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Best US Stocks in the UK to Watch

Disclaimer Fact Checked

If you’re based in the UK and looking to diversify your share portfolio – you might want to research some US stocks. After all, the FTSE 100 is still worth less than it was before the coronavirus came to fruition. On the other hand, both the NYSE and NASDAQ are thriving.

In this guide, we’ll discuss 10 US stocks to watch.

10 Popular US Stocks

Here’s a breakdown of 10 United States stocks that in 2022.

  1. Amazon
  2. Tesla
  3. Fiverr International
  4. Facebook
  5. Apple
  6. American Airlines
  7. Johnson & Johnson
  8. Abbott Laboratories
  9. Disney
  10. Square

US Stocks Reviewed

The US stock market is home to some of the largest and most recognized brands globally. Think along the lines of Amazon, Apple, Disney, Visa, Facebook, and Twitter.

However, with thousands of potential investments on the table – knowing which US stocks to purchase can be challenging.

1. Amazon 

Amazon needs no introduction – as the online retailer is known across all parts of the globe. This stock market giant first went public back in 1997. Those in know-how would have no doubt purchased Amazon shares when it was first listed on the NASDAQ exchange at less than $2 per stock (adjusted for stock splits).

Fast forward to 2021 and the same Amazon stock sells for over $3,200. That’s gains of more over than 150,000%.

amazon stock price

On the contrary, this is a stock that many investors will hold on to for many decades to come. In fact, Amazon highlighted just how attractive it is as a long-term investment and the retailer saw growth of 75% in 2020. This was during a year dominated by the pandemic – with many stocks still yet to fully recover.

We should make it clear that Amazon’s e-commerce business is thriving. But, the NASDAQ giant is involved in a full range of other sectors that are also doing well. For example, its Amazin Prime Video division, artificial intelligence, drone deliveries, groceries, and more.

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2. Tesla 

When we talk about triple-digit gains in the region of 700% – this is typically relevant to high-risk assets like Bitcoin. However, this is exactly what Tesla stocks have achieved in the past 12 months alone.

To put things into perspective, Tesla only went public in 2010. Back then – and taking into account its recent stock split, the shares were priced at just $17.

For those unaware of what Tesla does, the US firm is primarily involved in electric cars. In fact, it is now the largest car company globally in terms of market valuation – outpacing age-old manufacturers likes Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Additionally, Tesla – which was founded by Elon Musk, is also involved in a range of other cutting-edge technologies.

This includes its ‘Megapack Battery’ that has the capacity to power conventional electricity grids. It is also working on solar-based energy panels that can be installed onto roofs in a simple and low-cost way.

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3. Fiverr International 

While the number of people working on a freelance basis has been growing year-on-year for some time now, this figure was amplified in 2020 as a result of the wider lockdown restrictions. As such, companies like Fiverr have benefited greatly from the pandemic.

For those unaware, Fiverr is a third-party freelance platform that allows people to market their skills online. This might be an online developer that builds websites for businesses or a financial writer. Either way, anyone can access the Fiverr website and hire a freelancer. When they do, Fiverr takes a commission.

fiverr stock price

This sea-change in how we view employment has resulted in a hugely successful stock price for Fiverr. For example, when the stock initiated its IPO in 2019, it was priced at $21 per share. By the end of the same, the shares had almost doubled in price to $39. And today a single Fiverr share will now cost you $210.

This means that since the company went public, it has seen its stock increase by over 650%.

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4. Facebook 

Facebook is now home to over 2.7 billion monthly active users. That’s almost half the planet using the social media platform on a regular basis. These numbers are simply extraordinary and highly valuable for the long-term growth of the company.

After all, Facebook has a competitive edge over other media outlets, as it is able to offer highly targeted advertising campaigns to businesses of all sizes.

facebook stock price

It initiated its public listing back in 2012 at a price of $38. As of January 2021, you’re looking at a stock price of $270. Much like Amazon and Tesla, the coronavirus pandemic has done nothing to hinder Facebook’s progress. In fact, the stocks finished 2020 at 27% higher.

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5. Apple 

Put simply, it doesn’t matter how much Apple decides to charge for its core products – buyers will continue to flock in their droves. In other words, Apple is all about ‘brand value’. It is trusted by billions of people around the world – whether that be through its iPhone series, Mac computers, or iPad tablets.

With that said, Apple is particularly appealing as the firm inches closer towards a service-based portfolio. For example, its iTunes subscription numbers continue to rise, as are those signing up to Apple TV.  All in all, Apple reported increased revenues of 16% in its services division during the last quarter.

apple stock price

Finally, Apple is the only FAANG stock that pays dividends, albeit, the yield is less than 1% annually.

