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The Top 3 Russell 2000 Index Stocks to Buy Now

This could result in some big moves for small-cap stocks, so it might pay off to gather the most intriguing prospects in anticipation of a rally. Here...

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This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

When it comes to stock market indices, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average tend to receive the most attention from the finance community. These indices contain some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world, so it makes sense that they are always in focus. With that said, the often overlooked Russell 2000 Index that tracks small-cap stocks can provide plenty of opportunities to generate strong returns if you are interested in buying companies that have more room to grow.



Keep in mind that most large-cap companies were once small-caps, so looking into the Russell 2000 for the winners of the future makes a lot of sense. If the other major indices are any indication, the Russell 2000 Index could be ready to follow suit and break out to new all-time highs in the coming weeks. This could result in some big moves for small-cap stocks, so it might pay off to gather the most intriguing prospects in anticipation of a rally. Here are the top 3 Russell 2000 Index stocks to buy now.



Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK)



It’s safe to say that the gig economy is thriving, and this company is at the forefront of connecting freelancers with businesses all over the world via its online employment marketplace. Upwork’s platform allows businesses with freelance labor and tools to hire, manage, and pay for completed work. Companies can find and hire developers, designers, writers, marketers, support representatives, and more on Upwork, and the company offers a great way for freelance workers to grow and develop their businesses.



We know that remote work is on the rise, especially after the pandemic, which means that Upwork is flourishing. The company had a record 2020 is already off to a strong start this year, as Q1 revenue increased 37% year-over-year to $113.6 million and gross services volume increased by 41%. This is a unique business with tons of room to grow, which is why it's one of the best Russell 2000 stocks to consider buying now.



Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX)



Crocs caught investors off guard last quarter after a massive Q1 earnings beat and has been trending nicely ever since. It’s the type of stock that has sneakily been one of the better performers this year and could have more upside in store going forward. The company is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of casual lifestyle footwear accessories including its infamous foam clogs. The company’s brand is very strong and Crocs has built out a robust distribution network via wholesale, retail, and e-commerce sales channels.



Consumers are heading back to stores as things return to a sense of normalcy after the pandemic, and sales in lifestyle retail brands like Crocs should remain strong throughout 2021. The company’s e-commerce business also marked the 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in Q1, which tells us that Crocs is taking full advantage of the trend in digital shopping. Investors should also be attracted to Crocs thanks to its strong approach to marketing, which includes an effective social media strategy and collaborations with celebrities like Justin Bieber and Questlove.



BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc (NYSE:BJ)



If you are a little concerned about how the economy is doing and want to own a business that should do great during downturns, BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings is an excellent choice. The company operates membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States and provides a one-stop shopping destination for over 6 million members. BJ’s did quite well during the pandemic as consumers stocked up on essentials and likely gained valuable market share during that time. It’s important to note that the company sells smaller portion sizes at lower prices than competitors like Costco which could be a big plus if the economy falters.



In FY 2020, BJ’s reported a 17% year-over-year increase in revenue along with a 125% year-over-year increase in net income, both impressive figures for a company in the increasingly competitive retail space. It’s also worth mentioning that BJ’s has plenty of room for expansion and plans to open about six new clubs during the fiscal year 2021. This is big as it could help the company expand its delivery and digital sales capabilities, which are going to be essential growth drivers in the coming decade. While volatility is commonplace in the Russell 2000 Index, BJ’s Wholesale is a lower-risk stock with plenty of price upside to consider adding.

Depositphotos.com contributor/Depositphotos.com via MarketBeat

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