Don't let it get away!
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The stock markets are closed today but, like retail, clearance season begins tomorrow. It was a strong, if not spectacular, year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) , which have risen 7.9% and 14.2%, respectively, so far this year. But there are some stocks that were on the naughty list, and it's time to take a look at these as potential deals for next year.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) wasn't the worst performer on the Dow this year (that title goes to HP (NYSE: HPQ ) ), but it has lost 12.4% of its value so far this year. Fear about a declining PC market and the company's miss so far on mobile has investors worried that its best days are behind it. But a peek into the company's metrics shows a $102 billion market cap with $7.8 billion in net cash, a price-to-earnings ratio of under 10 for 2012, and a dividend yield of 4.3%. To top it off, the company has beaten estimates for nine straight quarters, and this stock is trading at a deep discount this holiday.
After gaining 35.3% in 2011 to be the Dow's top stock, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) has lost 5.8% of its value in 2012 and is now on the value menu. The company is still a dominant player in fast food, and with a 17 P/E ratio, a 3.4% dividend, and earnings that are expected too rise 9% next year, the company is a good long-term bet for investors.
You may not be buying many of Procter & Gamble's (NYSE: PG ) products as Christmas gifts, but they're probably in your shopping cart on a regular basis. P&G makes everything from Cascade dish soap to Downy, Bounty, and Luvs diapers. The stock had a modest 6.4% gain this year, but with brands like that in consumer staples, the company will be increasing its $2.25-per-share dividend for years to come.
Love it or hate it
Every holiday, there's the gift that may be a hit or may blow up in your face. This year, that's Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and the boom-or-bust potential of Windows 8. The company tried to make a splash with the Surface tablet, but that's been mostly a bust so far. Devices from Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) and Samsung may help 2013 be a better year than 2012 was, and investors will either should love Microsoft's discount with a 8.5 forward P/E, 3.4% dividend yield, and $63 billion. Come next holiday season, this may be the surprise hit of the 2012 holiday season.
More great stock ideas for the holidays
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