One of the worst six-month periods for stocks in decades comes to an end on Thursday. The first half of 2022 saw inflation rise at speeds not seen since the early 1980s, a brutal market sell-off that led S & P 500 to lose a fifth of its value and the biggest rate hike from the Federal Reserve since 1994 . Meanwhile, investors coped with a war in Ukraine, lockdowns in China and rocketing gas prices as oil hit record highs. The S & P 500 is on pace for its worst first half in more than 50 years, while the Nasdaq is headed for its worst quarter since 2008. With a new half and quarter on the horizon, CNBC Pro searched for names that could perform well in the second half of the year, according to Wall Street. We used FactSet data to screen for Dow Jones Industrial Average names loved by the most analysts. CNBC Pro then found stocks that could rally more than 20% based on consensus price targets and are expected to grow earnings per share by at least 10% this year. Here are some of the companies that made the cut: One of the most loved stocks of the group is Microsoft . Shares of the technology giant have fallen more than 23% since the start of the year as investors rotate out of growth stocks. However, analysts see the stock rallying 36% from current levels. Citi added the tech stock to its top picks list earlier this month, citing the company’s exposure to IT budgets and its “defensive hybrid apps/infra characteristics.” Microsoft is expected to grow earnings per share by 16.5% in 2022. Technology has reigned among the hardest-hit sectors during this year’s market sell-off. The Nasdaq Composite sits deep in bear market territory, down nearly 32% from its highs and more than 29% since the start of the year. Entertainment giant Disney also made the cut. Shares of Disney are trading about 50% off their 52-week high and have plummeted 39% since the start of 2022, but could rally 50% from here, based on the consensus for analyst price targets. Disney is expected to grow earnings per share by roughly 74%. Energy stocks rallied during the first half of the year and outperformed the rest of the market, as supply remained under pressure. It’s the only S & P 500 sector that’s higher for the year, up more than 30%. Chevron is one energy name benefitting from the rise in oil and gas prices, soaring more than 24% in 2022. Analysts expected the company’s earnings per share to more than double this year. A recent screen from CNBC Pro indicated the stock pays a strong dividend and is among the names that could best withstand a recession. UBS also expects Chevron to benefit during a period of “slowflation.” Caterpillar and Visa also made the list.
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