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Coronavirus Fears Escalate: 4 Stocks to Load Up

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On Jun 26, the United States recorded the highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases since its outbreak in mid-April with the count crossing the 45,000 mark. In addition to setting the all-time record for the highest jump in single-day cases, 11 states also reportedly broke records for the average number of cases reported daily over the last week.

With the economy reopening, the country has once again started witnessing a spike in cases that has once again has raised fears in the minds of people. Although the government has indicated that another lockdown is quite unlikely as the economy needs to get back on its feet, it won’t come as a surprise if people once again start confining themselves to their homes. Given this, it is quite likely that they might once again start stockpiling on grocery, food and other consumer staples and discretionary items.

COVID-19 Cases Soar

On Friday, the nation recorded 45,255 new cases to hit a new all-time high, eclipsing the 39,972 mark just one day before. This is way higher than the previous high of 36,400 confirmed daily infections set on Apr 24. And experts say the country is likely to continue seeing new records in daily cases.

Several U.S. states, including Florida, Texas, and Arizona, saw alarming new records in their daily rates of coronavirus infection, with Florida reporting 20% of the country’s total increase. Naturally, fears are once again haunting the nation in spite of all the caution and safety guidelines.

Braving the Pandemic

There’s a sea change in the pre- and post-pandemic world. Work and learn from home have become the new culture, while social distancing has changed business completely. Moreover, isolation measures have made people more self-reliant and homebound.

Although most sectors have taken a beating, a few have managed to cash in on the coronavirus crisis. One of the few beneficiaries of the pandemic is the consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks as more people have started believing in stockpiling to avoid stepping out of their homes. Moreover, while everything else can stop, essential goods need to reach people for survival.

With demand for essential goods surging during the lockdown, companies dealing in consumer staples and discretionary witnessed a massive push that aided their profits. This may once again be the situation given the spike in new cases.

Our Choices

We suggest four consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks that you may consider in the new locked-in world as there is no immediate sign of a vaccine or cure to the virus.

Reynolds Consumer Products Inc. (REYN - Free Report) produces and sells branded and store-brand products, which includes cooking products, waste & storage products, and tableware.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 29.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 6.2% over the past 60 days.  Reynolds has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (SPB - Free Report) offers a portfolio of leading brands in several product categories like residential locksets, plumbing, electric shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden, and home pest control products and repellents.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 1.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.5% over the past 60 days. Spectrum carries a Zacks Rank #2. 

Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB - Free Report) is principally engaged in the manufacture and marketing of a wide range of consumer products around the world. The company sells its products to supermarkets, mass merchandisers, drugstores, warehouse clubs, variety and department stores, retail outlets, manufacturing, lodging, office building, food service, and health care establishments, and high volume public facilities.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 10.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.5% over the past 60 days. Kimberly-Clark carries a Zacks Rank #2. 

Ollies Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. (OLLI - Free Report) offers products principally under Ollie’s, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Good Stuff Cheap, Ollie’s Army, Real Brands Real Cheap!, Real Brands! Real Bargains!, Sarasota Breeze, Steelton Tools, American Way and Commonwealth Classics brands. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 14.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 18.5% over the past 60 days. Ollies Bargain Outlethas a Zacks Rank #1. 

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