth is somewhere around 50 percent annually, a figure Amazon hasn't approached in many years. On top of that, BABA is consistently (and more predictably) profitable, something Amazon struggles with. Despite these advantages, BABA shares trade for 28 times forward earnings compared to Amazon's 138 forward P/E.

"Alibaba's dominance is insulated from international completion through the government, and domestically they are the preferred marketplace for both consumers and merchants," says K C Ma, professor of finance at Stetson University.

"Alibaba dominates B2B business platforms, controlling 48 percent of China's B2B at the end of 2016," Ma says.

With Alibaba's 11/11 Singles' Day coming up, a shopping holiday akin to Black Friday or Cyber Monday in China, except much, much bigger – November should be a great month.

See: 7 of the Best Stocks to Buy for 2017

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