Here comes Santa Claus

Summer officially ends on the 22nd of September, but, with the kids back in school, Labor Day weekend is, in many ways, our last hurrah of the summer.  In the upcoming weeks, millions of Americans will begin to blow out our sprinkler systems and winterize our boats.

The day after Labor Day weekend also marks the return of many retail investors to the stock market and, even though most of us are just beginning to process our Labor Day memories, it’s looking like it may be time to eye positioning for the Santa Claus rally. 

With that in mind, over the next few weeks, we are going highlight several of our Santa Claus rally favorites.  For the most part, our 2018 Santa Claus favorites are not the result of Jedi research, but rather common sense selections based on recent quarterly results, consumer surveys, and other data.  

One of the main reasons that we’re looking at the Santa Claus rally so early in the investment seasonal cycle is the fact that Target’s (NYSE:TGT) same-store sales jumped 6.5% in the second quarter, while Walmart’s (NYSE:WMT) second quarter same-store sales grew by 4.5%.

We’re also looking for others, like Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), TJX (NYSE:TJX), and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), which also had nice second quarters, to join Walmart and Target. 

While all of the aforementioned companies closed out 2017 higher than they were priced on last year’s Labor Day, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) has done that the last nine years in a row and it’s profiting from an active 2018 summer hail season, so it could run its streak to ten years.  Additionally, it should benefit from the back to basics lifestyle trend, in which many guys prefer a mindful tool set over the latest useless tech gadget.

After some tough years, retailers can finally enjoy some tailwinds in the form of increased U.S. consumer spending, which is being fueled by low unemployment and tax cuts and reduced competition, with retailers like Sports Authority and Toys R Us shutting down and others, like Sears, closing stores.

If these tailwinds continue, you may not want to wait until Black Friday to catch this year’s Santa Claus rally.

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