The Federal Reserve is standing pat for now. The U.S. economy continues to show signs of health, thanks to US consumers. And stocks are on the upswing.
Aside from NKE, they’re all focused on the U.S. economy, so as the U.S. strengthens, these companies will benefit. That’s why they’re already performing well. Wall Street is always looking out six months ahead and it’s telling us we should be very bullish about these stocks.
All are focused on the consumer, too — which is where much of the growth will come in the domestic economy. We may not see massive infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy from states or the federal government.
And industry is staying cautious on overly ambitious plans for expansion. Capital expenditures are still very selectively done until they see a clear “go” signal for the global economy.
These seven stocks will let you benefit from the U.S. consumer growth engine.
Stocks to Buy: Skechers (SKX)
Skechers (SKX) is a fast-growing shoe and casual apparel brand. Starting in the early 1980s as a distributor for the famous European work shoes Doc Martens, it quickly picked up that there was an untapped niche in the skateboarding culture and began building an iconic brand in that community.
Now, Sketchers has a $7 billion market capitalization and sells more than $2 billion worth of shoes annually. Since its humble beginnings, SKX has taken off in recent years through organic growth and acquisitions.
Skechers now has a lifestyle division and a performance division. In the former, its Bobs brand shoes are very popular with younger demographics because with every purchase some of the money goes toward giving a pair of shoes to a needy child. So far, the company has given away more than 10 million pairs of shoes.
This kind of social interaction zeitgeist has been a boon to SKX. Sales are soaring, powering the stock higher — SKX is up 157% year-to-date. And the crazy thing is, there is plenty of headroom left for the stock, especially as it moves into international markets.
Stocks to Buy: Nike (NKE)
Nike (NKE) continues to reinforce that it’s the mother of all consumer sports brands and one of the best stocks to buy right now. In its most recent quarterly numbers, Nike schooled competitors on how to grow internationally, even when growth is tepid at best.
Yes, SKX is throwing around impressive growth numbers, but from a relatively small base. NKE is more than 10 times bigger than SKX and has been around a lot longer.
Whatever growth NKE earns will be to the benefit of smaller competitors like SKX. But that doesn’t mean NKE is trailblazing and its competitors will be the true beneficiaries. NKE is a status symbol of enduring quality and performance. It’s not a hip flash in the pan.
Put it this way: While many companies are trying to find strategies for going into foreign markets and succeeding, NKE is already there dominating and growing.
And raising prices.
There are few better growth stocks to buy than NKE.
Stocks to Buy: TJX Companies (TJX)
TJX Companies (TJX) is all about the price-conscious consumer. Shoes? Got it. Clothing? That, too. Sheets? Pots and pans? Yes and yes.
Among its TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, HomeGoods and other half-a-dozen brands, you’ll find what you’re looking for — at a very good price.
In four short words: Name brands for less. That’s the mantra and TJX continues to deliver.
With economic times a little rougher in Canada and Europe, consumers will certainly be making one or more TJX store a regular stop when shopping for clothes or household items.
And as the U.S. emerges from its doldrums, there are a whole new generation of shoppers that have relied on TJX to get them through the lean times and are now regular shoppers.
TJX stock is up 20% in the past year and has only just begun its long-term growth. TJX currently has 3,300 stores now and is planning to expand its base by 60% in coming years. Considering how well it has managed growth to this point, there is a lot of upside here.
Stocks to Buy: Aaron’s (AAN)
Aaron’s (AAN) is in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories space.
This business continues to draw more customers since the financial meltdown in 2008. Once the banking system was strained, it cut credit for many consumers as it recovered.
You see all the free credit report commercials on television these days. They are there because credit scores have become more important than your genetic code for surviving in the U.S.
For those consumers that pose a slight risk as determined by their credit scores, obtaining credit or a loan can be very difficult, if not impossible. AAN has bridged that gap by allow credit-challenged consumers to lease or rent to own home goods that they might otherwise not be able to purchase.
And recently, AAN has expanded its purchase of Progressive Credit, so now it’s running the financing for its products as well as offering new lines of credit to its customers. There is a lot of growth in this space as the economy continues to recover.
AAN stock is already up 23% year to date.
Stocks to Buy: LendingTree (TREE)
LendingTree (TREE) is one of the top online loan marketplaces in the U.S.
Basically, it works with various mortgage and financial institutions to link them to prospective clients. TREE gets a cut for the brokerage arrangement.
This technology has been very disruptive in the banking business and has been a crucial for homebuyers during the tough credit markets of the past seven years.
Now LendingTree has expanded its business into other markets including credit cards, student loans and auto loans.
With interest rates a historic lows, TREE has been a big beneficiary, especially in home refinancing and new car loans.
It’s no surprise TREE stock has doubled in 2015 alone. But its expanding array of credit products puts it in place to take advantage of the growing economy. Even when interest rates rise, there will still be demand for competitive rates on all the debt instruments TREE offers. Actually, the higher rates go, the more people will be interested in shopping offers on TREE.
Stocks to Buy: VCA (WOOF)
VCA (WOOF) is in another growth sector that people don’t much think about — unless you have a pet.
If you think human healthcare has gotten expensive, ask a pet owner about their veterinary bills. And most people don’t take out health insurance on their pets, so it’s all due upon receipt of treatment.
Modern medicine has also worked wonders for the health of pets — even ones that suffer chronic conditions. Many human drugs are tested on animals before human trials, so there are plenty of meds that animals are getting. And they’re expensive.
Treatments are also very expensive. Chemotherapy for animals is a lot more common these days, as is heart surgery.
WOOF runs the hospitals and the laboratories. It also helps vets market their businesses. It has 600 hospitals in 41 states and is constantly looking to expand it business, taking over individual practices and adding them into its system.
WOOF stock is up almost 40% in the past year, although growth slowed down a bit in 2015. But that’s more a blip on solid long-term growth track; VCA is still one of the best stocks to buy today.
Stocks to Buy: AMN Healthcare Services (AHS)
AMN Healthcare Services (AHS) is in the catbird seat.
Now that there is clear direction for the future of healthcare in the U.S., all the players have been consolidating their positions, and smaller practices now have a clear view of the future that will help them plan their growth.
AHS is all about the personnel that make the healthcare system work. It can directly hire for facilities or it can consult in hiring for facilities. It recruits as well as advises.
And it works in facilities from community health services, local practices to large hospitals and acute care facilities. AHS also has a talent pool for every need.
AHS stock has been one of the best stocks to buy for a while, posting a stellar 87% gain year-to-date. Again, once it became clear that the Affordable Care Act was clear of the courts, AHS was a major beneficiary.
What’s more, AHS stock has been generally overlooked by the broad market since it doesn’t have many competitors and it’s not as headline grabbing a sector as health insurance or healthcare providers. That’s what makes its so attractive at this point, since only the smart money has been driving it up.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.