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Brazilian Stocks to Buy for Rio Olympics

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Tonight marks the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. While the summer games have come a long way from naked Greco Roman wrestling, doesn’t sound like the Brazilian infrastructure has made the leap. I’m not going to sit here and destroy the Brazilians, the Germans already did that in the World Cup. I’m here to figure out a way to make money on these games. 

We know that the sewage is absolutely out of control in Brazil. Those poor sailors, rowers and canoers have to hold their breath. These beaches look like an episode of “Hoarders” and the water is so nasty Newsweek called it the “Poop Olympics.” 

Guanabara Bay makes the Chicago River look like the river flowing out of the Garden of Eden. The Associated Press took sample of water last year and the levels of viruses from human waste were at 1.7 million times what would be considered unsafe at California beaches. 

Here’s an idea, why not a buy a Brazilian water sanitation company? If anything, this global humiliation should get the government to start writing some checks to get this cleaned up. Check out Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (SBS - Free Report) . That’s Portuguese for the basic sanitation company of the state of Sao Paulo, right around the corner from Rio. Ticker SBS is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with Value and Growth Style Scores of A. The company is coming off two quarterly beats in a row, with the last one coming in at 24 cents versus our Zacks Consensus Estimate of 20 cents. 

The Guanabara Bay isn’t the only place you’ll find rolling brownouts in Brazil. Consider looking at other infrastructure plays like Electrobras (EBR) or Cemig (CIG). Cemig is actually a Zacks Ran k#2 (Buy) right now as well. Of course if you don’t want to buy specific infrastructure plays here, you can play the hope of Olympic momentum through the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ). This will get you exposure to stocks traded on Brazil’s largest exchange, the BOVESPA. 

Don’t forget about Zika. The virus that’s wreaking havoc on South and Central America doesn’t yet have a vaccine. But Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) has been working on a DNA-based vaccine since December. Inovio is going to report earnings before the market opens Monday August 8th

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