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Pros name 3 picks in one top-performing sector, including a Warren Buffett favorite

After being hammered for much of the year over concerns that a recession could drive a surge in loan losses, bank stocks have had a good run over the past month. That’s even as U.S. banks delivered a mixed bag of third-quarter earnings, with the likes of Morgan Stanley and Citi missing estimates, while Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan topped expectations. The sector has been one of the top performers on the S & P 500 over the past one month, according to FactSet data, gaining 10.8% over the period. Ron Temple, head of U.S. equities and co-head of multi-asset investing at Lazard Asset Management, has named Bank of America as a top stock pick in the space. “BofA is a classic improvement story in which we expect trough returns in this cycle to be meaningfully higher than in prior economic downturns. BofA has significantly improved the quality of its underwriting and is benefiting from one of the highest-quality, lowest-cost deposit franchises in the U.S. banking market,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday. The bank should also post better-than-expected net interest margins and net interest income given the rise in short-term interest rates, he added. The bank’s third-quarter profit and earnings topped expectations on better-than-expected fixed income trading and gains in interest income. The stock is the second-largest holding in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio, with a stake valued at $31.2 billion as of the end of the third quarter. Meanwhile, Chuck Liberman, chief investment officer at Advisors Capital Management, likes Wells Fargo , calling it a “one of the cheapest banks with a large retail deposit base.” This will boost the bank’s net interest margins as interest rates spike, he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday. Read more Market veteran says a new bull market is ‘not far away’ — and reveals how to play it Markets will rally into year-end, says Morgan Stanley’s Slimmon, who names 3 stocks to buy ‘Attractive risk-reward’: Gold to rally by a double-digit percentage in 2023, UBS says The Bahnsen Group’s David Bahnsen, whose firm has about $4 billion in assets under management, has a lesser-known stock pick. He likes boutique investment bank Moelis & Co for its high dividend yield of nearly 7% and commitment to return capital to shareholders. “A rare small cap play for us at only $2.6 billion market cap, the company has been a dividend grower (with significant annual special dividends on top) since day one … they have no debt on the balance sheet. So as cash flows come in, they are able to distribute and if there is worse than we expect cyclical downturn, they can weather the storm without any debt,” he said.

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