Companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index now sit on a record $1.2 trillion in cash. Smart investors, take note: This means some blue-chip companies have huge war chests to fund or buy growth for years. Three analyst favorites:
4. Google (Fortune 500) Cash stake: $48 billion. ,
This Internet giant is already a leader in three growth areas of tech -- mobile, online advertising, and the cloud -- and is catching up in social media. And it has ample resources to keep innovating, notes Edward Jones analyst John Olson. The next big things: computerized eyeglasses and a self-driving car.
5. Amgen (Fortune 500) Cash stake: $24 billion. ,
The world's biggest biotech company is about to reaccelerate with the help of three new potential blockbusters emerging from its pipeline. More promising drugs are on the way, since Amgen's cash allows it to spend twice as much as its nearest competitor on R&D.
6. Abbott Laboratories (Fortune 500) Cash stake: $15 billion. ,
After spinning off its slow-growing drug business, Abbott is looking to use its cash to expand abroad. Good start: Already 40% of sales -- ranging from arterial stents to diagnostic devices to infant formula -- come from emerging markets such as China and Brazil.
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