Breakout

Government Shutdown: Stocks That Win When Workers Get Idled

Jeff Macke
Breakout

The government shutdown is serious, grim, horrible business. The debt ceiling showdown is just as bad. It's a national embarrassment that these conversations have to happen at all, and made worse by the fact that this kind of thing happens every two years.

None of which means there isn't money to be made in your portfolio. The self-inflicted wound that are the current government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling debate will be of limited durations regardless of severity. Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionMONSTER, says the best way for investors to play it is banking on shares of companies making popular products consumed by those with time on their hands.

Najarian has a two-pronged approach to investing based on D.C. shenanigans. Step one is based on what amounts to government-enforced sloth. "The more people that stay at home the better this portfolio will do," says Dr. J. He's avoiding the airline plays or resorts and sticking to a staycation theme.

His picks for the downside are Netflix (NFLX), Pepsi (PEP) and, for the adults, Anheuser-Busch (BUD) or other "spirit" plays. "Maybe even if you go out occasionally we could throw Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) into that portfolio because it is football time and they do very well with football," says Najarian, himself a former Chicago Bear. "Now you have 800,000 people who might being go out for often because they don't have to go into work."

Related: Stocks to Buy During Government Shutdown

The second half of the trade is banking on people getting back into shape. "When they go back to work, which they will, then these 800,000 people need to lose about 16 tons!" Najarian posits that the people going back to work will do what they traditionally do to drop post holiday pounds - by signing up for Weight Watchers (WTW) and Nutrisystem (NTRI).

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