Bullish or Bearish? A Look at Retail Stocks to Watch

retail stocks to watch

Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the world economy. Here in the US, some are cautious but optimistic about the future.

This week American retailers will be put to the test as earnings for Walmart, Advanced Auto Parts, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Target, L Brands, and Lowe’s are announced.

Retail Stocks: Record Decline

Covid-19 has had a severe impact on retail sales as many businesses were forced to shutter their doors amid statewide stay at home orders, significantly altering consumer behavior and purchasing patterns.

US retail sales plunged more than 16.4% in April, according to the Retail Trade and Food Services report released by the Commerce Department. Representing one of the steepest declines.

How Has Coronavirus Changed The Way Goods Are Consumed?

Some retailers have been struggling since the outbreak of the virus, while others have managed to keep their heads afloat. Retailers deemed essential have seen a surge in demand for products and increased online sales.

  • WMT, America’s largest grocer, announced earnings on Tuesday, May 19, and reported $134.62 billion in revenue and $1.18, adjusted earnings per share. The company also revealed e-commerce sales grew by 74%, and its same-store sales jumped by 10% in the first quarter.
  • Home improvement growth remains very strong. HD, the nation’s leading home improvement retailer, is expected to boost sales. Internet searches for home improvement surged in April and May, as many homeowners quarantined at home embark on home improvement projects.
  • LOW is also projected to see an uptick following the trends in home improvement. According to credit and debit card spending data, total home improvement spending was up 15% YoY.
  • Apparel and accessory brands have been hard hit by the virus. Luxury department store Neiman Marcus and fashion store J. Crew became the first two major retailers to declare bankruptcy during the pandemic. KSS and LB are expected to fall by 1.5% and 2.4%, respectively.

Should You Add These Retail Stocks to Your Watchlist?

Overall retail sales have plummeted since the pandemic. However, retailers designated as essential have fared far better than their non-essential counterparts.

Using TradeStation’s RadarScreen, which continuously monitors and ranks up to 1,000 symbols in real-time, we pulled a list of the year-to-date percentage changes in retail stocks listed on the S&P 500 to see the biggest retail stock losers and winners and what to watch.

Ticker Company YTD Net % Change
AMZN(D) Amazon 33.76%
EBAY(D) eBay 19.05%
DG(D) Dollar General 17.54%
HD(D) Home Depot 10.31%
KR(D) Kroger 11.49%
WMT(D) Walmart 8.18%
COST(D) Costco 4.99%
BBY(D) Best Buy -3.12%
TGT(D) Target -2.61%
LOW(D) Lowes -1.39%
TIF(D) Tiffany -4.65%
KMX(D) CarMax -7.69%
SBUX(D) Starbucks -12.55%
CVS(D) CVS Health Corp -14.13%
ULTA(D) Ulta Beauty -16.99%
DLTR(D) Dollar Tree -14.97%
AAP(D) Advanced Auto Parts -12.61%
TJX(D) TJX -18.26%
ROST(D) Ross -22.94%
LB(D) L Brands -29.08%
WBA(D) Walgreens -31.67%
SYY(D) Sysco -37.77%
GPS(D) Gap -56.05%
JWN(D) Nordstrom -60.98%
KSS(D) Kohls -65.95%

Year-to-Date Percentage Change in Retail Stock Prices from May 18, 2020

How to Create Custom Watchlists for Retail Stocks?

If you’re ready to create your own custom watchlists to start placing trades here’s what you can do.

Open a brokerage account at TradeStation. Our online brokerage accounts offer tools and analytics to help you trade retail stocks. You can also use the platform to research other stocks.

Research. Use TradeStation’s Radarscreen to create a custom watchlist to monitor stocks you’re interested in.

Place a trade. Once you’re ready to place a trade, search for the ticker symbols, you’re interested in trading. Then plan your strategy, determine risk guidelines, and execute your plan.

Find out more about how our platform and tools can help you monitor the markets to spot trends today.

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