The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Ross Stores, TJX, Kohl's and American Eagle Outfitters

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - August 10, 2018 - Zacks.com 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 Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN , Ross Stores, Inc. ROST , The TJX Companies, Inc. TJX , Kohl's Corporation KSS and American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. AEO .

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Back-to-College Spending to Hit All-Time High: Top 5 Gainers

As its time for students to head back to schools and colleges after the much-cherished summer break, shopping for essentials is in full swing. This time around, however, the back-to-college and school season is expected to see the highest spending on record.

College spending is likely to touch the highest level ever, while back-to-school outlays are going to be the third highest. The increase in spending can be attributed to an improving economy and growing consumer confidence.

Get Ready to Splurge: Colleges & Schools to Start Soon

Students heading to college are planning to spend an average $942.17, a total of $55.3 billion, per the National Retail Federation's (NRF) annual survey. This turns out to be an all-time high in the history of the survey, surpassing last year's record of $54.1 billion.

College and graduate students are expected to spend the maximum on electronics ($229.21). In addition to electronics, back-to-college shoppers plan to splurge on clothing and accessories ($153.32), apartment furnishings ($109.29), food ($102.82), shoes ($83.41), personal care items such as skin and hair care ($78.70), school supplies such as notebooks and backpacks ($69.46), and gift cards ($62.61). NRF Vice President for Research Mark Mathews added that "college shoppers are prioritizing and increasing their spending budgets in essential categories including clothing, furnishings and shoes."

What's Behind the Upbeat Projections?

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said that "with the economy thriving thanks to tax reform and growing consumer confidence, we expect to see a very strong season." The economy is in good shape with the simulative fiscal policies such as tax cuts providing the much-needed wherewithal to corporates. Wages and salaries grew in the second quarter at the fastest pace in almost a decade, while the overall economic output expanded at a 4.1% annual rate in the said quarter, the fastest in almost four years.

Perhaps a better reading of economic strength that excludes trade and inventories rose a solid 3.9% in the second quarter. Personal consumption powered second-quarter economic growth, with consumer spending accelerating to a 4% annual pace after a sharp pullback in the first quarter.

Winners From Back-to-College & School Shopping Spree

We have, thus, selected five fundamentally sound retailers that can make the most of the back-to-college shopping season. Such stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

Amazon.com, Inc.  engages in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #1.

Ross Stores, Inc.  operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brands in the United States. Currently, the stock has a Zacks Rank #2.

The TJX Companies, Inc.  operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #2.

The stock's expected earnings growth for the current year is 20.1%, higher than the Retail - Discount Stores industry's rally of 18.2%. In the last 60 days, one earnings estimate moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings increased 0.2% in the same period. You can see  the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Kohl's Corporation  operates as an omni-channel retailer in the United States. Its stores and Website offer apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty, and home products. Currently, the stock has a Zacks Rank #2.

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer that provides clothing, accessories, and personal care products under the American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie brands. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #2.

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance  for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST): Free Stock Analysis Report

The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX): Free Stock Analysis Report

Kohl's Corporation (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: AMZN , AEO , ROST , TJX , KSS

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