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May's Retail Sales Growth Highest in 6 Months: ETFs & Stocks

Sanghamitra Saha
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U.S. retail sales rose the maximum in six months in May. Sales increased 0.8% sequentially in the month, after an upwardly revised 0.4% growth in April, handily beating market expectations of a 0.4% rise.

Higher sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle & parts dealers led to the beat as well as the strengthened outlook for the U.S. economy. Year on year, retail trade expanded 5.9% in May compared with a 4.8% rise in April.

Out of the 13 key sectors, 10 registered growth last month. Below we recommend a few ETFs and stocks that are likely to be the prime beneficiaries of this uptick in retail sales (read: Time to Buy Consumer Discretionary ETFs: 5 Top Picks).

Building Materials

Americans’ intention to buy more building materials puts PowerShares Dynamic Building & Construction Portfolio PKB in focus. There was a revival in sales at building material stores in May (up 2.4% versus down 0.8% in April). The underlying index of the fund consists of stocks of U.S. building and construction companies (read: Best Sector ETFs of Last Week).

Comfort Systems USA Inc. (FIX)

The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company is a provider of comprehensive heating, ventilation and air conditioning installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services.


Miscellaneous store retailers (up 2.7% versus down 0.3%) and general merchandise stores (up 1.2% versus down 0.3%) witnessed a rebound in sales. There was notable spending on clothing & clothing accessories stores (up 1.3% versus up 1.2%). VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH can also be played, thanks to the upbeat numbers (read: Here's Why the Rally in Retail ETFs Will Continue in 2H).

Fossil Group Inc. FOSL

The Zacks Rank #2 company is involved in the designing, marketing and distribution of consumer fashion accessories.

Online Stores

Though brick-and-mortar retailers were steady in recent times, the underlying trend is shifting toward online. Nonstore retailers continued to see sales rise having logged an expansion of 0.1% in May versus an increase of 1.5% registered in April. Such consistency probably offered Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY 2.54% gains on Jun 14, while ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF CLIX gained 3.4% on the day.

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN

The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company is in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions in North America and internationally. It operates through North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) segments.


Gasoline prices are on a tear. Inflation data also gives cues to that. So, investors can take a look at United States Gasoline UGA. Sales at gasoline stations rose 2% May compared with a 1% rise in April.

Delek US Holdings Inc. (DK)

The Zacks Rank #1 company has a diversified energy business focused on petroleum refining, marketing and supply of refined products, and retail marketing of fuel and general merchandise.

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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (FIX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
VANECK-RETAIL (RTH): ETF Research Reports
US GAS FUND LP (UGA): ETF Research Reports
PWRSH-DYN BLDG (PKB): ETF Research Reports
AMPL-ONLN RETL (IBUY): ETF Research Reports
Delek US Holdings, Inc. (DK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Fossil Group, Inc. (FOSL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
PRO-L ONL/S STR (CLIX): ETF Research Reports
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