A $5,000 initial investment in the stock market can set the stage for massive long-term returns. And the money will go further in a bear market, because many companies are trading at substantial discounts to their historic highs.

Let's explore why Amazon (AMZN 0.49%) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO 2.59%) could make great picks right now. 

Amazon

Down 30% year-to-date, Amazon stock hasn't been kind to investors in 2022. That said, the company's long-term thesis remains intact. Despite weakness in its flagship e-commerce operations, Amazon's massive scale gives it easy access to lucrative new opportunities.

With 300 million active customers (over 200 million of which are prime members), Amazon's scale is its key competitive advantage. For e-commerce operations, it enjoys a network effect where more buyers attract more sellers and product selection. But the massive user base could also give Amazon a captive audience for new industries.

In March, Amazon purchased film and television studio MGM for $8.5 billion. The deal will give Amazon access to MGM's vast content library, as well as resources to create new original productions for its Prime Video service. The company is also going international, inking content deals with a series of Nigerian film studios ahead of a major African expansion expected in 2023. While it is unclear if Amazon plans to turn streaming into a major growth engine, the company looks capable of challenging industry leaders like Netflix and Disney.

With a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 50 (compared to the Nasdaq 100 average of 23), Amazon still trades at a premium. But that looks fair considering its wide economic moat and long-term potential in synergistic industries. 

Take-Two Interactive

This year hasn't been kind to tech investors, and Take-Two hasn't escaped the sell-off. While the video game maker's sales tapered off in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company's expanding game portfolio could give it an edge in this rapidly consolidating industry.

Selection seems to be drying up for video game investors. At the start of the year, tech giant Microsoft agreed to buy Activision/Blizzard for $68.7 billion in what could become the industry's biggest merger to date. And in May, Take-Two completed its $12.7 billion acquisition of digital entertainment company Zynga. The deal could add much-needed diversification to Take-Two's revenue streams, and unlock value-accretive synergies between the two businesses.

While Take-Two's core portfolio is dominated by console and P.C. franchises like Grand Theft Auto and 2k Sports, Zynga is a leader in the fast-growing mobile games category. A mobile games library could help broaden Take-Two's reach, because these games appeal to wider range of potential users -- in part because they work on smartphones instead of dedicated hardware. Management also expects to realize $100 million of annual cost synergies within two years of the merger.  

Investing in a bear market 

While bear markets can be terrifying for investors, they also present opportunities to buy quality stocks for a discount. Amazon and Take-Two look like great ways to bet on a market recovery because of their deep economic moats and long-term growth drivers.