Congressional leadership made overtures last week that they were willing to get back to serious negotiation on additional aid and stimulus for the country to help deal with the resurgent coronavirus pandemic. Thus far, however, the two sides are still unable to agree on what's to be included in any potential relief package.
The urgency to reach a deal is rising as daily coronavirus case counts, hospitalizations, and death rates have reached their highest points since the pandemic began last winter and many state and local governments have started asking businesses to once again temporarily shut their doors to help curb the spread of the virus. The unemployment rate in the U.S is still high at 6.7%, and many small businesses being asked to shut their doors will be in dire need of assistance.
Even though any stimulus deal that is reached will be likely be targeted toward those most in need, there are likely to be companies that stand to benefit from a deal as well, just by the nature of what they do and/or the services they provide. Here are three stocks that will be winning bets if a government relief deal that includes a stimulus check provision gets done.
1. Amazon is delivering essentials and more
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the long-existing trend of sales shifting from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce, and Amazon (AMZN -1.25%) is one of the prime beneficiaries. In the nine months ending Sept. 30, company sales were up more than 30% year over year.
Amazon is benefiting by capturing a larger share of e-commerce spending, while consumers are spending more online. That one-two punch is putting a smile on the faces of Amazon shareholders.
If consumers have extra stimulus check money and face restrictions for in-person spending, it will likely result in more spending at Amazon. The e-commerce giant is already predicting its sales in the holiday quarter will be $116.5 billion at the midpoint (a 33.2% jump over prior-year quarterly revenue); if a stimulus deal gets done, the figure will likely be larger still.
2. Home Depot makes staying home more tolerable
People have been spending liberally on home improvement projects in 2020. They have been staying home more often, identifying projects that need to be completed, and apparently have the time to complete them because they are staying home more. In the first nine months of its fiscal 2020, Home Depot's (HD -0.49%) revenue increased by 18.2%, which is remarkable for a brick-and-mortar retailer.
Additionally, the homeownership rate has increased from 64.9% at the beginning of the year to 67.2% at the end of the third quarter. With more homeowners come more people needing to fix up their properties. Moreover, if you spent money upgrading your garden, home office, or bathroom, chances are you will need to spend additional money to maintain it.
If consumers have extra money on hand from a stimulus deal, signs point to people spending at least some of those funds at Home Depot.
3. Apple has something for everyone for the holidays
Apple's (AAPL -1.27%) AirPods and Watch have been hot-selling items during the holidays, and if consumers have more cash, there is the potential that they might splurge on one of those. Interestingly, in Apple's fiscal 2020, sales of all other Apple products and service categories expanded while its iPhone sales decreased. That was in large part due to consumers waiting for the iPhone 12 to come out. With its 5G capabilities, it is a significant upgrade from the previous model.
The iPhone 12 launched in the current quarter, adding yet another sought-after Apple item for the holidays. If consumers suddenly have an increase in disposable income from a stimulus deal, some portion of that will likely be spent on the tech stock's products or services.
Investors stand to benefit
Overall, a stimulus deal will mean more money in people's hands, which will lead to an increase in spending. And chances are people will look to Amazon, Home Depot, and Apple, as those companies have reliably and safely delivered the products and services that people want while hunkering down at home.