Best Stocks for a Volatile Market

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Volatility is back. The CBOE Volatility Index, the market's so-called fear gauge, stretched over a 22 percent range in each of the past two weeks, its first such streak since March.

Could investors cash in on this trend?

A quantitative barometer often used to measure volatility is beta, which depicts a stock's price move in relation to the overall market. A beta of 1 indicates that a security's price will move in tandem with the broader market, in this case the S&P 500, while a beta higher than 1 implies greater volatility.

High beta stocks are generally attractive to short-term investors for the potential of large gains in exchange for greater risk. During bull markets and periods of controlled volatility, high beta names tend to outperform.

In fact, the 45 stocks in the S&P 500 that have a beta of 2 or higher are up on average 17 percent year-to-date, compared with an 11 percent increase for the 45 companies with the lowest beta.

Currently, Seagate Technology and Nabors Industries have the highest beta values at 3, according to data from FactSet.

Below is a list of some high beta names.

—By CNBC's Pradip Sigdyal and Giovanny Moreano.

High Beta Stocks

Beta v. Index
YTD % Change
STX Seagate Technology Inc. 3.0 45.97%
NBR Nabors Industries Ltd. 3.0 12.93%
JDSU JDS Uniphase Corp. 2.8 5.85%
AMD Advanced Micro Devices Inc. 2.7 64.58%
MS Morgan Stanley 2.5 37.71%
ETFC E*TRADE Financial Corp. 2.5 29.81%
RF Regions Financial Corp. 2.4 28.89%
JNPR Juniper Networks Inc. 2.4 -2.85%
FFIV F5 Networks Inc. 2.4 -22.83%
THC Tenet Healthcare Corp. 2.4 45.15%