Even as the end of 2023 is still months away, now may be the time to figure out which stocks to sell ahead of 2024. All bets are off whether stocks can end the year on a high note.
Issues like inflation, interest rates, and the risk of a recession continue to drive volatility among stocks. While that’s not to say you need to head for the hills completely, now may be the time to remove positions in stocks most vulnerable to further price declines.
With speculative growth stocks that have performed poorly this year, accept your losses and move on. As the economic environment is likely to stay challenging in the months ahead, holding on for even a partial rebound may not be worth it.
These types of stocks could especially plunge in December, when tax loss harvesting is in full swing.
As for names that have performed well during 2023, you may still want to make an exit. Take the money and run, as this year’s gains, driven in large part by investors betting too soon on macro uncertainties swiftly clearing up, could prove fleeting.
These seven stocks listed below fit into either category.
While pulling back in more recent months, shares in lodging marketplace operator Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) are up by more than 48% year-to-date.
Yet while the travel economy has proven resilient, if you bought in when concerns that the “travel boom” was turning into a “travel bust” peaked, in December 2022, consider now the time to book the win and cash out.
Besides the potential impact of a 2024 recession, there are other concerns with ABNB stock. New York City’s crackdown on short-term rentals could pave the way for similarly stringent regulations in other major cities.
To some, ABNB’s valuation (32.8 times forward earnings) may not seem too excessive.
Still, as analysts at KeyBanc recently argued, the company’s growth is slowing down, and future results may fall short of expectations. As company insiders continue to reduce their personal positions in Airbnb, if you own it, consider following suit.
Last month, I argued that Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) was one of the top stocks to sell. Mostly, because the valuation of this online used car retailer does not line up well with its underlying fundamentals.
I’m, of course, not the only one who is skeptical about the bull case on CVNA stock.
As InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto recently pointed out, an unfavorable environment for used car sales calls into question Carvana’s ability to report improved results in the coming quarters. That’s not all. According to Fintel, short interest in CVNA has fallen, from 64% of float in May, to around 44% of float today.
While that may suggest short-sellers are becoming less bearish about this stock, falling short interest also means decreasing chances for future short squeezes, and a diminishing of CVNA’s appeal as a short-squeeze play. Waning squeeze appeal also points to lower prices ahead for shares.
GameStop’s (NYSE:GME) former “meme king” status keeps fading, as seen with the stock’s hitting of new multi-year lows in recent weeks.
At one point, “long and strong” fans of the video-game retailer’s shares may have believed that improved fundamentals could help sustain GME’s valuation.
However, few fans are that optimistic about GME stock anymore. Sell-side analysts like Wedbush’s Michael Pachter and Nick McKay have an even more dire forecast for shares.
In a Sept. 28 research note, the two analysts said that the recent appointment of GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen as CEO “ensures GameStop’s demise.”
Why? Between Cohen’s inexperience running a physical retailer, and GameStop’s failure to penetrate the e-commerce market, the company is en route to its “game over moment,” as digital downloads fully replace physical game sales.
While it may not plunge to zero tomorrow, sell GME now. Shares will likely stay on a downward trajectory.
Lucid Group (LCID)
I’ve long argued that Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) is one of the top stocks to sell. My bearish view remains unchanged, even as shares in the electric vehicle startup are about to fall into “penny stock territory” (under $5 per share).
LCID stock may be far cheaper today compared to twelve months ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bargain.
Delivering just 4,267 vehicles YTD and struggling to build a fanbase, Lucid’s $11.6 billion market cap belies the fact it has more in common with “EV also-rans” than it does Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).
Lucid keeps charging ahead, opening its first overseas auto plant in Saudi Arabia, yet a lack of success stateside makes success in international markets questionable.
Barring a “lift off” in the brand’s popularity, expect underwhelming results, plus the company’s dependence on dilutive capital raises, to keep pushing shares lower.
Investors who bought into Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) ahead of the 2021 Covid-19 vaccination wave profited in a big way. Those who entered positions in this biotech stock after peak of this trend have fared far worse, if they held their shares until now.
With only a fraction of the public getting the latest booster shots from this company and from competing vaccine makers, it’s no surprise that Moderna’s sales have fallen off a cliff, with multi-billion dollar profits giving way to heavy losses this year, next year, and the year after that.
Although the pandemic-era high-flier is spending heavily to develop other mRNA-based vaccines and therapies, insider selling by members of Moderna’s board and C-suite suggests a lack of confidence.
If you continue to hold MRNA stock, sell.
Peloton Interactive (PTON)
Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON) today trades at price levels far below the triple-digit levels shares went for three years. Once-hot, now out-of-favor “stay at home economy” play remains one of the top stocks to sell.
Sure, in recent quarters, things have stabilized for the connected fitness company, and for PTON stock.
Peloton even just recently entered a partnership with athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU). Yet while things may not be getting worse, to say the situation is improving may be a stretch.
Sell-side forecasts still call for Peloton to keep reporting negative earnings over the next three fiscal years. Although the Lululemon deal may sound like something that will enable PTON to exceed expectations, sell-side analysts are not convinced.
While downside risk may be minimal from here, as the same holds true for upside potential, sell/stay away.
At first, you might question my view that it’s time to sell Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), which has performed poorly compared to other chip stocks.
Despite steady declines since 2022, it seems now headwinds/uncertainties are fully priced-in, right?
Not necessarily. Although Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) extended its agreement to buy 5G modem chips from this semiconductor company for another three years, continued weak demand industry-wide for mobile device chips could outweigh this positive surprise.
Besides the fact Apple still plans to ultimately bring chip production in-house, Qualcomm is also dealing with the loss of China’s Huawei as a major customer.
While a restructuring plan, plus a move into high-growth areas like AI and the metaverse may minimize the impact of these issues, the market is likely waiting until Qualcomm’s core business bounces back before diving into shares.
With this, there’s little reason to be long QCOM stock right now.
On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.