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6. American Airlines

Make no mistake about – alongside oil, traditional retail, and hospitality, the airline sector was hit especially hard by the coronavirus lockdown measures. In fact, this is still the case – with most countries implementing incoming travel restrictions of some sort. But, although it remains to be seen when life, as we used to know it, will eventually go back to normal.

This is especially the case now that we have several approved vaccines in the UK, EU, US, and several other regions. With this in mind, it is still possible to buy airline stocks at a huge discount. One US stock in particular that looks tempting is that of American Airlines. Before the pandemic came to fruition, American Airlines was priced at $30 per share.

cheap us stocks

Almost one year on and the same stocks are worth just $15. In other words, that’s a 50% reduction in what you would have paid in February 2020.

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7. Johnson & Johnson 

When we talk about ‘defensive stocks’, we are referring to companies that investors typically flock to during times of economic uncertainty. Not only is this because these companies offer products that will always be in demand irrespective of how the economy is performing, but they are highly established with strong balance sheets.

A US defensive stock in this respect is Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson stock price

At the time of writing, this US powerhouse carries a market valuation of over $420 on the NYSE.

Secondly, Johnson & Johnson is working on a promising COVID-19 vaccine that is already in phase 3 of its clinical trials. Unlike its Pfizer counterpart, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doesn’t require sub-freezing storage conditions, making it better to distribute and administer.

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8. Abbott Laboratories 

Abbott Laboratories is a US-based company that specializes in medical devices. On the one hand, it is not working on a coronavirus vaccine of any sort. However, it is behind a magnitude of coronavirus testing kits that are flying out the door. In fact, test-related sales increased by more than 60% in Q3 2020.

Nevertheless, not only is Abbot Laboratories behind a rapid testing kit that can be used at home on a DIY basis, but it also offers this at a cost-effective price. In addition to this, Abbot has also created an innovative mobile app that allows you to track test results.

Abbott Laboratories stock price

Once again, this opens up the doors to the consumer marketplace. If you like the sound of what Abbott Laboratories offers, the stocks are listed on the NYSE. Back in March 2020, you would have paid just $62 for these stocks. As of January 2021, Abbot Laboratories is priced at $110 – so that’s an upswing of 77% in just nine months.

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9. Disney 

Disney is another example of a stock that has defied the wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Then you have its movie production division, which has had to halt several releases over the past 6 months due to increased restrictions.  Additionally, you have Walt Disney-owned ESPN, which was without live sports for much of 2020. However, even taking all this into account, Disney stocks are still doing well.

disney stock price

Back in January 2020, you would have paid in the region of $145 per Disney share. Although the stocks took a slump in March, they recovered very quickly. Fast forward to early 2021 and Disney stocks are now priced at $179.

After all, its core services are still being hindered by the wider lockdown measures. Plus, it’s worth pointing to its Disney+ content streaming service – which was only launched in November 2019. In just over a year, it has attracted over 86 million subscribers.

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10. Square 

Square is involved in a plethora of financial-based mobile services. In its original form, the Square app allows small businesses to easily accept debit and credit card payments – both online and in-store.

Much like PayPal, the app also allows individuals to send and receive funds at the click of a button. But, Square has since diversified into other areas. For example, it now offers small, short-term loans through the app.

square stock price

Square is also involved in cryptocurrencies. It does so as a third-party exchange, allowing people to buy and sell BItcoin through the app. All in all, Square is diversified across several growing financial marketplaces. In terms of its stocks, Square first went public in 2015. Back then, the shares were trading at just over $12 each.

At the time of writing in early 2021, Square shares are now worth over $240. This means that in just five years, Square stockholders have seen returns in excess of 1,900%. In 2020 alone, the shares have increased by over 220%.

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Important Features of US Stocks 

Across the two main American exchanges – the NASDAQ and NYSE, there are thousands of US stocks to choose from. This covers every industry imaginable – from retail and tech to pharmaceuticals and construction. As such, the process of finding a US stocks can be challenging. Did you know that vegan stocks are making headlines? Read our comprehensive beginner’s guide to find out more about this booming business.

To help you along the way, below we outline some tips that will enable you to build your own portfolio of US stocks.

What are US Stock ETFs? 

Researching individual stocks and shares is a long and drawn-out process. You need to have a firm understanding of financial fundamentals – such as being able to read balance sheets and earnings reports. You also need to be kept abreast of relevant financial news surrounding the company itself, as well as wider economic announcements such as interest rates.

