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Top 10 Stock Picks for 2019

Andrew Bary Even if investors have reason to be wary after a rocky few months in the market, U.S. stocks still look appealing as 2019 approaches. S&P 500 companies are poised to deliver a 22% gain in earnings this year, leaving the benchmark index trading at 15 times forward earnings. That multiple is low compared with past years. For investors looking to next year, an important issue is whether to go with defensive stocks (utilities, real estate investment trusts, health-care companies, and consumer staples), economically sensitive issues (banks, retailers, and industrials), or growth stocks (mostly in technology). Where do some of the best values lie? Barron’s offers 10 favorite stocks for the coming 12 months—the ninth year we have done so. Our list tilts toward more economically sensitive issues and value. Value managers see some of the best opportunities in years, and most of our stock picks trade for 10 times forward earnings or l