The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) - Get Report is up 7.7% over the past five trading sessions, helped by Nike (NKE) - Get Report , Home Depot (HD) - Get Report and Lowe's (LOW) - Get Report all hitting new all-time highs Wednesday ahead of the all-important Black Friday start of holiday shopping.
The rally in the exchange-traded fund tracking the sector is good news for retail stocks, Steve Grasso, director of institutional sales at Stuart Frankel, said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show. He also likes Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , which is up a whopping 117% on the year. People tend to sell stocks such as Home Depot and Nike only to pile back into them when they fail to pull back by a meaningful amount.
Karen Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, said she was at a retail conference hosted by Morgan Stanley 10 days ago. "The sentiment could not have been worse," she said, but that meant investors' expectations were incredibly low. Things have changed. She likes Foot Locker (FL) - Get Report , which should continue to benefit from strong athletic apparel sales.
David Seaburg, managing director and head of sales trading at Cowen and Company, is bullish on Under Armour (UA) - Get Report and Nike, but beyond those two he sees troubling signs in retail. Mall-based retailers will continue to struggle with a glut of inventory, which will weigh on margins.
Tim Seymour, managing partner of Triogem Asset Management, said Under Armour shares are overvalued, even though sales continue to grow at a rapid pace. As for Lowe's and Home Depot, these companies should continue to show sales growth and increase profitability despite not opening more locations. Household formations are strong enough to fuel growth at these two companies.
From Black Friday shopping to travel stocks, in focus after the recent terror attacks in Paris. On Wednesday, Cowen & Company's Helane Becker told the traders Wednesday there could be a slowdown in travel in the first quarter as a result.
Ben Baldanza, CEO of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) - Get Report , told the panel consumers seem to be a little "skittish" following the attacks. However, the impact will likely be felt on trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and other long-haul flights -- not so much for domestic flights, which make up most of Spirit's routes. So far, there hasn't been a slowdown in bookings, he said.
The stock price, however, is down a whopping 52% over the past year. Baldanza explained that part of the blame goes to his company, which has had to trim its guidance more than once this year. Although margins remains strong, they are below original forecasts, he added. However, many investors don't seem to understand the resiliency of the Spirit business model, which should propel the company forward in 2016.
Seymour said Spirit is one of the fastest-growing airlines but one of the worst-performing stocks. Passenger Revenue Per Available Seat Mile (PRASM) moved lower in the most recent quarter and likely will in this quarter, too, which affects the stock price. He finds Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Report more attractive after the recent pullback. Grasso likes JetBlue Airways (JBLU) - Get Report and SkyWest (SKYW) - Get Report .
The traders looked to some of Warren Buffett's holdings after shares of Deere (DE) - Get Report climbed 4.9% on Thursday following a beat on earnings per share and revenue. Shares are still down 9.5% on the year.
Deere's quarter was better than expected, Seymour said, even though sales fell 16.5% year over year. The company is operating in a difficult environment and is finally starting to work through its large inventory.
Finerman, who said she is more of a value investor like Buffett, said Deere is attractive on some levels because of its operational leverage while Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Report -- another Buffett holding -- isn't quite as attractive.