Taking all of this into account, why not just opt for an ETF that tracks US stocks? For those unaware, ETFs are run by financial institutions. The ETF will purchase a basket of stocks – often running into the hundreds. Then, by investing in the ETF, you will own a proportion of each share that the ETF holds.

us stock etf

In other words, through a single trade, you can buy hundreds of American stocks – subsequently allowing you to diversify and invest in a passive manner. This means there is no need to perform any research in finding US stocks. While there are heaps of ETFs that track US stocks, one option on the table is likely that of the S&P 500 index.

This particular ETF – which is offered by the likes of Vanguard, iShares, and Blackrock, tracks 500 large-scale US stocks. This includes everything from Tesla, Facebook, and Apple to IBM, Paypal, and Microsoft. In fact, most of the American stocks that we have discussed today are on the S&P 500.

Focus on Specific Sectors

Although ETFs are an option for some traders, some might enjoy choosing stocks on a DIY basis. If so, the first port of call is to think about which sectors you are interested in. This is especially important in the current economic climate of COV-19, as certain sectors are performing a lot better than others.

For example, stocks involved in the airline and hospitality space are facing tough times at present – with some more than 50% down in 2020. On the flip side, if these stocks do eventually recover back to pre-pandemic levels, you stand the chance to make a purchase at a discount.

best us stocks to buy

At the other end of the spectrum, tech stocks have thrived during the pandemic. For example, the likes of Apple and Amazon increased their share price by almost 75% last year. Then you have Square and Tesla – which have grown by over 220% and 700% over the past 12 months, respectively.

Other sectors that you might research when looking for US stocks include:

  • Retail
  • Consumer Goods
  • Construction and Real Estate
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Automobile
  • Financial and Banking
  • Telecommunications

You then have several niche and unproven sectors – such as cannabis or cryptocurrencies.

Risk Tolerance

When searching for US stocks, you need to ask yourself how much risk you feel comfortable taking. After all, the age-old laws of investing state that the more risk you take, the more financial gain that you should expect.

But of course, investing in riskier US stocks does increase the chance that you will make a loss.

If you don’t have much of an appetite for risk, then you might research some US stocks that have been around for several decades. These stocks will have gone through several large-scale recessions and they are still here to tell their story.

This might include the likes of:

  • IBM (Founded in 1911)
  • Johnson & Johnson (Founded in 1886)
  • McDonald’s (Founded in 1955)
  • Ford Motors (Founded in 1903)
  • General Electric (Founded in 1892)

As you can see from the above, there are US stocks that have a solid track record in their respective sector. As such, although your potential returns are going to be somewhat modest, the risks are, of course, significantly lower.

But, some of you won’t be interested in making modest returns. On the contrary, you might be looking for US stocks in terms of financial gain. If this is the case, then you are going to be more suited for growth stocks. These are stocks that are still in their early days of corporate life, meaning that the upside potential is going to be much higher than the likes of General Electric or Ford Motors.

Examples of higher risk stocks include:

  • Square
  • JD.com
  • Align Technology
  • Facebook
  • GrowGeneration

As a side tip, it’s always an idea to hold a portfolio of US stocks with various risk levels. For example, you might hold 25% in growth stocks and the balance in high-grade, blue-chip stocks.

Buy Cheap US Stocks That Haven’t Recovered From COVID-19

The S&P 500 is a great way of assessing the strength of the wider US stock markets. After all, it consists of 500 of the largest companies that are listed in the US. Crucially, the S&P 500 has not only recovered all of its COV-19-related losses but is now at all-time highs. This means that the US stock markets have never been worth more in terms of market capitalization.

  • However, this rapid recovery phase has not been experienced by all US stocks. On the contrary, many are still worth less than they were before the pandemic came to fruition.
  • This is typical because they operate in heavily-hit industries – such as oil and gas, traditional retail, air travel, and hospitality.
  • With that being said, this means that you still have a chance of buying a collection of US stocks at a huge discount. In other words, you’ll be buying the shares at significantly less than you have paid before the pandemic.
  • In turn, if the stocks do eventually recover, you’ll potentially be looking at healthy gains.

Growth or Dividends

When investing in FAANG stocks like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet), you won’t be entitled to any dividends. This is because these stocks are not dividend-paying companies. Instead, the only way that you will grow your investment is when the stocks increase in value.

FAANG US stocks Facebook

Keep an Eye on IPOs

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is when a company joins a stock exchange for the first time. This allows investors to buy shares in the respective company at the very start of its corporate journey. In turn, this is often, but not always, a chance to invest at a discount.

