What’s up, hypergrowth investors? And welcome back to our Hypergrowth Investing podcast! We’re now a few days past the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping extravaganza. And this season has been surprisingly strong! Now, we’ve been bullish on retail stocks heading into the holiday shopping season for a while – especially e-commerce stocks. And these sales numbers only bolster our conviction.
Analysts expected sales this past weekend to be weak, and it makes sense why. Consumer confidence has plunged to near all-time-low levels. Excess savings has been wiped out. Portfolios have been crushed. Everyone’s talking about a recession. Inflation is still high – so are record sales enough to counteract the year’s dramatic increase in prices? Well, it turns out, yes.
According to Mastercard (MA), Black Friday sales were up 12%, and online sales were up 14%. But… how? The labor market is showing some signs of weakness, but it’s still strong. The unemployment rate remains low. So long as consumer still have jobs, they’ll keep spending. And that’s why we think a deep recession in 2023 is unlikely.
Our economy has withstood one of the most aggressive quantitative tightening cycles ever, and the U.S. consumer is still chugging along. We’re starting to see reacceleration in e-commerce growth trends. The post-pandemic pent-up demand for in-store shopping has diminished, and folks are returning to online purchases. E-commerce growth trends have normalized, and they’re going strong.
And we’ve seen this with Shopify’s (SHOP) fabulous earnings report. The solutions provider offers a read on merchants worldwide. If its numbers are good, that means e-commerce is having and will continue to have a strong holiday season. If you couldn’t guess… we’re bullish!
That’s not all we’re bullish on… Guess who’s back in the Clubhouse? Bob Iger. And since this CEO changing of the guard, the stock has languished at its COVID lows. But we think Iger’s return is fantastic news for Disney (DIS) stock.
Disney is trying to build out its streaming ability to become a tech company, not a legacy one. Former CEO Bob Chapek was on the fence about it. But Bob Iger is bullish on this development. And upon his return, we’re likely to see Disney return to its streaming-first narrative.
Plus, the travel bug is going around, which means Disney World and Disneyland will likely enjoy an increase in foot traffic. And Disney has exposure to China, so if that economy reopens, Disney’s Chinese business should benefit, too. Thanks to the washout in DIS valuation, the stock is on sale. And we think it’s a buy.
Speaking of Disney, its resurgence reminds us of something we’ve noticed in the markets lately – the return of “Old School.” Recently, the Dow Jones, made of large legacy companies, has significantly outperformed the Nasdaq – often smaller, newer companies. And in fact, you’d have to go back to the dot-com bubble to find a time when the Dow has outperformed the Nasdaq more than it is right now.
Is this the new market regime?
That’s the ideology we’re seeing everywhere at the moment. But we have trouble with that sentiment. The data strongly supports the idea that what really drives stock prices is earnings. And when you look at earnings guidance for the coming years, it’s the tech stocks that will have tremendous growth. So, while the Dow might be outperforming right now, the Nasdaq’s tech stocks will still reign supreme in the long run. “New School” companies are here to stay.
But what about oil? Well, oil and gas are part of those “Old School” stocks. And here in 2022, we’ve been bullish on the “New School” clean tech. Have things changed going into 2023? Nope!
Up until this point, each year, companies spent more capital on oil and gas infrastructure and operations than they did on renewable energies. That changed in 2022, helped along by legislation promoting the acceleration of clean energy production around the world.
Align with these decisions and invest alongside them. We’re talking solar, hydrogen, energy storage stocks – they’ll continue to work very well going into 2023 and will be some of the market’s biggest winners throughout the 2020s.
Before we wrap things up, lets talk about a favorite of ours – quantum computing. Over the weekend, Barron’s ran a piece that talked about how quantum computing will change the game for just about everything. Now, it’s still early in the game for this new tech, but it offers some incredible opportunities.
The computational power of a quantum computer is exponentially more than that of a classical computer. That has profound implications for nearly every industry out there, and now we’re finally seeing its real-world benefits – in cybersecurity, synthetic biology, even electric vehicles. Quantum simulation will allow engineers to discover better battery chemistry, even manufacture precious metals in a lab using more abundant materials.
But this revolution will take time to take off. There are some promising quantum stocks out there right now – Arqit (ARQQ), IonQ (IONQ), Rigetti Computing (RGTI), D-Wave (QBTS). Invest with significant patience.
This cake won’t bake overnight.
On the date of publication, Seth Kuczinski did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.