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3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market This Week

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 29, 2020 at 8:20AM

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Constellation Brands is one of several stocks set to make big moves over the next few trading days.

Stocks had a rough Friday but a strong overall week last week as investors began to focus on the eventual economic recovery that might follow the COVID-19 outbreak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.47%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.40%) each gained over 10% but remain in bear market territory, down over 20% so far this year. 

Coronavirus containment and economic stimulus measures will dominate headlines over the coming week, and there are also a few highly anticipated earnings reports on the way. Let's take a look at what investors will be looking for from McCormick (MKC 0.88%), CarMax (KMX 2.26%), and Constellation Brands (STZ -0.40%)

Friends toasting drinks at a bar.

Image source: Getty Images.

McCormick's supply chain

Spice and flavorings giant McCormick will announce its results on Tuesday morning, and there's plenty at stake in this report. Like most consumer-facing businesses, it is likely to reveal a sharp drop in sales, especially as its restaurant and food service partners started scaling back their offerings during social distancing efforts.

On the positive side, McCormick's business probably benefited from the related spike in at-home cooking. Given the stress on grocery store partners, though, the company may have had trouble keeping shelves stocked in recent weeks. Look for management to discuss that supply chain as they comment on sales trends going forward.

The outlook that CEO Lawrence Kurzius and his team discuss likely won't look much like their previous prediction that called for slow sales growth and a modest drop in profitability in 2020 before both trends improve in 2021. But investors should hear a plan for how management expects to navigate through this crisis.

CarMax's online business

Investors are bracing for some bad news from CarMax on Thursday. The car retailer will likely show slumping customer traffic as shoppers stayed home in recent weeks. Its outlook is sensitive to recessions, too, since people are likely to put off big purchases during economic shocks like the one affecting the U.S. right now.

Counterbalancing those risks is the fact that CarMax has made big strides at putting the entire car purchasing process online in key markets. In March, Tennessee was the latest state to get the digital offering that includes all financing and trade-in paperwork, plus delivery of the car to a shopper's home or work.

CarMax has said it was hoping to roll out the service to its entire U.S. footprint by the end of fiscal 2020, and management might confirm that target on Thursday. And with roughly half of its markets currently being served by the digital sales channel, executives should have data to share regarding profitability, sales growth, and financing attach rates for e-commerce deals.

Constellation Brands' release plans

Investors have some big questions heading into Constellation Brands' earnings report on Friday. Its business last quarter showed signs of stress both in the wine and spirits segment and in the beer division that has powered most of its sales gains over the last five years. Depletion growth in its premium import brands like Corona and Modelo have slowed, and more demand shifts toward hard seltzer drinks likely continued pressuring results last quarter.

Looking forward, the alcoholic beverage giant should comment on how it is managing through the slumping demand at bars and restaurants and the inventory need at consumer staples retailers like supermarkets and warehouse shops. Finally, CEO Bill Newlands and his team might comment on the busy release schedule they had planned for the Spring months that included the national launch of a Corona branded hard seltzer.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Constellation Brands. The Motley Fool recommends CarMax and McCormick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Constellation Brands, Inc. Stock Quote
Constellation Brands, Inc.
$241.17 (-0.40%) $0.96
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$33,467.73 (0.47%) $158.22
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$4,226.90 (0.40%) $16.66
CarMax Inc. Stock Quote
CarMax Inc.
$102.28 (2.26%) $2.26
McCormick & Company, Incorporated Stock Quote
McCormick & Company, Incorporated
$90.60 (0.88%) $0.79

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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