Stock Market

With plenty of momentum, some of the hottest stocks and cryptos to buy are showing big signs of life. In fact, as we enter the second half of 2023, let’s take a look at seven of those hot opportunities, including:

NVDA Nvidia $397.70
META Meta Platforms $272.61
XMR-USD Monero $147.38
AI C3.AI $34.72
BTC-USD Bitcoin $26,882.20
PANW Palo Alto Networks $216.79
COF Capital One $106.24

Hottest Stocks and Cryptos to Buy: Nvidia (NVDA)

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Thanks to the AI boom, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has been smoking hot. So far, year to date, the tech stock is up 170% and just became a trillion-dollar company. Even better, the company announced blowout first-quarter earnings and provided forward guidance that was 50% greater than Wall Street forecasts.

With AI continuing to capture investor attention, there’s no telling how high NVDA stock could go. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) recently revised its price target on Nvidia to $500 a share, one of many analysts to mark up their targets on the stock. In addition, Nvidia just unveiled a host of new AI products, including a new chip that turbocharges the speed of information within data centers, and an AI supercomputer called “DGX GH200” that will help technology companies create successors to chatbots such as ChatGPT.

Meta Platforms (META)

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Another hot tech stock is Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META). The parent company of Facebook has seen its stock march higher since it launched its “year of efficiency” and got serious about controlling costs. In the last five months, META stock has more than doubled its share price, rising a total of 110%. The stock has also enjoyed some residual bounce from its growing association with AI.

In addition to eliminating 21,000 jobs, Meta has begun to pivot towards new AI technologies, while also shoring up its core social media platforms that also include WhatsApp and Instagram, and the digital advertising that comes with them. And so far, the strategy appears to be paying off judging by the way the stock has risen year to date. Plus, with online advertising making a comeback, there are reasons to believe that META stock has more room to run.

Monero (XMR-USD)

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Also making this list of the hottest stocks and cryptos to buy is Monero (XMR-USD). Known as a privacy coin, XMR allows users to carry out transactions on its blockchain. All of which are anonymous and untraceable. In addition, Monero can mask from view the sender, recipient, and amount of a transaction. The anonymity provided by Monero has made this crypto extremely popular. Consequently, XMR’s price has gained 5% in the last six months. Since its inception in 2017, XMR has grown 72%.

In addition, Monero, which operates under the motto: “secure, private, untraceable,” has drawn some criticism from regulators and lawmakers for the strict level of privacy it provides. XMR has been accused of facilitating illegal activities, mostly money laundering. Granted, some users fret about the regulation of the coin. However, most seem unconcerned and content to take advantage of the privacy offered by XMR.

C3.ai (AI)

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Another hot AI stock is C3.ai (NYSE:AI).  Year to date, the AI stock is up 257%, making it one of the year’s hottest stocks. All thanks to the AI hype. However, some analysts are questioning whether the run-up in C3.ai’s stock is justified. In fact, some argue it could be overvalued, given its annual revenues of about $200 million.

In addition, some skeptics have even raised the possibility that AI stock is being treated as a meme stock by retail investors who have targeted the shares for a short squeeze. The idea of a short squeeze is certainly plausible given that AI stock is heavily shorted. Regardless of the reason, there’s no denying that C3.ai is a hot stock right now and will continue riding the AI story.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD)

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The price of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) slipped over concerns about the U.S. debt ceiling. However, since Jan., Bitcoin’s price has gained 63%, defying even the most optimistic forecasts for the digital asset. Last Dec., Bitcoin was trading below $16,000 and many analysts said the price would fall to $10,000 or lower in a chilly crypto winter.

Fast forward six months, and the crypto winter has thawed, with most major digital coins and tokens up on the year. The total market cap of cryptocurrencies is now back above $1 trillion, and the total trading volume of cryptocurrencies regularly exceeds $30 billion U.S. every 24 hours. Crypto assets have gotten a lift from the implosion of several mainstream banks in the U.S. and Europe this spring, as well as investors getting their risk appetite back with the U.S. Federal Reserve pausing its interest rate hikes.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

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Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) has been leading cybersecurity stocks higher. Year to date, the PANW stock has risen 54% as investors turn more bullish on the cybersecurity space. Helping, PANW recently posted strong earnings for its fiscal third quarter ended April 30. In fact, the company said profits surged 86% to $359 million, or $1.10 a share. That was also 547% higher than the consensus forecast of analysts for 17 cents.

On top of the stellar earnings, Palo Alto Networks also issued bullish forward guidance, forecasting that its full-year revenue will increase 25% to 26%, its billings will rise 23% to 24%, and for EPS to grow 69% to 70%. All of these estimates currently exceed Wall Street expectations. Additionally, Palo Alto Networks forecast that its free cash flow margin will climb 37.5% to 38.5% higher in fiscal 2023, compared to 33.3% growth in the previous fiscal year.

Capital One (COF)

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A lot of prominent investors are liking Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) these days. The latest 13F regulatory filings revealed that both Warren Buffett and Michael Burry of The Big Short fame opened new positions in COF stock during Q1. What do these two influential investors see in the bank and credit card issuer? Most likely a favorable valuation and strong dividend. Right now, Capital One’s stock has a low price-earnings ratio of 7 and a high dividend yield of 2.30%, which equates to a quarterly payout of 60 cents a share.

In addition, in terms of the share price, COF stock has been dragged lower following the failures of several regional U.S. lenders. Also, over the last 12 months, Capital One’s stock has declined 17% and is trading nearly 20% below its 52-week high. The share price has gained more than 10% since it was revealed that Buffett bought 9.92 million shares worth $950 million. Still, at current levels, COF stock looks like a bargain and is likely to rise once sentiment towards financial stocks improves.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long positions in NVDA and BAC. 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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