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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: America's Car-Mart, Central Garden & Pet, Heritage-Crystal Clean, Cherry Hill Mortgage Investment and Comerica

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 09, 2017, 2016 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include America's Car-Mart Inc. (NASDAQ:(CRMT - Free Report) Free Report ) , Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: (CENT - Free Report) – Free Report ), Heritage-Crystal Clean Inc. (NASDAQ:(HCCI - Free Report) Free Report ) , Cherry Hill Mortgage Investment Corp. (NYSE:(CHMI - Free Report) – Free Report ) and Comerica Inc (NYSE:(CMA - Free Report) Free Report ) .

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Sector Stocks Likely to See a Great Year

Since the U.S. economy grew 3.5% – the two-year best – in the third quarter of 2016, we can easily pronounce that the year 2017 to be a favorable one for the domestic economy. This is especially true given that President-elect Trump has promised fiscal reflation after taking office.

Personal consumption, investment and government expenditure grew faster than anticipated in Q3. Meanwhile, consumer confidence peaked to a 15-year high in December buoyed by a Trump-induced market rally and stable job market. The unemployment rate declined to a nine-year low of 4.6%.

U.S. auto sales came in unexpectedly strong in December thanks to soaring consumer confidence. Industry-wide sales grew 3.1% to 1.69 million in December while sales for the full year went up 0.4% year over year to 17.55 million . Low fuel prices were also catalysts to stellar auto sales (read: Auto Sales Hit Fresh High in 2016: ETFs & Stocks to Ride On ).

The world’s largest economy left a bullish mark in every economic indicator, be it consumer confidence, housing numbers, manufacturing activities, corporate profits and currency. Despite a frozen start, the U.S. closed the year on a strong note.

Amid all the aplomb, investors should note that the Fed’s policy tightening may cause a jump in yields and spell trouble the rate-sensitive sectors. Whatever the case, we have highlighted five sectors and the related ETFs that promise substantial expected growth rate for 2017 and could be better plays in the near term. We also highlight five sector specific stocks that could serve as a buy candidate.


Strong sales data at the end of 2016 enthuses us to bet on this auto ETF. As per the source, China is expected to be a tailwind to global auto sales in 2017 thanks to increased adoption of new-energy vehicles and smart connected cars.

Also, Morgan Staley expects auto industry to experience cyclical benefits this year after a moderate 2016 and projects 2–4% annual growth for this year compared with a 0.4% uptick in 2016 sales.

If we go by the Earnings Trends issued on January 4, 2017, we will see that decline in earnings growth is expected to plateau out as we move from Q4 of 2016. Eventually, the year may see positive earnings growth of 6.9%.

America's Car-Mart Inc. (NASDAQ:(CRMT - Free Report) Free Report )

It is an automotive retailer. The stock has a VGM (Value-Growth-Momentum) score of’ ‘B’ at the time of writing. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Consumer Discretionary

The consumer discretionary sector is expected to see earnings growth of 8% in Q1 of 2017 on 12.8% revenue growth. Growth rates are one of the best in the Zacks-classified S&P 500 sectors. Also, under Trump’s administration, small-cap stocks have higher chances of outperformance.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:(CENT - Free Report) – Free Report )

This is a renowned producer and marketer of products for lawn & garden and pet supplies. The stock has a VGM score of ‘A’ and its Zacks industry rank is in the top 31%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


This fund focuses on small- and mid-cap U.S. companies that hail from the industrial and community banking sectors. With Trump highly expected to bring U.S. manufacturing jobs back to the country and strictly oppose outsourcing, the industrial sector may have started cheering his win (read: 5 Top-Ranked Sector ETFs Thankful to Trump ).

In fact, Trump’s win calls for a rise in the trend of manufacturing ‘reshoring’, instead of offshoring to low cost destinations like China, most of Asia and some parts of Latin America. This makes it clear why we pick AIRR as a 2017 outperformer (read: Manufacturing Reshoring Ahead? ETFs to Profit ).

Heritage-Crystal Clean Inc. (NASDAQ:(HCCI - Free Report) Free Report )

This is a privately held marketing and sales company which is into automotive repair, primarily in the Midwest and Eastern States. It has a VGM score of ‘A.’ The stock has a Zacks Rank #1.


REITs can be good picks in 2017 despite worries about rising yields. And if it is a fund like KBWY which yields about 6.55% annually, chances of outperformances go higher in a rising rate environment. Investors should note that the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was 2.37% at the end of January 5, 2017.

Investors should also take a note that REITs form an asset class which not only benefits from a rebounding economy, but also from an appreciation in the value of real estate assets if held for a longer term. REITs are often viewed as protection against inflation.

Cherry Hill Mortgage Investment Corp. (NYSE:(CHMI - Free Report) – Free Report )

It is a residential real estate finance company. The stock has a VGM score of ‘A’ and its Zacks industry rank is in the top 30%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2.

Regional Banks

Historically, financial stocks perform better with republicans in the White House thanks to their tolerant policies . Trump’s intention to ease regulatory policies for small-cap banks should be a positive for the fund. Also, benchmark U.S. Treasury bond yields have seen an uptrend due to both Fed and Trump, giving another boost to financial ETFs (read: Play Banking Bonanza with These ETFs in Trump World ).

Comerica Inc (NYSE:(CMA - Free Report) Free Report )

It is bank holding company which has three lines of business – business bank, individual bank and investment bank. Its Zacks industry rank is in the top 2%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1.

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