There’s no question 2020 has been a stressful year for Americans, which is why many people are hoping to forget about business and money this weekend and enjoy the July 4 holiday.
For a handful of U.S. companies, the Independence Day weekend will be far from relaxing.
Summer BBQ Tracker
On Thursday, Bank of America analyst Bryan Spillane updated his BofA Summer BBQ tracker, a series of reports focused on U.S. consumer behavior during major summer holiday weekends. Spillane said July 4 weekend typically represents the peak of U.S. retail food and beverage spending throughout the summer, but this year’s holiday spending may be dampened by a second wave of COVID-19 cased and shutdowns around the country.
A Bank of America survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers found that 57% of them are planning on attending or hosting some sort of barbeque activity this holiday weekend. Of those celebrating, 232% said they plan on doing so with groups of between 10 and 25 people.
“In our view, consumers are using warmer weather/more permissible outdoor social distancing as rationale to congregate in larger groups; however, we question how prevalent this will be if cases continue to rise dramatically over the next few days,” Spillane wrote in a note.
Stocks To Watch
Bank of America specifically mentioned several stocks that have a lot riding on the holiday weekend.
Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ) and Molson Coors Beverage Co (NYSE: TAP) are hoping even Americans who are refraining from July 4 celebrations will at least crack open some beers in honor of America’s independence.
What good are meats (and whatever hotdogs are made of) without condiments and marinades from Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ: KHC), McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC) and Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG)?
Finally, people have to make sure they have the right grills and gear for the party, which could be a tailwind for home improvement stocks Lowe’s Companies Inc (NYSE: LOW) and Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD).
For investors, the July 4 weekend will likely be less about the dollars and cents each company makes over the weekend than what sales say about the current mindset of the U.S. consumer. If Americans are spending less on their favorite summer holiday, it doesn’t bode well for spending trends throughout the next couple of months.
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