The number of new COVID-19 cases and the market both displayed a rising trend in the last three months. The job market gained consistently in this period, reflecting a stable economy. In August, particularly, unemployment rates were lower in 15 states and the District of Columbia and stable in 35 states. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 11 states, decreased in three states, and was unchanged in 36 states and the District — per the data by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.
While many of the market watchers assured us about this sustained bull run despite a massive spread of the more lethal Delta strain, others apprehended a bloodbath round the corner. Eventually, over the past two trading days, the market is deep into the bear territory, displaying the worst run since May.
Yesterday, the stock market crashed with benchmarks like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both down nearly 2%. NASDAQ Composite Index, which gained support last week from the technology bigwigs, declined 2.2% yesterday, shedding more than 300 points.
Two Primary Pull-Down Factors
China property market crisis is expected to have played a major role behind the dragging down of the benchmarks. Alliance Bernstein’s Co-Head of Asia Pacific Fixed Income Jenny Zeng recently warned that the highly distressed real estate developer of China, Evergrande (tagged as the world’s most indebted developer with $300 billion of debt at present) is on the edge of default. As quoted by CNBC, she also stated that this collapse will have a ‘domino effect’ on China’s property sector. In the overseas dollar market, these distressed developers combinedly hold a meaningful portion. Consequently, market watchers are worried that the collapse, if it occurs, will have a spillover effect worldwide.
Another point that is troubling the investors is the apprehension that amid the job market growth, the COVID-19 induced
monetary stimulus might get significantly tapered. During the economic crisis, several stimulus measures were launched mainly in the form of rate cuts and bond purchases. There are concerns that the Fed and other central banks, which are going to have a two-day meeting starting today, might start winding down stimulus. Market to Revive with OSHA Rule
Thanks to the ongoing market selloffs, a number of growth stocks have once again moved into the undervalued territory. However, the ongoing extensive rollout of vaccines across the nation, particularly, the latest launch of President Biden’s COVID-19 action plan called “Path Out of the Pandemic” is claimed to boost the financial market rebound.
As per the six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will develop a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforce is fully vaccinated. Any worker who remains unvaccinated will be required to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. The OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement.
Once the OSHA rule is implemented, the COVID-19 fear factor is likely to ease further. Market watchers believe that steep rebounds are once again in the cards for the currently beaten-down stocks.
Value Investing: The Ideal Strategy Now
Given the grim U.S. stock market scenario, investors may choose some fundamentally strong stocks,which have been currently pushed into the value territory because of the September market meltdown. These beaten-down stocks are currently available at dirt-cheap prices.
It has been observed that growth stocks outshine value stocks during economic downturns. However, when the economy picks up pace, post the pandemic-led economic mayhem, value stocks are expected to outperform the market.
To narrow down the list, we have selected stocks with a Value
Style Score of A or B. Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), offer the best upside potential. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Listed below are four companies that investors can consider during these trying times.
Schneider National ( SNDR Quick Quote SNDR - Free Report) : This Zacks Rank #1 stock with a Value Score of A is a leading transportation and logistics services company. The company is currently being aided by strong performances of the Intermodal and Logistics units. The Intermodal segment is benefiting from yield management and increased volumes, while the Logistics unit is thriving on the back of favorable constructive market conditions and other factors. The stock is currently priced at $22.30. In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 56.8% and 8.5% respectively. Northern Oil and Gas ( NOG Quick Quote NOG - Free Report) : The company’s core operations are focused on three leading basins of the United States — the Williston, Permian,and the Appalachian. The company employs a unique non-operating business model, which helps it to keep costs down and increase free cash flow. Prioritizing returns to investors, Northern Oil and Gas recently initiated a 3 cents per share quarterly base dividend, with the first payment to be made in the third quarter.
This Zacks Rank #1 stock with a Value Score of A is currently priced at $19 a share. In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 70.9% and 209.7% respectively.
G-III Apparel, Ltd. ( GIII Quick Quote GIII - Free Report) : Solid gains from the company’s assortments and digital business are currently driving results. Although the retail business has been sluggish, management has completed the division’s restructuring and the new model is poised to attain profitability. G-III Apparel’s digital business also continues to exhibit strength.
This stock too sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Value Score of A. It is currently priced at $28.45 a share. In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 341.6% and 30.2%, respectively.
Abercrombie & Fitch Company ( ANF Quick Quote ANF - Free Report) : The company operates as a specialty retailer of premium, high-quality casual apparel for men, women, and kids through a network of approximately 850 stores across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Abercrombie is making significant progress in expanding digital and omni-channel capabilities to better engage with consumers. Despite the reopening of stores, the company’s strong digital momentum continued in the last-reported second-quarter 2021.
This stock too sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Value Score A. It is currently priced at $28.45 a share.In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 341.6% and 30.2%, respectively.