Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Surging E-Commerce Offers Share Price Gains And Dividends In 2021

By Contrarian Outlook (Michael Foster)Stock MarketsDec 03, 2020 04:17AM ET
Surging E-Commerce Offers Share Price Gains And Dividends In 2021
By Contrarian Outlook (Michael Foster)   |  Dec 03, 2020 04:17AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items

What exactly are we to do in this levitating market? Buy more? Pull back? Do nothing?

I get why most folks are uneasy these days—they’re seeing the stock market, and particularly tech stocks, heading into the stratosphere, while the economy that supports them is a mess. Stocks can’t hang in midair forever, the thinking goes. Eventually they’ll plunge to earth.

A (Pleasant) Surprise in a Lousy Year

Don’t buy this argument. Because in the weird market we’re in, stocks can not only hover but actually rip higher and hand us growing dividends, too. Let me show you what I mean, starting with the economy.

Sure, GDP cratered 34.3% in the lockdown-riddled second quarter, but it rebounded 38% in the third quarter to get back to near its pre-crisis level. Still, our economy is still behind, so shouldn’t stocks be behind as well?

Remember that stocks are forward looking—they’re not priced based on present earnings but future earnings growth. And since the first half of 2020 saw some shocking earnings declines due to the lockdown, the strong implication here is that the first half of 2021 will see tremendous earnings growth just because the comparables are so low, never mind the effect that three (and possibly more) vaccines in the coming months will have on consumer spending.

From Travel to E-Commerce—and Back Again?

What’s more, consumer spending has reshuffled, giving more support to both the S&P 500 and the tech sector than most investors believe.

When you dive into the third-quarter data, you see that earnings declines are mostly concentrated where you’d expect them: in the travel and leisure sectors. But it’s important to remember that travel-spending declines are destined to be short-lived. When vaccines are out and people can travel again, pent-up demand will spur earnings in the sector.

Now, if we saw a massive growth in travel-related stocks before those higher earnings were released, you could say this sector has gotten out of hand. But in reality, that’s not the case.

Travel Stocks Still Trail the Market

JETS-SPY Total Returns
JETS-SPY Total Returns

The airline-industry-focused US Global Jets ETF (NYSE:JETS), which holds major carriers like Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), remains behind the broader market. This shows that investors are waiting for clearer evidence of the big earnings boost a return to travel will provide. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to run out and buy JETS—or load up on any travel-related stocks, because any profit gains in that sector will likely be tempered.

In theory, it makes sense that you’d see a shift of discretionary spending from e-commerce to travel as soon as people aren’t stuck in the house anymore. But this implies that a big driver of the e-commerce shift has been vacation money that people simply redirected to online purchases. But there’s more to this story.

More Than Travel Goes Online

Ecommerce Sales Jump
Ecommerce Sales Jump

E-commerce data shows a steady shift in spending from offline to online until COVID-19, when that trend accelerated. People who had bought little to nothing online were now buying groceries through the web. The Internet had become a place to buy essentials, not just discretionary goods.

Online Spending Jumps
Online Spending Jumps

The pace of this spending growth is essential to understanding how durable this trend is. Since the 32% jump in online spending began at the start of the shutdown, and with that spending staying high throughout the third quarter, we can see that the increase wasn’t driven by discretionary spending (or it would have shown up later), and it wasn’t driven solely by one-time panic buying of essentials (or it wouldn’t have lasted into the third quarter).

In other words, Americans’ pivot to e-commerce will likely continue, which justifies the tech sector’s big gains for 2020 (since those companies are largely connected to online shopping) while also justifying the S&P 500’s lower but still-strong returns (since the companies producing many of the products consumers are buying are benefiting from the shift to e-commerce).

The bottom line? Now is not the time to worry about a bubble, in either tech or the market as a whole, even if the big deals in stocks we saw earlier this year are over.

Disclosure: Brett Owens and Michael Foster are contrarian income investors who look for undervalued stocks/funds across the U.S. markets. Click here to learn how to profit from their strategies in the latest report, "7 Great Dividend Growth Stocks for a Secure Retirement."

Surging E-Commerce Offers Share Price Gains And Dividends In 2021

Related Articles

Surging E-Commerce Offers Share Price Gains And Dividends In 2021

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email