For example:

  • When Facebook had its IPO in 2012, its shares were priced at $38 each. In early 2021, Facebook stocks are now worth $268.
  • When Alibaba (a Chinese e-commerce platform) had its NYSE IPO in 2014, the shares were originally priced at $68. Just a few minutes after the listing went live, the same stocks were priced at $99.

Some of the hottest US stock IPOs rumored for 2021 include:

Now, if you’re wondering how to invest in IPOs in the UK, very few brokers give you access. The go-to platform in this respective is often Hargreaves Lansdown, albeit, you do need to keep an eye on fees as they are somewhat on the high side. Alternatively, although eToro doesn’t offer direct access to IPOs, we often find that newly listed US stocks appear on the platform the same or the very next day.

Stock Brokers Providing Access to US Stocks

Once you have decided which the US shares to buy, you then need to find a UK stock broker or stock trading app that gives you access to the American markets. These days, you’ve got dozens of potential brokers to choose from.

However, not only do you need to ensure that the platform is regulated and that accepts your preferred payment method – but you also need to look at fees. This is because most UK brokers charge a premium to invest in international shares.

With that in mind, below you will find a small selection of UK share dealing sites that allow traders to buy US stocks in a cost-effective manner.

1. eToro 

Launched in 2007 and now home to over 20 million investors, eToro is a hugely popular stock broker in the UK. The platform offers almost 2,400 shares from 17 different markets. This does, of course, include both the NASDAQ and NYSE – so you’re sure to find US stocks at the click of a button. eToro also offers a wide selection of European stocks and Asian stocks.

eToro really stands out for us as it does not charge any commission. This isn’t the case with just UK stocks – but all of the 17 countries it gives you access to. As such, whether you’re looking to buy shares in Amazon, Apple, Tesla, or Facebook – you won’t pay a single penny in dealing fees. Additionally, the broker does not charge any ongoing platform fees – which is that other “low cost” providers implement.

Tesla shares eToro

What we also like is that eToro offers fractional ownership on all of its shares. This means that as long as you meet a $10 minimum, you can invest as little as you like into your chosen US stock. This is particularly beneficial with US companies, as the likes of Amazon and Google have shares priced in the thousands of dollars.

You might find the eToro Copy Trading feature of interest, too. This allows you to scan through thousands of verified investors that are using the platform to trade. Once you find a trader you like, you can then copy their investments to the ‘t’ – all of which is automated. Getting started at eToro takes minutes, and you can deposit funds with a UK debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet. Finally, eToro is regulated by the FCA, and your funds are covered by the FSCS investor protection scheme.

Stock Broker Minimum Deposit Fractional Shares? Pricing System Fees & Charges
eToro $10 Yes – $10 minimum 0% commission on ALL real stocks, spreads for CFDs No Deposit fees, $5 withdrawal fee, $10 inactivity fee, no account management fees.

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2. DEGIRO

This online platform is home to thousands of US stocks from both the NASDAQ and NYSE. You can also invest in UK shares from the FTSE 100, FTSE 250, and AIM. Dozens of other international marketplaces are supported too.

Although not commission-free like eToro, Degiro still offers a highly competitive way to buy US stocks. For example, if you were to buy £5,000 worth of Tesla shares (at $500 per share), you would pay a fee of just £0.45. Similarly, £2,000 worth of Apple shares (at $300 per share) would cost you just £0.45. You will, however, need to pay a small fee of €2.50 annually for each stock exchange that you buy shares from.

When it comes to payments, Degiro loses a few points here. This is because the only way that you can fund your account is via a UK bank transfer. This can take several days to process, meaning you can’t buy US stocks straight away. The news is that there is no minimum deposit in place, so you can start off with really small amounts. Finally, we should note that Degiro is not regulated by the FCA. Rather, it is licensed in the Netherlands.

Stock Broker Minimum Deposit Fractional Shares? Pricing System Non-trading Fees
Degiro $0 No Low commissions on stocks and ETFs None

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Conclusion

In summary, the US stock markets continue to thrive, while the FTSE 100 is yet to get back to pre-pandemic levels. As such, more and more investors in the UK are looking at ways to buy US stocks.

While there are thousands of American companies to choose from, this guide has discussed 10 popular US stocks on the market.

FAQs

How much does it cost to buy US stocks in the UK?

Kane Pepi author check sign Pro Investor

Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Academically, Kane holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a Master’s Degree in Financial Crime, and he is currently engaged in a Doctorate Degree researching the money laundering threats of the blockchain economy. Kane is also behind peer-reviewed publications - which includes an in-depth study into the relationship between money laundering and UK bookmakers. You will also find Kane’s material at websites such as MoneyCheck, the Motley Fool, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, and the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.

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