Tags: Detrick | bullish | consumer | stocks

Schaeffer's Detrick Bullish on Consumer Stocks

By    |   Friday, 01 June 2012 07:18 AM

Market sentiment remains negative for consumer stocks, despite their recent rally, and that combination makes the stocks a buy, says Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research.

Indicators for the consumer sector are pointing decidedly higher, with the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index hitting a 4 ½-year high in May and retail sales on the rise, he tells Yahoo.

Consumer shares are rising, with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF returning 12 percent so far this year. But, “there’s still a lot of negativity toward the stocks,” Detrick says.

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Of the restaurant stocks he and his colleagues follow, only 47 percent have buy ratings from Wall Street analysts. Short interest has hit yearly highs for many retailers, restaurants, and housing-related stocks, he says.

With all this negativity accompanied by price appreciation for consumer stocks, “it continues to make sense to accumulate [them],” Detrick says.

“That’s what you like to see.”

Among his favorites is the credit card company Visa. “Its short interest was up 50 percent over the last month. I was shocked,” Detrick says. “It’s the ultimate consumer play.”

He also likes Under Armour and TJX.

Not everyone shares Detrick’s optimism about the consumer sector. While the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose this month, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell.

"The U.S. environment remains challenging, marked by still-low consumer confidence and changing consumer behavior," says Heinz executive Christopher Scott O'Hara, Bloomberg reports.

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