On Thursday the tech heavy Nasdaq 100 broke out of its year long range and hit a fresh 15-year high as we enter the heart of earnings season. This very strong action is typically bullish for the broader market and leading stocks. Three of the market's leading groups right now include: financials, technology, and the very strong biotech group. Underneath the surface, we always like to look for new emerging groups that are on the verge of breaking out. In that vein, the retail group remains perched below resistance of a new and bullish five-month flat base. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) is a popular exchange traded fund that tracks the retail group and serves as a good proxy for investors who want exposure to retail stocks.
On Tuesday, we saw retail sales contract by negative 0.3% and miss estimates for a gain of 0.3%. So, how can retail stocks rally if retail sales missed estimates you may be asking yourself? The answer is simple: the market is a forward looking mechanism and data (economic and earnings data), by definition, are a rear-review mirror phenomenon. It is important to note that we are still in a very strong bull market for stocks, which means the path of least resistance is higher for now.
Here are a few retail stocks that are on our radar for your review.
Macy's (M) is a strong stock that caught a nice bid on Wednesday following positive comments from activist investors at the Delivering Alpha conference. The company is well positioned to continue to grow if the economy follows the Fed's forecast and expands in the near future. According to Reuters Eikon, institutional sponsorship remains healthy with over 1,025 high ranked funds that currently own the stock. Macy's is slated to report their earnings on August 12. The company is expected to earn $0.78 cents on $6.28 billion in revenue.
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is one of the strongest stocks in the retail group. Our long standing readers know that we like focusing on leading stocks because, by definition, they are the strongest stocks in a group. AEO fits the definition and is acting very well. The fact that it already broke out even as the XRT continues to climb, suggests big institutions are accumulating stock. AEO is slated to report earnings on August 19, and they are expected to earn $0.14 cents per share on $767.25 million in revenue.
Nordstrom (JWN) is forming a bullish cup-shaped base and continues acting very well as it pauses to digest its latest and very strong rally. The company is scheduled to report its earnings on August 13 and is expected to earn $0.90 per share on $3.68 billion in revenue. Nordstrom serves the affluent consumer which continues to benefit from record equity prices and the easy money that is sloshing around the world from global central banks.