MINNEAPOLIS ( Stockpickr) -- There is a fundamental shift taking place in the economy. Huge losses on personal assets, including real estate and housing, combined with a challenging job market has changed consumer behavior. Budgets are tight, and there is a renewed emphasis on savings.The result of this very significant change is an emphasis on bargains and price. There are many loud voices in the financial world concerned about inflation based mainly on current easy monetary policy. The fallacy of that argument is almost amusing. Simply take a look around and you will see the masses working hard to find bargains at every turn. When consumers don't spend, prices will be hard-pressed to increase. The pressure on prices for most goods and services is tremendous at the moment. Last month, import prices fell thanks to lower fuel costs. Food and materials prices fell as well. Related: 6 Cash-Rich Stocks to Buy Before 2012 My mentor in this business had all the money in the world, but he would drive out of his way to find a gas station with prices a nickel lower than the rest of the market. That mentality helped him build wealth. Today, that mentality is a necessity for many just to survive. The situation makes for interesting speculation in stocks. Most are familiar with retail names that offer low prices. Companies such as Dollar General ( DG), Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Costco ( COST) are taking advantage of bargain-hunting to grow their businesses. Companies in other industries catering to low prices are also likely to benefit. With this in mind, investors should consider adding these five stocks of companies serving up bargains to their portfolios.
NucorA deflationary spiral impacts companies across a broad spectrum of industries. Customers aren't the only ones looking to save money. For example, builders are also trying to save money in order to support profit margins in a highly competitive market with excess capacity. One of the largest low-price steel companies is Nucor ( NUE). The $10 billion market cap company provides a variety of steel products, including hot/cold rolled steel, plate steel, structural steel and bar steel. Shares of Nucor are down 23% this year on speculation of a double-dip recession. All this talk of a recession could be good for the company, which will be among the first to benefit from any policy response to boost the economy. There are plenty of infrastructure projects crying out for attention and needing products from Nucor. Even without any stimulus spending, the company is doing just fine. Nucor has exceeded Wall Street profit estimates by a wide margin in each of the last three quarters. For the full year the average estimate is for the company to make $2.62 per share. In the following year, Nucor profits are expected to grow by 35% to $3.54 per share. With the stock trading for only 13 times earnings, Nucor is a discount steel maker worthy of any bargain hunting portfolio. Nucor, one of the top-yielding metals and mining stocks, shows up on a recent list of 5 Steel Stocks Heating Up on Jobs Plan.
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