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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 18, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. CMG, Aaron’s, Inc. AAN, Shoe Carnival, Inc. SCVL, Lithia Motors, Inc. LAD and BMC Stock Holdings, Inc. BMCH.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Top Stocks to Buy on Booming Retail Sales

Sales at U.S. retailers picked up in May and sales for the previous month were revised higher as American shoppers ramped up spending on wage gains and a record-low unemployment rate. Such an uptick in consumer spending eased concerns about the economy slowing down in the second quarter. Thus, it’s time to invest in retailers that are likely to make the most of the bullish sentiments.

Encouraging Retail Sale Scenario

Retail sales that measure outlays at stores, online-shopping websites and restaurants increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.5% in May from April, and easily topped projections, according to the Commerce Department. April sales were, in fact, revised to show a 0.3% advance instead of a 0.2% drop, as reported previously. And when compared to last May, retail sales jumped 3.2%.

The so-called core retail sales that exclude food services, auto dealers, building materials stores and gasoline stations rose 0.5% in May, following an upwardly revised 0.4% increase in April. The core retail sales figure is seen as a more reliable gauge of underlying consumer demand.

No doubt, promising April and May retail sales numbers indicate that consumer outlays have picked up in the second quarter after a sharp drop in the first quarter. Such strong retail sales numbers raise the possibility of economists lifting their second-quarter GDP estimates, which is currently below a 2% annualized rate.

The Big Winners

Retail sales were mostly broad-based. Notably, 11 of the 13 major retail categories saw a rise in sales, led by a 1.4% gain in online and mail order purchases, the highest since January. Such online shopping destinations were predominantly led by Amazon.

Receipts at electronic and appliance stores, sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores also recorded a 1.1% increase. By the way, sales at bars and restaurants edged up 0.7% last month, while building materials and garden equipments saw sales rose 0.1%.

Last month, sales at automobile and parts dealers which account for almost one-fifth of all retail sales improved 0.7% after falling 0.5% in the previous month. Receipts at service stations also rose 0.3%. However, sales at clothing stores remained unchanged, and the only sector that witnessed a decline in sales was food and beverage, down 0.1%.

What Drove Spending?

Consumer outlays are off to a firm start this quarter. The pickup in consumer spending is mostly due to steady wages gains and unemployment rate remaining at the lowest level in half a century. The average wage paid to American workers went up 6 cents to $27.83 an hour in May. Wage growth over the past 12 months came in at 3.1%.

The unemployment rate, in the other meanwhile, was near a 49-year low of 3.6%. The broader measure of joblessness that includes part-time workers as well, better known as U6 rate, slipped to its lowest level in 19 years.

5 Top Gainers

Taking the spending spree into account, retailers are set to witness a strong rally. Hence, it will be prudent to invest in five of the best retail stocks from the categories that have witnessed a significant rise in receipts. Such stocks have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 3.9% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 43.5%, higher than the Zacks Investment Research

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