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MercadoLibre and CarMax have been highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 3, 2023 – Zacks Equity Research shares MercadoLibre (MELI - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and CarMax (KMX - Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Valmont Industries, Inc. (VMI - Free Report) , Comerica Inc. (CMA - Free Report) and Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD - Free Report) .

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks.

Bull of the Day:

A shaky start to the month of February as investors continue to eye inflationary data and listen to Fed speak for hints of a pause in rate hikes. It made for a nervous market over the last few weeks. For the astute investor, this should spell opportunity. But how can you be sure that the stock you are buying on the dip has staying power for the long run?

One way is by leaning on the time-tested power of our Zacks Rank. Stocks in the good graces of our Zacks Rank have the strongest earnings trends. It’s these trends that can support a positive move in a stock and help it stay that way through any market condition.

One such stock is today’s Bull of the Day, MercadoLibre. Mercado Libre is a Latin American e-commerce and online marketplace company headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company was founded in 1999 by Marcos Galperin and has since expanded to operate in 18 countries across Latin America, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru.

Mercado Libre's business model is based on connecting buyers and sellers in a virtual marketplace where they can purchase and sell a wide range of products and services. The platform offers a variety of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers, as well as a payment protection program for buyers.

The reason for the favorable rank is that three analysts have increased their earnings estimates for the current year while two have done so for next year. The bullish sentiment pushed up our Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current year from $13.19 to $15.37 while next year’s number is up from $21.65 to $23.83.

Bear of the Day:

Markets have been under pressure for nearly the entire month of February. It’s been a hawkish Fed, along with hotter-than-expected inflationary data that have taken the rally off the rails. That, coupled with some nasty reactions to earnings reports have really put the markets on its heels. That has created some great opportunities out there, but that does not mean that you should take the dartboard approach to the market. Rather, try to avoid stocks with weak earnings trends. Oftentimes, investors don’t even realize a stock they are looking at has had recent negative earnings revisions coming from analysts.

One such stock that has seen some negative earnings revisions is today’s Bear of the Day, CarMax. CarMax is an American company that operates as a used car retailer and automotive services provider. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

CarMax's primary business is the sale of used cars through its network of over 220 stores across the United States. The company offers a wide variety of makes and models, and each vehicle undergoes a thorough inspection and reconditioning process before being put up for sale.

The stock is currently a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). The reason for the unfavorable rank is that four analysts have cut their earnings estimates for the current year and next year. That bearish sentiment has cut down the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year from $3.92 to $2.82 while next year’s number is off from $4.50 to $2.93.

The Automotive, Retail and Wholesale industry is in the Bottom 7% of our Zacks Industry Rank. The highest Zacks Rank in that industry is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Additional content:

3 Stocks to Watch on Dividend Hikes Amid Inflation Worries

The year started on a high as markets bounced back from their 2022 lows. Despite a blockbuster January, all the major indexes ended in the red in February on concerns of inflation rising once again. The Dow finished 4.2% down in February, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.6% and 1.1%, respectively, for the month.

Strong economic data and hotter-than-expected inflation have once again raised fears that the Fed might continue with its tight monetary control and interest rate hike policy for a longer period than earlier expected.

Rate Hike Worries Grow Again

Although inflation somewhat eased at the end of 2022, solid economic data in January like retail sales, industrial production, ISM manufacturing index and nonfarm payroll have ignited fears that if the Fed continues with its high-interest rate hikes, it will raise aggregate demand and make inflation stubborn.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index rose a sharp 0.6% in January, after increasing 0.2% in December. Year over year, the PCE index rose 5.4% in January. Core PCE, which excludes the volatile food and energy costs, also jumped 0.6% in January after rising 0.4% in December. On a year-over-year basis, the January PCE index increased 4.7%.

Also, the consumer price index (CPI) climbed 0.5% in January and 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts had expected a 0.4% monthly and a 6.2% year-over-year jump.

The core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.4% in January and 5.6% year over year.

Inflation, which had shown signs of easing at the end of last year had raised hopes of the Fed going slow on its rate-hike policy in 2023 and eventually. In fact, the Fed also hinted at a similar move by increasing interest rates by 25 basis points in December. Market participants too were of the opinion that the Fed would increase rates by 25 basis points by a maximum of three times.

However, several economists and financial professionals have begun to predict since the middle of February that the Fed will increase interest rates by 1% this year, with room for more increases if inflation stays sticky.

Given this situation, an astute investor would prefer to keep an eye on dividend-paying stocks right now. This is because dividend stocks with a proven track record and a solid business plan can weather market turbulence.

Also, in addition to ensuring a constant flow of profits, they reduce the chances of price swings. Also, during times of market turbulence, dividend-paying stocks have consistently outperformed non-dividend-paying companies. Four such companies are Valmont Industries, Inc., Comerica Inc. and Steel Dynamics, Inc.

Valmont Industries, Inc. is primarily engaged in the production of fabricated metal products, metal and concrete pole and tower structures and mechanized irrigation systems in the United States and abroad. VMI has two operating segments — Infrastructure and Agriculture.

On Feb 28, Valmont Industries declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.60 a share on Apr 14, 2023. VMI has a dividend yield of 0.69%. Over the past five years, Valmont Industries has increased its dividend four times and its payout ratio at present sits at 16% of earnings. Check Valmont Industries’ dividend history here.

Valmont Industries, Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | Valmont Industries, Inc. Quote

Comerica Inc. is a banking and financial services company. CMA delivers financial services in three primary geographic markets — Texas, California and Michigan — as well as Arizona and Florida. Also, Comerica has operations in numerous other U.S. states as well as in Canada and Mexico.

On Feb 28, Comerica Incorporated announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.71 a share on Apr 1, 2023. CMA has a dividend yield of 3.88%. Over the past five years, Comerica has increased its dividend four times and its payout ratio currently sits at 32% of earnings. Check Comerica Incorporated’s dividend history here.

Comerica Incorporated dividend-yield-ttm | Comerica Incorporated Quote

Steel Dynamics, Inc. is among the leading steel producers and metal recyclers in the United States. STLD currently has steelmaking and coating capacity of around 16 million tons. Steel Dynamics makes and markets steel products, processes and sells recycled ferrous and nonferrous metals, and fabricates and sells steel joist and decking products in the United States and internationally. STLD has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

On Feb 27, Steel Dynamics announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.43 a share on Apr 14, 2023. STLD has a dividend yield of 1.08%. Over the past five years, Steel Dynamics has increased its dividend six times and its payout ratio presently sits at 6% of earnings. Check Steel Dynamics’ dividend history here.

Steel Dynamics, Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | Steel Dynamics, Inc. Quote

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss.This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index.Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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