Stocks to buy

Growth stocks are back on the menu. The past year saw investors cycle portfolios through fixed-income offerings, dividend stocks, and value stocks in rapid succession. But renewed bullish sentiment, boosted by better-than-expected economic conditions, means investors are looking forward to a rate hike pause (if not outright cut) which bodes well for growth stocks in 2024.

Generally, if you want the best growth stock opportunity, look to small caps. The Russell 2000 didn’t perform as well as its large-cap cousin the S&P 500 this year as small-caps bore the brunt of bearish fear. But those same stocks could bounce back fastest as we cross into 2024. If you do want to hold a stabler growth stock, though, be careful — some of the top tech stocks are grossly overvalued, so balance prospects with pricing before pulling the trigger.

AST SpaceMobile (ASTS)

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AST SpaceMobile (NASDAQ:ASTS) is one growth stock priming itself early for a 2024 breakout. Shares surged 25% over the past month, though little new news came to the fore. Investors are simply very bullish on the prospects for this space stock.

The company marked a major milestone in September after completing, in conjunction with AT&T (NYSE:T), the world’s first satellite-enabled 5G call from unmodified cell phones. While mega-firms like SpaceX are making global Internet connectivity their space-based goal, AST SpaceMobile sets its sights on a more urgent and pressing need — reliable cell connectivity in remote and rural areas that doesn’t rely on pricy satphones.

That market, potential consumers too far from cell coverage, is more than 1 billion. That’s a massive market and one that AST SpaceMobile is aggressively targeting as one of the few space-based cell providers racing to market.

AST SpaceMobile plans to launch its first five commercial satellites in 2024. If all goes according to plan, this growth stock could go stratospheric.

RocketLab (RKLB)

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Space is set to be a $1 trillion industry, so it’s no wonder I’m including RocketLab (NASDAQ:RKLB) as another growth stock ready to rocket in 2024. The company’s projects mark a perfect blend of scientific research and commercial productization, setting itself up for a diverse client base and frequent launches.

This week, the firm inked a deal with the Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology to send an observational research satellite into orbit. RocketLab’s 2024 launch docket is already full, and a successful year will set the growth stock up for stratospheric growth in 2024 and beyond.

The company’s stock dipped earlier in the year after its first satellite launch failure in more than two years. Shares trade at nearly half of pre-failure pricing, but there’s been little since then to explain the seemingly bearish sentiment. Investors looking for a moonshot stock should start accumulating now while it’s still cheap.

Apple (AAPL)

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has strong staying power, making it a mature growth stock ready for a strong 2024. After hitting a $1 trillion market cap, per-share pricing remains largely unchanged. Considering the year’s volatility and reduced consumer confidence, coupled with calls of overvaluation, Apple’s stability bodes well for 2024.

Holiday sales mark an obvious benefit to Apple’s bottom line in the short term, but the company’s rapid penetration into Asian markets assures its staying power. Analyst Dan Ives shook off claims that Asian markets would falter this year, saying he’s seeing consistent demand and sales throughout China and elsewhere. Apple’s market share in this critical region consistently rose over the past few years, with 2023 as a slim exception, but the company holds just 16% of the total addressable market. This means there’s plenty of room for further upside for this growth stock.

Despite its steep price, analysts remain hot on Apple stock. 74% of polled analysts mark Apple as a Buy, with just one calling for investors to Sell. Consensus indicates per-share pricing fair value is closer to $200, so there’s still room for Apple to grow.

On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Jeremy Flint, an MBA graduate and skilled finance writer, excels in content strategy for wealth managers and investment funds. Passionate about simplifying complex market concepts, he focuses on fixed-income investing, alternative investments, economic analysis, and the oil, gas, and utilities sectors. Jeremy’s work can also be found at www.jeremyflint.work.

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