What's a "no-brainer" stock? One that's a buy for some pretty clear reasons today, and one that's very likely to grow down the road. These companies are often market leaders too. Today, the market is filled with no-brainer buys. Why? The economic downturn has left many otherwise strong companies trading at bargain prices.

I know it's the end of the year and you may not be rushing out to invest immediately. But it's actually a great idea to scoop up these players now, while valuations are down. So, before you wind down your investing for the year, check out these five no-brainer stocks to buy.

1. Amazon

Amazon (AMZN -0.09%) didn't deliver its usual top earnings and share price performance this year. Higher inflation weighed on Amazon's costs and its shoppers' wallets. But that doesn't change my long-term view of this market giant.

Well, I actually should say "two markets" giant. The company is a leader in e-commerce and cloud computing. Both of these markets are growing in the double digits. Amazon should benefit from this in the coming years. As it stands, Amazon's cloud business -- Amazon Web Services (AWS) -- continues to grow in the double digits, even in today's difficult market.

Amazon has grown its Prime subscription service to more than 200 million members. And these members are spending more and more. This, too, should boost revenue once the economic environment improves.

Today, Amazon is cutting costs where needed. But it's also making smart investment decisions. For instance, it increased spending by $10 billion in AWS and related technology this year.

Right now, Amazon stock trades at its lowest in relation to sales since 2015. This is a huge opportunity to get in on a stock that could deliver big over time.

Chart showing Amazon's PS ratio falling since 2021.

AMZN PS Ratio data by YCharts

2. Home Depot

Home Depot's (HD -0.30%) business has been pretty resilient during these tough economic times. The world's biggest home improvement retailer says its two big customers -- the do-it-yourself crowd and professionals -- continue driving revenue higher. In the most recent quarter, Home Depot's revenue rose 5.6%, and diluted earnings per share climbed 8.2%.

The pros are a particularly good barometer of what lies ahead. That's because they have order books of projects to come. And they're saying these project backlogs remain strong. The pro market also represents a key growth opportunity for Home Depot. This market is worth $450 billion. To attract and keep these shoppers, Home Depot has streamlined the shopping process for them and strengthened its digital platform.

Shareholders can also count on rewards from Home Depot. The company paid out $1.9 billion in dividends and completed $1.2 billion in share buybacks in the recent quarter.

Home Depot shares have declined 22% so far this year. And right now they're trading at less than 20 times forward earnings estimates. That's compared to about 25 earlier this year. Back then, the price was already reasonable. Today it's an absolute steal.

3. Moderna

Moderna (MRNA -3.58%) stock has had a tough year. The company generates billions in revenue and profit from its coronavirus vaccine now. But investors worried about the company's vaccine sales in a post-pandemic world.

Recently, Moderna was able to offer some clues. The biotech predicts the coronavirus booster market will follow that of the flu vaccine. This could represent an annual global market of between $12 billion and $24 billion.

Of course, Moderna would share this market with others. And vaccine revenue probably won't remain at today's levels. But it likely could remain well into blockbuster territory. That's good news for Moderna and investors.

Moderna is also moving closer to the finish line with candidates outside of the coronavirus program. Its vaccine candidates for flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) are in phase 3 studies. Moderna predicts launches of the flu and RSV candidates in the coming two to three years if all continues to go smoothly.

So Moderna probably won't be a one-product company for long. The shares have started to rebound in recent weeks. Now looks like the perfect time to hop on board for what may be a new era of gains.

4. Tesla

Tesla (TSLA -2.44%) shares have declined this year. But earnings have been going strong. The electric vehicle giant reported record revenue, operating profit, and free cash flow in the most recent quarter. The company's operating margin topped 17% -- a high for the industry. And vehicle deliveries climbed 42% to more than 343,000.

In ordinary times, these numbers would look good. But they look even better today considering the headwinds Tesla faced in the quarter. I'm talking about higher raw materials costs, currency exchange pressures, and a ramp-up at new factories. Tesla is demonstrating it can grow even during these tough times -- so I'm optimistic it can truly thrive once the overall economy improves.

Some worry about a potential erosion of Tesla's market share. But the company's brand strength and appeal as a luxury should help it stay ahead. Tesla holds an 86% share of the luxury EV market, according to S&P Global Mobility research.

Tesla shares trade at 36 times forward earnings estimates. That's down from more than 150 at the start of the year. Valuation may not stay at these dirt cheap levels for long.

5. Lululemon Athletica

Lululemon Athletica's (LULU -0.48%) share performance hasn't reflected its earnings reports this year. The stock is heading for an 18% decline. At the same time, in the recent quarter, net revenue, same-store sales, digital sales, and gross profit all increased in the double digits.

The seller of yoga-inspired clothing hasn't been completely immune to this year's economic pressures, of course. Adjusted operating margin decreased 40 basis points. But, overall, Lululemon has continued to grow during difficult economic times.

And even stronger days may lie ahead. The company is on track to reach goals of its three-year growth plan early. Now, it's launching a new plan. The new one is meant to double revenue to $12.5 billion by 2026. The strategy includes doubling men's line and digital revenue, and quadrupling international revenue.

Lululemon shares are trading for 32 times forward earnings estimates. That's down from more than 48 at the start of 2022. At this level, Lululemon is a no-brainer buy that could pay off big a few years down the road.