Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Retail Sales Recover in September: ETF & Stock Winners

Read MoreHide Full Article

After a downbeat August, U.S. retail sales turned around in September, validating the solid U.S. growth momentum. Sales came in line with analyst estimates and grew 0.6% sequentially, following an upwardly revised 0.2% fall in August. On a year-over-year basis, sales grew 2.7% following an upwardly revised 2.1% jump in August.

Higher auto sales and increasing gasoline prices were behind this decent reading. Auto sales ticked up 1.1% following a 0.3% dip in the prior month and sales at service stations grew 2.4%. Notably, miscellaneous store retailers saw 1.8% sales growth and sporting goods and hobby witnessed 1.4% sales rise.

Restaurants and bars exhibited 0.8% sales expansion – the highest since February. Online retailers too saw a 0.3% nudge-up in sales. Barring spending at gas and autos, retail sales advanced a moderate 0.3%. Among the losers, sales at electronics and appliance stores fell 0.9%.

Accelerating wage growth can be credited for greater consumer confidence in September. Notably, average hourly pay was $25.79 in September, up 2.6% year over year.

Market Impact

The market reaction to September retail data was mixed as it strengthened chances of a rate hike this year end. Almost all core retail ETFs including SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH and PowerShares Dynamic Retail Portfolio ETF PMR shed gains on October 14, following the release of the data, though at a measure of less than 1%. Odds of gradual ending in easy money inflows probably restrained those ETFs from celebrating the sector’s gain.

Since traders are now betting on a 66% chance of a rate hike by December, up from 59% at the end of September, the U.S. dollar has gained strength. PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF UUP was up over 0.5% on October 14, 2016 (read: Currency ETFs in Focus on Strengthening Dollar).

Can the Wining Trend Thrive Ahead?

Investors should note that though retail sales picked up pace in September, the momentum may melt down in October. This is because consumer confidence suddenly dropped to a one-year low this month given the uncertainty over the presidential election. If this subdued sentiment reflects on retail sales, the upcoming reading may not be that reassuring.

ETF Impact

Below we highlight a few consumer discretionary ETFs that gained on October 14 and may lead the way ahead despite the overall somber sentiment over the sector (read: Should You Buy Retail ETFs Now?).

First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund CARZ– Up 1.6% on October 14

The fund gives exposure to automobile manufacturers across the globe.

Restaurant ETF BITE – Up 0.9% on October 14

The restaurant ETF looks to track the performance of U.S. restaurants.

Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY – Up 0.4% on October 14

The wind has been in favor of online retailing over the last few months. So, IBUY could be a good long-term pick (read: Forget Broader Retail; Bet on Online Retail ETFs).

PowerShares DWA Consumer Cyclicals Momentum Portfolio ETF PEZ – Up 0.1% on October 14

The fund gives exposure to consumer cyclical stocks that are exhibiting relative strength.

Stock Picks

We also picked four retail-wholesale stocks on the basis of a VGM Style Score of ‘A’ and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), at the time of writing. Our chosen stocks are:

Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS - Free Report) – Up 0.97% on October 14

It is a full-line sporting goods retailer in the U.S. Its industry is within the top 18% segment in the Zacks Industry Rank universe.

Tilly's Inc. TLYS – Up 1.18% on October 14

This is a specialty retailer in the action sports industry selling clothing, shoes and accessories. The industry rank is in top 43%.

Urban Outfitters Inc. URBN– Up 1.11% on October 14

The company runs two business segments – a lifestyle-oriented general merchandise retailing segment and a wholesale apparel business. Its industry rank is within top 43%.

Marinemax Inc. HZO– Up 0.72% on October 14

The company is a recreational boat dealer in the U.S. Its industry rank is within the top 18%.

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 >>

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS) - free report >>

Published in