The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Vericel, Malibu Boats, Upland Software, QuinStreet and eGain

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - November 29, 2018 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Vericel Corp. VCEL , Malibu Boats Inc. MBUU , Upland Software Inc. UPLD , QuinStreet Inc. QNST and eGain Corp. EGAN .

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Small-Cap Stocks to Outperform This Holiday Season

The holiday season is off to a great start this year buoyed by a digital shopping boom. Online sales jumped 28% to $3.7 billion on Thanksgiving Day and 23.6% to a record $6.22 billion on Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics. This makes Thursday the fastest-growing day for e-commerce sales in history and marks the first Friday after Thanksgiving Day in history to see more than $2 billion in sales from smartphones. About 33.5% of e-commerce sales came from mobile devices compared with 29.1% in 2017.

Despite the optimism, the three major indices logged in their biggest losses in a Thanksgiving week since 2011, with the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index tumbling 4.4%, 3.8% and 4.3%, respectively. The decline came amid myriad woes, especially the ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China, global growth worries, FAANG sell-off as well as the worsening oil price rout (read: Best & Worst ETFs of Thanksgiving Week ).

However, if we go by history, stocks are expected to rise, recovering all their losses over the next month. This is especially true as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, the Nasdaq 100 and the Russell 2000 indexes all generally climb between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, according to data from Kensho. The Dow Jones has returned an average of 1.93% in the time period since 1990, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained 1.77% and 1.66% respectively. The Russell 2000 has outperformed during the holidays, rising on average 2.46%.

The outperformance of the small-caps seems to hold true this year given that these pint-sized stocks are well insulated from international headwinds, which we are currently seeing. These are considered safe and better plays if any political issue or economic turmoil creeps into the picture. Additionally, the strength in U.S. dollar, which makes domestic goods more expensive overseas, will also support the small-cap surge. The Russell 2000 Index was down only 0.5% in a Thanksgiving week.

Further, a booming economy will provide a lift to stock prices. This is especially true as the American economy has been on a solid pace of growth with robust job creation, strong GDP growth, a 50-year low unemployment rate, the fastest pace of wage gains in nearly a decade, and rising consumer and business confidence. While third-quarter GDP growth slowed to 3.5% from 4.2% in the second quarter amid growing headwinds from trade, it marks the best two-quarter stretch in four years. With this, the economy is on pace for the fastest annual growth in 13 years.

Small-cap stocks generally lead the way on an improving American economy though they are extremely volatile and could lead to huge losses compared with large and mid-cap counterparts in a short span (read: 5 ETFs That Deserve Special Thanks in 2018 ).

Given this, we have presented five stocks that are expected to outdo this holiday season. All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy), suggesting their continued outperformance.

Stock Picks

Vericel Corp.

It is focused on developing patient-specific expanded cellular therapies for use in the treatment of patients with severe diseases and conditions. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Zacks Rank: #1

Growth Score: B

Market Cap: $775.05 million

One-Week Return: 7.5%

Malibu Boats Inc.

It operates as a designer, manufacturer and marketer of sport boats primarily in the United States.

Zacks Rank: #2

Growth Score: A

Market Cap: $987.9 million

One-Week Return: 6.8%

Upland Software Inc.

It is a provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management software that helps organizations plan, manage and execute projects and work.

Zacks Rank: #1

Growth Score: B

Market Cap: $627.6 million

One-Week Return: 4.9%

QuinStreet Inc.

It is a provider of online direct marketing and media services offering online messaging, email broadcasting, search engine marketing, and brand management services (read: Hottest Online Stock & ETF Deals for Cyber Monday ).

Zacks Rank: #2

Growth Score: A

Market Cap: $739.8 million

One-Week Return: 3.7%

eGain Corp.

This company provides customer engagement solutions and offers web customer interaction applications, social customer interaction applications and contact center applications.

Zacks Rank: #1

Growth Score: A

Market Cap: $198.2 million

One-Week Return: 2.7%

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Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Upland Software, Inc. (UPLD): Free Stock Analysis Report

eGain Corporation (EGAN): Free Stock Analysis Report

QuinStreet, Inc. (QNST): Free Stock Analysis Report

Malibu Boats, Inc. (MBUU): Free Stock Analysis Report

Vericel Corporation (VCEL): Get Free Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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