BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Despite clouds forming over the markets ahead of March's first trading day last Monday, U.S. stocks managed to battle through one of their strongest weeks in recent memory -- and the S&P 500 index jumped 3.1% as investors absorbed decent jobs numbers on Friday.
Niche beer brewer Boston Beer Company ( SAM) could have a nice week in store as it battles hard against the big names in the highly competitive beer space. In an industry where the top three companies absolutely dominate, craft brewers have traditionally struggled to get their products on store shelves. But while the big three domestic beer brewers sell most of the beer volume in the U.S., craft brewers have been enjoying the most growth in recent years. Only Boston Beer is positioned to capitalize on both trends right now.
Another pre-earnings play this week is Kroger ( KR), America's largest supermarket chain. Although the grocery industry is characterized by difficult competition and relatively thin margins, the recession resistance of consumer necessities and advantages of certain companies over others present an attractive buying opportunity nonetheless.
Upscale apparel retailer J. Crew Group ( JCG) has been on a roller coaster ride for the past 18 months. As consumers lost their appetite for high-priced clothing in 2008, shares of the company tumbled along with sales numbers. But since 2009, J. Crew has seen a remarkable recovery, with shares up 236% since last January.
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