Holiday Shopping: Scoring Big Profits

Chris Versace

Chris Versace is a financial columnist and equity analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry.
[family Christmas shopping]

The tallies are still coming in, but after the newly found Thanksgiving Day shopping bonanza by the likes of Target (TGT), Walmart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY) and others, as well as the more traditional Black Friday kick-off to holiday shopping, it appears the big winner was online shopping.

Data from Adobe Systems (ADBE), which analyzed 180 million visits across more than 1,000 U.S. retail websites, suggests that online shopping on Thanksgiving Day itself totaled $1.06 billion. Breaking down that Adobe-generated data, roughly 21% of all Thanksgiving online sales came through mobile devices this year, with $152 million spent via tablets and $70 million via smartphones from the likes of Apple (AAPL), Samsung and Amazon (AMZN). Speaking of Amazon, it and eBay (EBAY) performed strongly with Thanksgiving e-commerce sales due to heavy promotions designed to lure shoppers, per marketing and website optimization company Monetate, which based its findings on data from nearly 30 million online shopping sessions.

And that was just Thanksgiving Day.

In terms of Black Friday, Nielsen’s (NLSN) Holiday Spending Forecast study found that 85% of consumers planned on skipping the stores on Black Friday this year. Instead, nearly half of consumers (46%) said they would shop online this Cyber Monday, compared with 30% in 2012. It is intentions like those that give credence to Comscore’s (SCOR) outlook calling for total spending across digital channels to reach $55.2 billion for the holiday season this year. Of that $55.2 billion, it’s expected that mobile commerce — buying on smartphones and tablets — will reach $7.1 billion for the November-December holiday season, or 13% of total holiday digital commerce.

As any investor knows, share gains for one company or modality means share loss for another, and that’s exactly what Nielsen’s findings point to — only 13% of respondents planned to shop in physical stores this Black Friday, down from 17% last year. When queried as to where they would be shopping on Black Friday, 71% said department stores, such as Macy’s (M), Saks (SKS), Nordstrom (JWN) and others. The runner-up to department stores was electronics stores, but activity I saw over the weekend pointed to more show-room visiting than actual buying at Best Buy and GameStop (GME). At both places, there were many folks looking for Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Xbox One, but at least at the stores I visited, there were none to be had.

Even ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, $18.9 billion had been spent on holiday shopping during the Nov. 1-24 period, according to Comscore (SCOR). Per Comscore data, that is a 14% increase year over year.

All of that data is great, but explaining how to invest and score big profits during the holiday season is the kind of information I share each week with subscribers to my trading service PowerTrader. That service uses a combination of stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and call options to deliver big returns. Rather than get caught up with which retailers are gaining share or losing share, I recommended a few weeks ago a way to trade during the holiday shopping season that is based on the shift to online shopping. Even as the holiday shopping season kicks into higher gear, my PowerTrader subscribers are up in the call option I recommended to them. That’s the power of PowerTrader — it combines stocks and ETFs with out of the money call options to deliver big profits. As far as what the online holiday call option I mentioned is, I’ll give you a hint — the company and its shares are nowhere to be found on this page.

Discover more big profit generating ideas like this one with PowerTrader.

PowerTalk with Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital
Joining me this week on PowerTalk is Peter Schiff, American businessman, investment broker and financial commentator, as well as the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. The stock market has continued to grind its way higher following the government’s shutdown, fueled in the near term by prospects for continued easy money from the Federal Reserve. It’s these lack of tapering prospects that have Peter most concerned with the health of the economy and what he sees as the next looming financial crisis. As we delve deeper into the reasons for what Peter sees ahead, we also discuss where he is having his clients invest their capital today to deliver returns for tomorrow.

Listen now to Peter Schiff and me discuss his views on monetary policy and the economy, commodities and the foreign markets he finds that offer a compelling opportunity.

Read my PowerTrend Brief from last week about how you can capitalize on technological advancement. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.

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