Retail sales in the United States contracted 3% sequentially in February 2021, following an upwardly revised 7.6% gain in January and much worse than market forecast of a 0.5% decline. It marked the biggest decline since the
record slump in April 2020. Extremely cold weather and winter storms in Texas and some other parts of the South led to such a lackluster U.S. retail scorecard in February.
Consumer spending makes up about 70% of U.S. economic activity and thus gives a clear picture of the direction in which the economy is moving. The latest retail sales data, however, is expected to be fleeting as the rollout of $1.9 trillion stimulus measures and $1,400-checks to household should prop up the sales data in the medium term.
Still, below we highlight the areas that scraped through the retail massacre in the month of February. This will indicate the durability of those sectors and point to the long-term investing success.
Electronics and Appliances
Sales of this category fell slight 1.9% sequentially. Year over year, sales were down 3.1%. Consumers’ interest in buying electronics products should keep demand for semiconductors higher.
Micron Technology Inc. ( MU Quick Quote MU - Free Report)
The company is one of the leading worldwide providers of semiconductor memory solutions. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF ( SMH Quick Quote SMH - Free Report)
The underlying MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in semiconductor production and equipment. The fund charges 35 bps in fees.
F&B Stores & Service Places
Spending at food and beverage stores was flat sequentially and up 11.7% year over year. Of this, spending at grocery stores was up 0.1% sequentially and 11.1% year over year.
Meanwhile, sales in food services and drinking places dropped 2.5% sequentially in February 2021 and 17% year over year.
United Natural Foods Inc. ( UNFI Quick Quote UNFI - Free Report)
The company is the leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty food and non-food products in the United States and Canada. The company carries more than 1,10,000 high-quality natural, organic and specialty products, consisting of national, regional and private label brands in six product categories. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF ( PBJ Quick Quote PBJ - Free Report)
The underlying Dynamic Food & Beverage Intellidex Index comprises stocks of 30 U.S. food and beverage companies. These are companies that are principally engaged in the manufacture, sale or distribution of food and beverage products, agricultural products, and products related to the development of new food technologies.
Health & Personal Care Stores
Spending at health and personal care stores was down 1.3% sequentially and up 5.4% year over year.
Procter & Gamble Company The ( PG Quick Quote PG - Free Report)
The Procter & Gamble Company, also referred to as Procter & Gamble or P&G, is a branded consumer products company which markets its products in more than 180 countries primarily through mass merchandisers, grocery stores, membership club stores, drug stores, department stores, distributors, baby stores, specialty beauty stores, e-commerce, high frequency stores and pharmacies.
Global X Health & Wellness Thematic ETF ( BFIT Quick Quote BFIT - Free Report)
The underlying Indxx Global Health & Wellness Thematic Index tracks the performance of companies listed in developed markets that provide products and services aimed at promoting physical wellness through active and healthy lifestyles, including but not limited to fitness equipment and technology, athletic apparel, nutritional supplements, and organic/ natural food offerings. It charges 50 bps in fees.
Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?
Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.
Get it free >>