At the end of the festive period on 30 December, the government announced regulatory approval in the UK for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca. And the rollout of the new vaccine has begun at pace across the UK alongside the existing Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. For me, it’s time to search for stocks to buy.
The good news has been obscured a little by the escalating infection rate for Covid-19 and the new lockdowns. However, the stock market has remained buoyant through the Christmas and New Year holidays. And the optimism appears to be continuing as we enter the first days of 2021.
The market looks ahead
But that kind of market action is typical with shares. Equities tend to be a forward-looking asset class after all. So, I think investors will be thinking ahead beyond the current wave of the virus and looking towards the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel – a light that’s getting brighter as we move closer to it.
And the potential suppression of the virus is great news for the economy. And it’s brilliant news for shares. On top of that, shares received a boost on Christmas Eve when the government announced that negotiations had achieved a new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
However, the festive period often delivers good stock market gains for investors. So, that short-term effect could dwindle in the coming days. But I’m optimistic for 2021 and beyond. And I’m hopeful the rollout of vaccines and other treatments will prove to be an enduring weapon in the battle against the virus.
I reckon it’s a good time to buy shares to hold for 2021 and beyond. And one approach could be to go for stocks in obvious cyclical sectors, such as banks, housebuilders, travel firms, hotel operators, pubs, restaurants, retailers and others hammered by the coronavirus crisis.
Indeed, shares such as Barclays, Barratt Developments, Greggs, Wizz Air and Whitbread have already risen a fair bit from their lows of last spring.
For me, these are seven stocks to buy
But if the UK does manage to disentangle itself from the suppressing effects of the pandemic, real economic recovery could boost those underlying businesses further. But I’d also consider opportunities with stocks backed by businesses that have coped well through the crisis.
For example, I like the big and growing dividend yield available with energy company Drax. And I’m keen on electrical accessory provider Luceco, distribution firm Bunzl and information technology hardware & services company Computacenter.
However, I’d also invest in the shares of food producer Cranswick and mineral sands producer Base Resources. Finally, I think there’s a lot of potential in the underlying business of photonics technology company Gooch & Housego.
But those seven aren’t the only shares I’d buy right now. There’s plenty of opportunity in the stock market and I’m adding interesting situations to my watchlist almost every day.