Are These The Top Consumer Discretionary Stocks To Invest In Today?

When it comes to the holidays, consumer spending trends often come into focus. Accordingly, some would argue that the same could be said for consumer discretionary stocks in the stock market now. By and large, this could provide some incentive for investors looking to navigate the current volatility in stocks. Adding to all this would be the current strength in consumer spending trends. The likes of which continue to drive the overall economic recovery now.

Speaking of the economy, the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision earlier this week appears to be a key reason for the current movement in stocks as well. With investors digesting the Fed’s current taper and interest rate plans, some of the top names in the consumer discretionary trade could be trading at attractive prices. Likewise, analysts seem to feel the same way as well. Just this week, analysts over at Evercore (NYSE: EVR) provided a rosy update on Shopify (NYSE: SHOP). Namely, analyst Mark Mahaney hit SHOP stock with an Outperform rating and price target of $1,770. This would indicate a potential upside of about 33% over its price of $1326.88 as of Thursday’s closing bell. Given the relevance of Shopify’s e-commerce point-of-sale services amidst the current pandemic, this is understandable.

Aside from this, investors also have numerous other consumer discretionary fields to consider. This is evident from travel names such as Carnival Cruise (NYSE: CCL) to entertainment providers like Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU) and Roblox (NYSE: RBLX). Given all of this, some would argue that consumer discretionary stocks are viable plays in the stock market today. With that in mind, could one of these stocks be your next big investment?

Top Consumer Discretionary Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] In December 2021

Delta Air Lines Inc.

First up, we have Delta Air Lines. Pre-pandemic, the company can operate over 5,000 flights daily and serves over 300 destinations in 52 countries on six continents. It is also one of the founding members of the SkyTeam airline alliance. On December 16, 2021, the company announced its three-year financial targets and outlook, detailing a customer-centric approach at its Capital Market Days.

During the event, it discussed how it will expand its platform to create value over the long term. This would include further enhancing its competitive advantages and enhancing its position as a trusted consumer brand. Delta will also continue to elevate the customer experience through its best-in-class service and by investing across the travel ribbon, enhancing brand preference and loyalty. More importantly, the company says that it expects to deliver meaningful profitability in 2022 on its path to improved earnings power beyond pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

The company also projects a $200 million fourth-quarter profit, as it sees strong holiday demand for its services. “As our profitability improves, we are focused on reducing debt and strategically investing to build on our leadership position,” said Delta CFO Dan Janki. “We have a compelling strategy that we believe will allow us to exceed 2019 financial performance, deliver industry-leading margins and generate significant cash to de-lever the balance sheet over the next three years.” Given this piece of news, is DAL stock worth investing in?

DAL stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Visa Inc.

Visa is a consumer discretionary company that provides financial services. Its global payments technology connects consumers, businesses, banks, and governments in over 200 countries and territories, enabling them to use digital payments instead of cash and checks. Its VisaNet global processing network can provide secure and reliable payments around the world, capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second.

Last week, the company announced the launch of its Global Crypto Advisory Practice, an offering within its Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) designed to help clients and partners advance their crypto journey. The service will help financial institutions eager to attract or retain customers with a crypto offering or even retailers looking to delve into NFTs. Through its work with more than 60 crypto platforms, Visa’s global network of consultants and product experts employ deep expertise to help financial institutions evaluate the crypto opportunity.

It also reported that Visa’s U.S. Spending Momentum Index (SMI) was 111.9 in November, up by 1.3 points from October. This would mark the second consecutive month of acceleration in consumer spending momentum. The SMI’s further increase above 100 signals that even more consumers are spending more than they did a year ago. This would reinforce the narrative that consumer spending remains robust to round out this year. It could also suggest that consumers are looking past the high inflation readings in recent months at least for the time being, according to Visa’s Chief Economist, Wayne Best. All things considered, is V stock a buy?

V stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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AT&T Inc.

Following that, we will be taking a look at AT&T. For the uninitiated, it is the world’s largest telecommunications company. Given AT&T’s role in providing consumers with wireless connectivity solutions, T stock could be worth knowing in the stock market now. After all, with pandemic conditions seemingly escalating, consumers are likely turning to internet-based activities once again. In turn, this would be when AT&T comes into play.

For one thing, investors seem to see this as a plus point. Evidently, T stock surged by over 6% during intraday trading yesterday. This could be, in part, due to a recent upgrade from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). In detail, analyst Simon Flannery upgraded T stock from an Equal-weight rating to Overweight. According to Flannery, the stock’s current price point and ongoing dividend are key reasons for the upgrade.

Not to mention, AT&T is also working on completing the merger of its WarnerMedia business with Discovery (NASDAQ: DISCA). Once that is settled, Flannery noted that investors should have a clearer idea of AT&T’s streaming strategy. Arguably, all of this alongside AT&T’s comprehensive 5G services could make it a force to be reckoned with. As such, will you be adding T stock to your portfolio anytime soon?

T stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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