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Another 2.44 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits over the past week (versus the 2.4 million expected by consensus economist estimates).
Now, over 38.6 million Americans find themselves without work.
That sent the Dow modestly down 0.25% to start the day, in early morning trading. It traded in a narrow range all day; up and down triple digits, and unable to muster neither a deeper sell-off nor a convincing rally.
It ultimately closed 0.41% lower.
Here's what our experts – Chris Johnson and Shah Gilani – saw at the beginning and end of the trading day and which stocks they're looking to buy now…
- Chris thinks the jobs number isn't that bad relative to the trend.
- While still a net negative for the economy, the fact that less people are losing their jobs each week is a sign we're heading in the right direction.
- He observed the retail sector is really splitting into two sectors: companies that can adapt to Americans' COVID-19-driven shopping habits (fast, purposeful shopping trips), and those that are having trouble changing with the times.
- Here are some of Chris' favorite contrarian plays today:
- Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), currently trading for $217 – buy if you can get it for $205 per share.
- Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), currently trading for $108.50 – Chris thinks it's a buy at $100 or less.
- Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BOOT), currently trading for $20.50 – buy if you can get it for $18.
- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), currently trading for $30 – buy at $27 because travel looks like it could be turning around.
- Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), currently trading for $76.50 – buy at $70.
- Shah said the market wasn't all that good… but it could've been worse. Investors were spooked somewhat – again – by saber-rattling between the United States and China. The U.S. Senate is looking at delisting Chinese stocks from American exchanges.
- He noted the St. Louis Fed's near-term unemployment estimate – 47 million out of work – is probably reliable, yet the market continues to take this staggering figure in stride. Shah says, "The numbers, as bad as they are, are going to get worse."
- Shah is building a list of post-COVID-19 "aristocrats" worth buying. Watch for this next week!
- Shah shared some shrewd moneymaking moves with the chat:
- He likes commercial and retail REITs as short targets, using puts, given the obvious challenges facing the sectors.
- Placing good, effective stops. Shah recommends looking at the average true range (ATR) of the stock's prices over the past 30 days, and placing stops up to 5% outside that range. He said technical support is a good way to go, too.
Catch us tomorrow – starting LIVE again at 8:45 a.m. EDT with Chris Johnson, right here.
If you missed our live streams today, you can now replay them on our YouTube channel, here.
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