Stocks to buy

The 3 Best Nasdaq Stocks to Buy in December

The Nasdaq index continues to be the big winner in 2023, having risen 37%, nearly double the increase seen in the benchmark S&P 500 index. Technology stocks, especially ones associated with artificial intelligence (AI), have led the market out of the 2022 bear market. And while some tech stocks are now gasping for air after big runs, others seem to have momentum heading into 2024. And even bigger catalysts are on the horizon.

These stocks are solid picks for the year ahead. And, especially with the prospect of lower interest rates and a resilient economy, it looks likely to continue bolstering equities. So, let’s explore the three best Nasdaq stocks to buy in December.

Apple (AAPL)

Source: Moab Republic / Shutterstock

After sliding lower for much of the autumn, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) market capitalization is back above $3 trillion. This makes it the world’s most valuable publicly traded concern. On Dec. 5, Apple’s stock rose 2% to finish trading at $193.42 per share. Hence, this pushed the company’s market cap above the $3 trillion mark for the first time since this past August. The company’s stock has now risen a total of 55% in 2023.

Initially, Apple’s market weighted value officially crossed the $3 trillion mark for the first time this past June. The stock hit an all-time high on July 31 just as the broader market peaked. The move back into AAPL stock comes as signs mount that the economy is slowing. Investors see Apple as a safe haven asset with its strong cash flow and commitment to shareholder returns. The company buys back more of its own stock than any other publicly traded entity.

Upcoming catalysts for AAPL stock include the release in 2024 of the company’s highly anticipated Vision Pro virtual reality (VR) headset. This is its first, completely new product since the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2014. Through five years, Apple’s stock has risen incredibly more than 350%!

Coinbase Global (COIN)

Coinbase (COIN), is an American company that operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform. Ethereum (ETH-USD) coin on the background of the Coinbase inscription.

Source: Sergei Elagin / Shutterstock.com

If you believe in the cryptocurrency rally and want to get in on the action, then consider taking a position in Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN). The crypto exchange’s stock has been on fire this year as the price of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other digital tokens skyrocket. Year-to-date, COIN stock is up 310%, making it one of the best-performing Nasdaq stocks of 2023. If the current rally that has Bitcoin up more than 150% over 12 months continues, it’s a safe bet that Coinbase’s stock will continue running higher too.

Now, word comes that the rally in cryptocurrencies is broadening out to include smaller digital tokens such as Cardano (ADA-USD) and Dogecoin (DOGE-USD). Prices for so-called altcoins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH-USD) have risen 67% in recent weeks. And, according to market data, they have reached their highest levels since March 2022. This is only good news for Coinbase, its trading volumes, and its shareholders.

In fact, Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are anticipated to be approved by U.S. regulators. Therefore, this will be a huge catalyst for the entire cryptocurrency industry in the year ahead.

PDD Holdings (PDD)

A smartphone displays the Pinduoduo (PDD) website.

Source: madamF / Shutterstock.com

For an outside-the-box pick, consider Chinese e-commerce company PDD Holdings (NASDAQ:PDD). The share price is up 20% since it issued its latest quarterly results.

PDD, which competes directly with both Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), announced third-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $1.64 and revenue of $9.7 billion. Both numbers blew past the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts.

The key to PDD Holdings’ success is that it owns discount online platforms Pinduoduo in China and Temu internationally. The discounted prices offered on these sites are increasingly attractive to consumers. This holds especially true as an economic slowdown in China takes hold and inflation and interest rates remain elevated around the world. PDD’s Q3 earnings were up 35% from a year ago, while its revenue increased 94% year over year (YOY). PDD stock is now up nearly 70% in 2023 and has grown an incredible 590% over five years.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in AAPL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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