And the stage is set to shatter sales records.
The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend as much as $682 billion.
Online holiday shopping sales are expected to hit a record, too, topping $100 billion for the first time ever.
Despite all the optimism, bets against stocks of U.S. retailers are at the highest level in two years, according to IHS Markit.
Why the disconnect?
Part of it is because investors know better than to blindly buy into the retail hype.
“This is one of the easier trades you put on around the holidays,” says Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek. “You short retail before the holidays because invariably the reality never lives up to the hype.”
Part of it is because investors also know consumers are strapped.
Get this – many consumers are still paying off the debts they racked up shopping last holiday season.
As CNBC reports:
“Millennials are the worst culprits here: 24 percent still haven’t paid off credit card debt incurred during the 2016 shopping season, while 16 percent of Gen-Xers haven’t and only 8 percent of boomers haven’t.”
Shocking, isn’t it? But that’s not the most shocking statistic of all.
You won’t believe how lopsided it is, though.
Hint: If there’s one stock to own this holiday season – and beyond – this is it!
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