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5 Top Stocks to Buy on Blockbuster Jobs Data

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The U.S. economy created more-than-expected jobs in November. This along with a 50-year low unemployment rate showed that in spite of a slowdown, robust job growth will drive the economy in the near future.

We have shortlisted five stocks that can make the most of the positive labor market data.

U.S. Economy Adds Stellar Jobs in November

On Dec 6, the Labor Department released a report on job additions in American for November. The economy added 266,000 jobs last month, beating the consensus estimate of 188,000. The report also highlights a revision in job additions for October to 156,000 from 128,000 and 193,000 in September instead of the previous 180,000.

The reports definitely indicate that the pace of job creations haven’t slowed, instead have shown signs of reacceleration.

The U.S. service sector that accounts for about 85% of the total jobs in America has seen significant job additions in the past few months. And private services remained a major contributor to job creation with 206,000 people newly employed. Among them, health care and hotels and restaurants added 60,000 and 45,000 jobs, respectively. Professional services added 38,000 staff last month.

Meanwhile, the government hired 3000 employees across different sectors.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% and matches its lowest level seen in 1969. However, the 50-year low value failed to beat the consensus estimate of 3.6%. In fact, the BLS reported that U6 unemployment rate, which is a broader measure of real unemployment, came in at 7.2% in November, higher than the previous month’s 6.9%, matching the lowest level on record. The unemployment rate’s decline was largely due to the decline in the labor force participation rate that came in at 63.2%.

Factors Behind Job Additions

The U.S. economy may have shown signs of a slowdown recently, with the slump in the manufacturing sector due to the protracted U.S.-China trade war. But American consumers have been resilient enough and their high purchasing power has kept the economy afloat.

What supports the strong American consumer? Wage growth, which remained solid in November, left consumers with enough money to spend. The average hourly wage rose 0.2% or by 7 cents to $28.29 per hour. However, the 12-month rate of hourly wage gains dropped to 3.1% from 3.2% in the previous month.

Additionally, November saw a revival in the manufacturing sector, as the autoworkers’ strike at General Motors Company ended, and the company added roughly 50,000 jobs. With that, the manufacturing space added a total of 54,000 new jobs in November.

Buy These 5 Stocks Now

This low unemployment rate points at a robust labor market even after the economy has shown signs of a slowdown. Moreover, stronger-than-expected job addition calls for investment in the staffing space, as it is a key driver in new employment. Further, health care, hotels and restaurants, and business service sectors saw solid job creation in November and cannot be ignored.

Hence, keeping all the positives in mind, we have shortlisted five stocks that for investment purpose. Each of these flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (CCRN - Free Report) provides healthcare staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions in the United States. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 16.7% compared with the Zacks Staffing Firms industry’s projected earnings growth of 1.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has advanced 75% over the past 60 days. Cross Country Healthcare has outperformed the industry in the past year (+56.9% versus -1.7%).

 

Genesis Healthcare, Inc. (GEN - Free Report) owns and operates skilled nursing facilities and assisted or senior living facilities in the United States. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is 89.6% against the Zacks Medical - Nursing Homes industry’s projected earnings decline of more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has advanced 13% over the past 60 days. Genesis Healthcare has outperformed the industry in the past year (+2.4% versus -11%).

 

Chuy's Holdings, Inc. (CHUY - Free Report) owns and operates full-service restaurantsin Texas and 19 states in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 13.6% compared with the Zacks Retail - Restaurants industry’s projected earnings growth of 3.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings advanced 5.3% over the past 60 days. Chuy's Holdings outperformed the industry in the past year (+38.3% versus +15.4%).

 

FTI Consulting, Inc. (FCN - Free Report) provides business advisory services to manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 47.8% compared with the Zacks Consulting Services industry’s projected earnings growth of 4.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has advanced 9% over the past 60 days. FTI Consulting has outperformed the industry in the past year (+77.5% versus +21.6%).

 

Huron Consulting Group Inc. (HURN - Free Report) is a professional service company that provides advisory, technology and analytic solutions in the United States. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 24% compared with the Zacks Consulting Services industry’s projected earnings growth of 4.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has advanced 3.2% over the past 60 days. Huron Consulting has outperformed the industry in the past year (+31.1% versus +21.6%).

 

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