The Best Stocks to Invest $1,000 In Right Now

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The following three players are putting a focus on AI.

The stock market soared in the first half of the year, with the S&P 500 confirming a bull market as it reached a record high — but the benchmark didn’t stop there. Instead, it went on to reach additional highs, and technology stocks led the way. Investors have been feeling optimistic for general reasons, such as the possibility of interest rate cuts ahead. And they’ve also been getting excited about growth companies, in particular those involved in a potentially game-changing technology: artificial intelligence (AI).

Though the S&P 500’s 14% increase in the first half and the gains by many tech stocks might seem like a lot, this positive momentum could be far from over. History shows us that, for the S&P 500, a solid first half often leads to a solid second half. As for AI, we’re in the early days of the growth story, with analysts predicting today’s $200 billion market will reach beyond $1 trillion by the end of the decade.

All of this means today it’s a great idea to invest in AI stocks that are just getting geared up for growth. Let’s check out the best stocks to invest $1,000 in right now. (And with that amount, you can pick up all three of these potential AI winners.)

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Oracle

Oracle (ORCL 1.41%) isn’t the biggest cloud services provider today, but it’s one of the fastest-growing players. The company, once most known for its database strengths, has transitioned to put its focus on cloud infrastructure and services, and this has shown itself to be a wise move.

Over the past two quarters, Oracle signed its biggest sales contracts ever thanks to demand for large language model (LLM) training. This training is a key step in AI because once an LLM is trained, it then can go on to do the critical job of solving complex problems. The company said in recent quarters that AI infrastructure demand has been exceeding supply even as Oracle opens new data centers and expands existing ones.

All of this has helped cloud infrastructure revenue take off, soaring 42% in the most recent quarter, and the growth in contracts has boosted remaining performance obligations (RPO), or the revenue to be expected from those contracts, by 44% to $98 billion.

Considering all of this, Oracle stock looks dirt cheap today, trading at 22x forward earnings estimates.

2. Intel

Intel (INTC 2.96%) fell behind in the AI race, but that doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on this tech giant. The company, a powerhouse in the world of central processing units (the main processor in a computer), has put a new focus on AI and recently announced some exciting new products.

Aiming to power the era of the AI personal computer, Intel released the Intel Core Ultra mobile processor family. The AI PC, with the ability to smoothly handle AI tasks brings AI into the hands of the general PC user. It’s still too early to say whether the product will take off, but if it does Intel should reap the rewards.

Intel also has released its Gaudi 3 accelerator, a chip that has shown 50% better inference than Nvidia‘s current top-performing chip, H100, and 40% better power efficiency — and all this at a lower price. Even though Nvidia continues to release better and better chips and should easily maintain its lead, Intel’s latest product clearly could carve out market share — and generate growth for the company.

Intel shares trade for about 31x forward earnings estimates, a very reasonable entry point for this company that’s just getting started along its AI growth path.

3. Meta Platforms

You probably know Meta Platforms (META -2.70%) best for its social media apps Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. But Meta has put a major focus on AI, and as a matter of fact said the technology will be its biggest investment area this year.

What is Meta planning? The company aims to develop AI across its products and services and offer AIs that all of us can use for both leisure and professional tasks. The company started by recently launching Meta AI, a new virtual assistant — as Meta says, this tool can help you with anything from creating a menu from what’s in your fridge to preparing for an exam.

Meta is in the investment phase right now, but eventually these efforts should result in revenue growth. It’s important to remember that most of Meta’s revenue comes from advertising. If we as users spend more time on Meta thanks to its AI tools, advertisers may spend more and more on the platform to reach us.

Even though Meta shares have climbed about 50% this year, the stock only trades for 26x forward earnings estimates — a bargain considering the company’s profitability now and potential AI growth to come.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Adria Cimino has positions in Oracle. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Meta Platforms, Nvidia, and Oracle. The Motley Fool recommends Intel and recommends the following options: long January 2025 $45 calls on Intel and short August 2024 $35 calls on Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.