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Facebook, Netflix and 13 other stock picks to ride out 2014: Goldman Sachs

Mutual fund and hedge fund managers only have a few months to make up for weak performance in 2014, so they’ll likely turn to stocks with high beta, price momentum, and popularity, Goldman Sachs said in a recent note outlining 15 stocks it thinks will benefit from the trend.

Goldman said only 23% of large-cap core mutual funds have outperformed the S&P 500 Index SPX -0.15% for the year to date, well below the 37% average since 2003, while only 2% of hedge funds have outperformed the S&P 500.

The three strategies behind the picks are:

  • Stocks with high beta: Goldman, which has a 2,050 year-end price target for the S&P 500, said these stocks should outperform as the S&P 500 rises modestly in the fourth quarter.
  • High price momentum stocks: These have posted the strongest returns year-to-date and will likely stay strong as managers reposition their holdings to what’s already working.
  • Most popular stocks: Drawing from the 50 most popular stocks with hedge funds and mutual fund managers, Goldman said these popular stocks should benefit as managers add to positions that are already outperforming in 2014.

Of the 15 stocks on the list, two are down on the year, MasterCard Inc. MA  and Monsanto Co. MON +0.03%, down 8% and nearly 2%, respectively.

Notable “momentum” stocks on the list are Facebook Inc. FB +0.09% and Netflix Inc.NFLX +0.01%, up 40% and 30% year-to-date, respectively.

Other stocks listed that are currently outperforming the S&P 500 are Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL +0.15%, Halliburton Co. HAL , EOG Resources Inc. EOG -0.02%, Actavis PLC ACT -0.07%, American Tower Corp. AMT -0.41%, McKesson Corp. MCK +0.22%, and Williams Cos. WMB +0.02%

Listed stocks that are still positive for the year but are currently underperforming the S&P 500 include Salesforce.com Inc. CRM +0.02%, Cummins Inc. CMI , Comcast Corp. CMCSA +0.36%, and MetLife Inc. MET 

From a macro standpoint, Goldman said “investors should own U.S. stocks that derive most of their revenues domestically and avoid firms with high sales exposure to Western Europe.”

Goldman Sachs forecasts that the euro EURUSD +0.00% will achieve parity with the U.S. dollar by the end of 2017, and companies depending on those sales in Europe will get hurt. The firm notes:

A declining euro presents a headwind to revenues for US firms with large sales exposure to Europe. The relative macroeconomic weakness of Euro area countries contributing to the FX dynamic also challenges corporate profitability, even if FX moves are fully hedged.

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