Thanksgiving Week kicks off the most intense portion of the holiday shopping season for retail stocks. There’s no question holiday season 2020 will be like none other, but some experts believe Americans will be buying big this week, and that could be very good news for retail stocks.
Holiday Sales Predictions: On Monday, the National Retail Federation projected holiday sales in November and December will be up between 3.6% and 5.2% in 2020 despite the ongoing economic downturn. The NRF is expecting between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion in holiday spending this year. Over the past five years, holiday shopping has increased an average of 3.5% per year, suggesting this year could be a positive outlier for retail stocks.
“Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said.
Investors looking for better-than-expected Black Friday numbers should consider the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT), which kicked of the week up 3.5% on Monday in anticipation of the shopping bonanza.
Understandably, online sales are expected to surge this holiday season as coronavirus cases hit new record highs in many areas. The NRF is projecting online and non-store sales will jump between 20% and 30% this year to a range of between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion.
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How To Play It: The obvious winners of record online holiday shopping could be Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) and Walmart Inc (WMT). Those two companies represent the largest shares of the U.S. online shopping market.
E-commerce stocks Etsy Inc (ETSY), Wayfair Inc (W) and eBay Inc (EBAY) could also put up big holiday numbers this year. Investors who want to take a more diversified approach to e-commerce can also consider the Global X E-commerce ETF (EBIZ).
Traditional retailers that have invested heavily in online sales could also be in for a big Black Friday week. Target Corporation (TGT), Home Depot Inc (HD) and Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) are just a handful of names with a lot riding on this week.
Two of the hottest items this holiday season are expected to be next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles from Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and Sony Corp (SNE).
Outside of the retail sector, FedEx Corporation (FDX) and United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) could also benefit from a surge in online shopping. In addition, payment processors like Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) and Square Inc (SQ) would be winners from a record holiday shopping season.
Benzinga’s Take: Investors looking to trade retail stocks this holiday season should keep in mind that Black Friday comes every year, and it will take some extremely big numbers to exceed expectations already priced into the market. However, given how beaten down many brick-and-mortar retail stocks are in 2020, a decent holiday sales season could trigger a relief rally in a number of underperforming names.
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