This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

10 Cars, Bikes and Bags Beating the Stock Market

(Adds that Coach beat earnings estimates on a 15% sales increase in its most recent fiscal quarter.)

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Shares of consumer-discretionary companies, which sell products such as cars, clothing and hotels, are on a roll this year, as investors are anticipating higher spending after a couple of years of household austerity.

Friday's strong jobs report coupled with continued signs of an improving U.S. economy have supported the view that consumers will begin to spend on products that make life easier or help them feel better about themselves. And families are just now starting to take on debt again.

Indicative of that, consumer-discretionary stocks are up 8.2% through Feb. 3 this year and 25% since a cyclical low Oct. 3, according to Standard & Poor's.

S&P's analysts recommend "overweighting" the sector, as its economists are forecasting U.S. GDP growth of 2% this year and a healthy 2.3% increase in consumer spending.

The benchmark S&P 500 has gained 7% this year, the best opening advance for the index since its 14% rise at the start of 1987, S&P reports.

And that news, in and of itself, gives consumers even more confidence that they can afford to spend, as they see their 401(k) retirement accounts and investment portfolio finally start to fatten after 2011's paltry returns.

The top-five performing consumer-discretionary stocks are all auto industry players, led by Tata Motors (TTM), India's largest carmaker, up a whopping 52% this year. And 10 of the top 13 leaders are either car companies or industry suppliers.

The jump in automakers' shares is in anticipation of booming sales in emerging markets, as well as strong sales in the U.S., where the auto fleet is aged and decrepit.

The average age of a U.S. car is a record 11.1 years and that means consumers will have to start trading in their beater and buy something new, Standard & Poor's MarketScope Advisor said. So the auto market is seen as a can't-miss if the economy improves as the year goes on.

Also hot are luxury-goods purveyors, such as Coach (COH - Get Report). But in a surprise, the century-old, middle-class merchant, department store chain JCPenney (JCP - Get Report) is also having a great showing, gaining 17% this year.

Even baby boomers' favorite fantasy vehicle manufacturer, motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (HOG - Get Report), is back in top gear, rising 19% this year.

Here is a sampling of 10 consumer-discretionary stocks from various industrieswith increases of 17% or more this year:
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
COH $39.85 0.58%
DLPH $70.32 1.50%
GPS $21.68 -0.87%
GM $31.00 1.50%
JCP $8.25 -7.60%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,738.13 +77.42 0.44%
S&P 500 2,056.00 +5.37 0.26%
NASDAQ 4,727.5360 +10.4420 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs