Holiday Stock Picks to Spread the Cheer: Global Week Ahead

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Merry Xmas and Feliz Navidad to all across the globe!

El Nino is making the Xmas season a bit odd in character across the USA.

In Southern California, we are busy throwing down snow near the beach to perfect that 'white' Xmas in jest. It's been raining.

In Chicago last week, I saw no snow. Rather, city parks show bright green grass. Chicago's Xmas building light effects and classy holiday decorations looked great at night, nonetheless.

Snow might be best in the Rockies, if you seek a white Xmas. Aspen is looking at 19 inches this Xmas week. Snow is forecast each day. The ski resort already claims a 26-inch base.

This Global Week Ahead looks light on macro news. No surprise. Government accountants of the world get a collective rest from serving old Scrooge.

One issue I duly note: a dearth of consumer price inflation across the globe. We need more than a dusting of this stuff in 2016 to get the global economy to pop.

Let's also talk retail sales. Xmas is the season for that. Mexico's retail sales look to show +4.8% y/y growth. Italy's should be up +1.7% y/y.

How interesting -- To see a stronger Mexican consumer than Italian consumer these days. I was in Southern Mexico at Thanksgiving. I almost picked up a few artisan twig reindeer, before practical air transport concerns arose.

Canada should see its monthly retail sales pop +0.4%, after seeing a -0.5% slide the month prior. Don't get excited. This colossal oil price collapse will keep dragging down Canada's economy. This Canada retail read catches Xmas.

The loonie trades at 1.40 per USD. Book that family ski trip to Mont Tremblant or Whistler! Canada snow reports - east and west -- look for a Xmas week dump.

Are you on the lookout for unorthodox Xmas Stock Pick stocking stuffers?

I found three excellent trade ideas. Put a little eggnog in a glass. Sit down for a little quiet break from Santa Claus. Read up on these three names this holiday season.

First off, yet another U.S. large cap drug stock hit a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). This time it is Zoetis Inc. ( ZTS ). This company is the farm and companion animal vaccine spinoff from Pfizer.

Second, International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. ( ICAGY ) reached a Zacks Rank #1 rating. The stock has a long-term Zacks Value rating of A and a Zacks Growth rating of B. An attractive Value score is nice to see, particularly for an airline stock.

See the strong air transport outlook for Europe? My guess? Santa Claus makes it there this year too. Mario Draghi should be pouring the eggnog.

ICAGY is the holding company for British Airways and Iberia, providing scheduled passenger and cargo airline services, its principal place of business being London.

Here's a final stock pick -- Infineon Technologies ( IFNNY ).

This tech stock holds that prized Zacks Rank #1 and has a B in Zacks Value, an A in Zacks Growth and an A in Zacks Momentum. You can't beat that.

IFNNY designs, produces and sells semiconductors. Microchips have enabled the information age, and have led to a vast increase in the speed, portability and capabilities of computers and a myriad other electronic devices.

January lurks closely on the wintry horizon - wintry at least in the Northern Hemisphere.

Stock markets can pick up post-Xmas. Let's cross our fingers on 2016. Hope springs eternal for a major share catalyst.

Nobody sees it right now.

Global/Macro fundamentals that matter this week-

On Monday , the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and Japan's Cabinet Office publish their monthly reports.

Brazil's preliminary FGV Capacity Utilization rate should be 74.5%, in line with the prior 74.6% estimate. 80% would be a strong number.

Mexico's retail sales look to show +4.8% y/y growth, in line with a prior +4.9% y/y estimate.

On Tuesday , Germany's GFK Consumer Sentiment index should be stable at 9.3, the same as before.

The 3rd estimate for U.S. GDP growth, annualized for Q3, should be +1.9% q/q, in line with the prior +2.1% number.

The U.S. FHFA House Price Index should be +0.5% m/m, worse than the prior +0.8%, but still increasing. U.S existing home sales should be stable at 5.34 million, versus a prior 5.36 million.

On Wednesday , France's preliminary GDP reading should be +1.2% y/y, in line with the prior estimate. France's consumer spending should be +1.2% y/y, weaker than a prior +2.1% y/y number.

Italy's retail sales (not seasonally adjusted) should be up +1.7% y/y, better than a prior +1.5% y/y number.

The U.K.'s 3rd estimate for Q3 GDP growth looks to be strong at +2.3% y/y, the same as the 2nd estimate.

Canada may see a +0.2% monthly GDP growth number. They put up a -0.5% number last month. Is this a sign of life in Canada, or just a seasonal blip? Given the collapse in oil prices , I would say it's a seasonal blip.

Supporting that idea, Canada's retail sales look up +0.4%, better than a prior -0.5% m/m.

The core PCE price index in the U.S. looks flat at +0.1% m/m growth. 12 months of that is just 1.2% annual change.

U.S. Durable goods, in a preliminary reading (ex transports), should be -0.2% m/m, worse than a prior +0.5% number.

The University of Michigan sentiment index looks to be 92, about the same as a prior 91.8. Both are solid numbers.

On Thursday , the BoJ's Kuroda speaks in Tokyo.

U.S. initial claims look strong again at 270K.

Japan's core CPI (for the nation) looks to be up +0.1%, reversing a -0.1% m/m decline. That shows no Japanese consumer inflation is happening, which is not good news for the BoJ's Kuroda. -- Must be why he is speaking.

On Friday , there isn't a report of note.

The Christian Christmas holiday is celebrated around the planet.

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

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

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