These 5 stocks have gone almost nowhere this year, but could they be worth buying?

In the midst of a raging bull market, some stocks in the S&P 500 have seen virtually no gains or losses this year.

But some of them could be worth buying for a breakout, according to some market participants.

Goldman Sachs, Quest Diagnostics, Mylan, Concho Resources and Fastenal have all been trading within 0.2 percent of where they began the year. Max Wolff, chief economist at Disruptive Technology Advisers, says two of them stick out to him the most.

The first of these is big bank Goldman Sachs, which actually fell following its earnings report on Tuesday.

"I do think that the worst of times is probably over for the financial firms despite the weakness in the fixed-income trading," he said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "You're starting to see some interesting developments here in the M&A business starting to creep up, [as well as in] investment banking and wealth management."

Given those improving conditions that would benefit big banks, Wolff believes that Goldman "doesn't need to be dead money."

He feels the same about Mylan. As of Wednesday, the pharmaceutical company's stock was up only 0.1 percent year to date.

Dennis Davitt, a partner at Harvest Volatility Management, echoes Wolff's sentiments about Goldman but believes the revival of the reflation trade could benefit some of the other names.

"In the energy sector, [for example], as we're reflating back into this global economy and global growth, we see them retrace a lot of the losses that they had earlier in the year," he said. "The reflation trade was very popular at the end of last year, a little bit of this year and then it really fell out of favor."

"Now it's coming more back into favor, and we're hearing more about inflation and reflation into the market and global growth, and that's why we're seeing these stocks come back," he added.

In fact, a few of these five names have started to move. Concho Resources, an energy name, is now up about 1.5 percent year to date, while Fastenal saw a rally that continued on Wednesday to take the stock up 4 percent year to date.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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