Stock market

2 growth stocks that could help lift the FTSE by 100 to 9,000 points this year

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gave FTSE 100 Has been on a strong run over the past month. It has made fresh all-time highs in the process, and is currently trading at 8,374 points. If it increases by another 10% over the next six months, we will be above 9,000 points.

Growth shares need to be supported to help raise this. Here are two that I think can contribute to that goal.

Getting back to basics

First is Marks and Spencer (LSE:MKS) Ex FTSE 250 The stock enjoyed gains in the main index and continues on the rally that helped it hit the top spot. The stock has gained 62% over the past year.

The business has enjoyed a recovery after an overhaul in the past few years. In fact, the title of the 2023 annual report was “Changing M&S”. The firm is now beginning to see the fruits of its labor. Cost cuts of £400m over the past five years mean it operates from a leaner and more efficient base.

A focus on omni-channel development is helping all divisions perform better. For example, the winter holiday trade update highlighted revenue growth of 10.5% in food but also 4.8% in clothing and home. This tells me that the business is not just dependent on one area, but the whole group is doing well.

As a risk, continued inflationary pressure eats away at profit margins. This is something that the management team needs to keep a close eye on to ensure that expenses don’t get out of hand.

Banking Stocks You Might Have Forgotten

Another development idea I like. Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN). The World Bank sometimes flies under the radar relative to peers in the FTSE 100, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth discounting.

The stock is up 24% over the past year and recently posted a strong set of quarterly results. In an environment where other banks missed expectations, Standard Chartered beat analyst forecasts for both revenue and net profit.

Importantly, the bank also maintained full-year guidance that reassured investors. It is true that this year is an uncertain time for banks due to the possibility of interest rate cuts. Further, with a slowdown in China and recession in and out of places like the UK, it’s hard to know which way to turn.

Yet thanks to the diversity of operations and the countries in which it deals, Standard Chartered seems to be weathering the storm as well as it can at the moment. Of course, there is a risk that things could turn south later this year. Yet for the moment, I think it can outperform and support the FTSE 100’s bid for 9,000 points.

I’m considering adding both stocks to my portfolio when I have some free cash.


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