Over time by, Valentine's Day has become not just a special day for lovers, but a day for business too. Exchanging chocolates, precious metals and gifts to shower affection in turn brings a lot of business opportunities.
This year, cupid struck Americans quite successfully if we go by data provided by the National Retail Federation (NRF). American spending on this Valentine's Day is expected to rise 7.7% to $19.6 billion , marking the second-highest level in the survey's 15-year history but a tad short of $19.7 billion recorded in 2016. U.S. consumers are likely to spend an average $143.56, higher than last year's record-high of $136.57.
So, it's natural that people will start searching for innovative gift ideas for the event. In this regard, below we describe ETFs and stocks that should be admired this Valentine's Day.
Go for Candies Now and Cocoa ETFs With a Strong Stomach
A big share of Valentine's Day spending is on candies, teddies, flowers, wine and champagne. As per the National Retail Federation, around 55% of people plan to spend on candies or chocolates, up from 50% last year. Candy makers will draw around $1.8 billion this year.
However, this year, cocoa - the key ingredient of chocolate - is a boring bet from an investing point of view. However, as per Reuters , cocoa prices should gain strength by the end of the year, improving after two successive annual declines. Constricting supplies are the reason behind this bet. So, you can buy your valentine cocoa ETF iPath Pure Beta Cocoa ETNCHOC with a long-term focus.
In the United States - the biggest chocolate market globally - retail sales growth of chocolate candy improved at moderate pace (up 3.2% in 2017 on an annualized level). So, one can go for the final product candy and bet on confectionary products maker The Hershey CompanyHSY .
Leisure and Entertainment Stocks and ETFs Good Bet
As many as 35.2% of the population spends on an evening out. And dining out means splurging on food and drinks and going to some exotic restaurants. The whiskey and spirits sector, a niche within the consumer discretionary space, could thus gain ahead, leaving Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey&Spirits ETFWSKY and Ambev S.A.ABEV as good picks. The stock belongs to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 29%).
Some hotels including Marriott InternationalMAR and Hyatt Hotels CorporationH also come under the spotlight. The stocks represent a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 40%). If you consider restaurants, one can target the likes of Darden Restaurants Inc . DRI , Del Frisco's Restaurant Group Inc.DFRG and Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc.RUTH . These stocks are all placed within the top-ranked Zacks industry (top 29%).
Precious Metals to Dazzle
As much as $4.7 billion is likely to be spent on jewelry (around 19% of total expenditure and up 9.3% year over year). With diamonds or platinum ornaments or cufflinks to take the spotlight as V-Day gifts, gold bullion ETF SPDR Gold SharesGLD could shine especially after the latest market selloffs. Traders may turn to ETFS Physical Platinum PPLT and iShares Silver Trust SLV (read: Must-Follow ETF Moves as Finally Selloffs Set In ).
If precious metals stay subdued on economic reasons, then investors can easily try Tiffany & Co.TIF . Tiffany & Co. retails fine jewelry as well as other branded merchandise.
Discount Retailer to Save the Event
As per NRF, 35% of consumers plan to shop at department stores while 32% do it at discount stores and 29% target online shopping. As a result, discount retailers like Dollar Tree Inc.DLTR and Ross Stores Inc.ROST can be nice bets for the occasion. Both belong to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 14%). With these, VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH and SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT emerge as good V-Day ETF gifts.
And who can forget online retail ETF - the most important medium of shopping? In-store purchases have been hitting the brakes lately with surging demand for technologies. This makes Amplify Online Retail ETFIBUY an intriguing ETF deal for Valentine's Day (read: Holiday Sales At 6-Year High: Best Consumer ETFs & Stocks ).
Florists & Gift Shops Will See a Rosy Valentine Day
As much as 36% of spending (worth $2 billion) will be on flowers, giving companies like 1-800 Flowers.Com Inc.FLW S) a nudge-up. This renowned e-commerce provider of floral products and gifts comes from a top-rated sector (top 6%). About 15% spending will go to gift cards while 46% outlays would be cashed in on by greetings cards. CSS Industries Inc.CSS , which is involved in the manufacture and sale of social expression products.
Semiconductor ETFs to Benefit
Over half of the participants intend to use their smartphones to make Valentine's Day purchases. About 36.9% intend to use them for researching products and comparing prices. About 44.7% will use their tablets. All in all, heavy usage of gadgets point to a rise in semiconductor ETFs like iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF SOXX (read: Will Chip ETFs Continue Their Hot Streak as Q4 Unfolds? ).
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