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ETFs & Stocks to Fall for This Valentine's Day

Sanghamitra Saha

The time has come to express love for your significant ones. People must have started looking for gifts long before Valentine’s Day (Feb 14). Data provided by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in late January shows that there will be a sharp increase in dollars spent on the day this year.

Even though only 51% of Americans plan to celebrate the day, down from 55% last year and a high of 63% hit in 2007, the expected average spending of $161.96 shows a 13% rise from last year’s $143.56 and surpasses the prior record of $146.84 set in 2016.

Total spending is expected at $20.7 billion, which reflects an increase of 6% year over year and tops the previous record of $19.7 billion set three years back. A growing economy and a solid job market are probably encouraging consumers to splurge.

Needless to say, the Valentine’s Day shopping spree will impact the world of investing or finance. Let’s delve a little deeper. 

Millennials to Make the Event Special 

Millennials, aged 25-34, is expected to spend $239.07 on average, the second highest among age groups, per nrf.com, while consumers aged 23 to 29 plan to spend around $266 on gifts, dining and more, according to Bankrate.com. This puts the spotlight on Global X Millennials Thematic ETF MILN, which provides exposure to the Millennial generation companies (read: 4 ETF Ideas to Follow Millennials' Lifestyle).

Pets Are No Less Than Sweethearts 

Gifts for pets continue to be popular, with about 20% expected to spend on pets. Pet spending is expected to total $886 million, up $519 million since 2008. And why not? Global sales of all pet care products and services, including pet food, jumped 14% from 2012 to 2017 with the U.S. market leading pet care and pet food sales. “Seven out of 10 U.S. households today have pets, more than have children,” per ProShares. This Valentine’s Day puts ProShares Pet Care ETF PAWZ in focus (read: An ETF to Capitalize on the Booming Pet Industry).

Indulge in Chocolate Candies

About 52% are expected to spend $1.8 billion on candies. Candies, in any case, are much in demand during this period. The Hershey Company HSY is likely to be one of the best bets this year. The stock belongs to a top-ranked Zacks Industry (top 13%), at the time of writing. iPath Bloomberg Cocoa SubTR ETN NIB is down about 9% this year while HSY is up 2.4%. So, declining prices of a major ingredient, cocoa, should benefit chocolate makers.  

Increased Usage of Social Media & Online Activities: A Fad

Usage of social media in the form of Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp increases exponentially in events like this. So, Facebook Inc. (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and social media ETF Global X Social Media ETF SOCL should do good business. Also, 27% of the celebrators will shop online making Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, ProShares Online Retail ETF ONLN and Amplify International Online Retail ETF XBUY big gainers (read: Explore Online Retailing Internationally With This New ETF).

Discount Stores to Party  

Department stores are the most favored shopping destination this year, as 35% of the shoppers expected to visit, followed by discount stores (32%). Discount retailer Ross Stores Inc. ROST should gain from this trend while Ross-heavy ETFs like Invesco Dynamic Retail ETF PMR and VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH are also solid picks, keeping the occasion in mind.

Skip Ring, Gift Gold Bullion

Americans are likely to spend $3.9 billion on jewelry. Since Tiffany & Co. TIF is a sell-rated stock right now, it is better to gift your beloved gold bullion SPDR Gold Shares GLD (up 2.2% this year) and iShares Silver Trust SLV (up 1.4%). These bullion ETFs are safe assets and can especially sizzle as lot of gyrations are expected in the stock market due to growth worries (read: Can Gold ETFs Continue to Shine in 2019?).

Flowers to Sizzle the Event

Around $1.9 billion is expected to be shelled out on flowers. So, you can bet on 1-800 FLOWERS.COM Inc. FLWS as the stock has a Zacks Rank #1. It comes from a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 5%) as well, at the time of writing.

Leisure and Entertainment Stocks and ETFs Good Bet

Dining out means spending on food and drinks, and visiting exotic places. The whiskey and spirits sector, a niche within the consumer discretionary space, could thus gain, making Diageo plc (DEO) a good pick. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock belongs to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 40%).

Some hotels, including Marriott International MAR and Hyatt Hotels Corporation H, also come under the spotlight. If you consider restaurants, one can target the likes of Darden Restaurants Inc. DRI, Brinker International Inc. (EATand Del Frisco's Restaurant Group Inc. (DFRGas well. These stocks have a Zacks Rank #2.

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iShares Silver Trust (SLV): ETF Research Reports
Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL): ETF Research Reports
iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB): ETF Research Reports
Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): ETF Research Reports
Global X Millennials Thematic ETF (MILN): ETF Research Reports
VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH): ETF Research Reports
Invesco Dynamic Retail ETF (PMR): ETF Research Reports
Hershey Company (The) (HSY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Marriott International (MAR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, Inc. (DFRG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Brinker International, Inc. (EAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
AT&T Inc. (T) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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