🦇 The hero your portfolio needs

DIY just keeps booming | JD.com needs a cup of joe |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for May 20th in 3:00 minutes.

🐦 Join us live on Twitter Spaces at 6pm BST / 1pm EST on Thursday: we’ll be chatting about whether you ought to rethink your portfolio allocations in the age of cryptocurrencies and active investing. Set a calendar reminder

Today's big stories

  1. Lowe’s posted better-than-expected quarterly results as folks continue to spruce up their homes
  2. One sector’s stocks are set to spike even as the rest fall by the inflation-torn wayside – Read Now
  3. JD.com’s results beat analysts’ expectations, with the Chinese consumer spending boom paying off for the ecommerce giant

Build Back Better

Build Back Better

What’s Going On Here?

Lowe’s posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday, as would-be builders looked for new ways to give their lives some much-needed structures.

What Does This Mean?

Between the surging workload of professional contractors and the relentless campaign among homeowners to craft a truly Instagram-worthy abode, Lowe’s sales rose 26% compared to the year before – outstripping the 20% growth analysts were predicting. Investors, though, are still skeptical that this isn’t all just the fading echoes of a locked-down population (tweet this). Throw in the fact that this quarter’s results will be compared to last year’s second quarter (the pandemic-fueled heyday of DIY projects), and it might make more sense why they initially sent its shares down 3%.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Lowe’s biggest rival might have the edge.
Trouble was, Home Depot had already set expectations pretty high on Tuesday: the home improvement giant reported a 31% uptick in sales last quarter. And while Home Depot’s investors are just as aware that this DIY boom could subside any day now, they might argue that the retailer’s higher proportion of sales to professional DIYers gives it an advantage. Those handypeople, after all, are only going to become more welcome in people’s homes as the vaccines kick in, which could give Home Depot’s sales a disproportionate boost.

The bigger picture: Give us new homes already. 
Surging house prices have been encouraging people to spruce up their homes, sure, but the housing market is facing new problems that could compound investor skepticism toward the home improvement retailers. Fresh data on Tuesday showed the construction of new homes had dropped by the most since the pandemic hit. Put that down to a few bottlenecks facing the industry, like the shortage of available land, the decline in available labor, or the rise in lumber prices that – embarrassingly – makes it tricky for nervous homebuilders to get wood.

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2. Analyst Take

The Hero Your Portfolio Needs

What’s Going On Here?

You can’t go far these days without hearing about investors’ inflation worries and the impact it might have on stock prices.

But not all stock prices: there’s one industry that could actually benefit from prices of goods and services getting higher.

That’s especially when producer prices are rising faster than consumer prices, like they are now.

So that’s today’s Insight: the inflation-proof opportunity in the stock market, and three ways to invest whether you’ve got a European, US, or global portfolio.

Read or listen to the Insight here

SPONSORED BY JUPITER ASSET MANAGEMENT

Meeting Net Zero standards today

We all need to play our part in the transition to a net-zero world.

That’s why the Paris Agreement – signed in 2015 – committed the world to keeping the global average temperature from rising no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

And it’s why Jupiter Asset Management has made a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 across its full range of investments and operations.

But what implications does the transition to net zero have for portfolios? How fast might the transition happen? And what challenges does the process present?

Find Out Here

*Click here to read important disclosures.

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Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot

What’s Going On Here?

JD.com posted better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday, as the likes of Starbucks served its business up to the thirsty Chinese ecommerce platform last quarter.  

What Does This Mean?

JD.com – which counts tech giant Tencent and US retail ruler Walmart among its biggest investors – is second only to Alibaba when it comes to online shopping in China. And as the country’s economy roared back last quarter, there was certainly online shopping aplenty – particularly since pandemic-related travel restrictions remained in place over Lunar New Year.

That suited JD.com just fine. With customers splashing their cash and a number of brands – including Chinese-mad coffee merchants Starbucks and sport supplier Decathlon – launching virtual storefronts on its platforms, the company’s sales surged 39% compared to the same time last year.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: It takes money to make money.
While revenue rose, JD.com’s profit didn’t increase to the same extent. See, China’s ecommerce market – the world’s biggest – is fiercely competitive, and firms often sacrifice short-term profitability in favor of rapid growth. And with the likes of ByteDance and relative newcomer Pinduoduo now muscling in, even big dogs like JD.com are having to up their investment in new business lines to keep pace.

The bigger picture: Slow up, slowdown. 
After booming last quarter, Chinese consumer spending has started to taper off. Some slackening of the initial “post-pandemic” rush was to be expected, but data out this week revealed a surprisingly steep drop-off. While Chinese retail sales rose 18% in April compared to the same time last year, that was much lower than both the 26% economists had predicted and the 34% growth the country clocked back in March. Still, it could be a blip: experts reckon spending will gather pace in the months ahead.

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🙋 Ask a question

💬 Quote of the day

“I thrive on obstacles. If I’m told that it can’t be told, then I push harder.”

– Issa Rae (an American actress, writer, and producer)
Tweet this

SPONSORED BY LEDGER

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🌎 Finimize Live

🧐 We know people

If someone’s judged by the company they keep, then it’s a relief that we surround ourselves with people like Paulina Likos, an investing reporter from US News And World Report. Join Paulina for Why You Should Invest in Emerging Markets, and get the inside scoop on the promise of these up-and-coming economies.

📚 How To Do Your Due Diligence On A Stock: 6pm UK time, May 20th
💪 Investment Opportunities In The Circular Economy: 5pm UK time, May 25th
🌍 Why You Should Invest in Emerging Markets: 6.30pm UK time, May 25th
🚨 How To Keep Your Crypto Safe: 12pm NYC time, May 26th
🛍 How To Protect Yourself From Rising Prices: 2pm UK time, May 27th
📲 How to Profit From The AI Industry: 6pm UK time, May 28th
🇨🇳 How To Profit From Chinese Innovation: 5pm UK time, June 1st
🚗 How To Buy Coffee And Cars With Crypto: 4pm UK time, June 3rd
🤔 How To Understand Fundamental Analysis: 5pm UK time, June 8th
😎 How To Make Your Own Investing Rules: 5pm UK time, June 9th
🛒 How To Not Get Lost In Supermarket Stocks: 6pm UK time, June 10th
💰 How To Get Yield From Crypto: 12pm NYC time, June 14th
💡 How To Build A Robust Portfolio: 5pm UK time, June 15th
💵 How To Bet On The Rise Of Open Banking Payments: 1pm UK time, June 16th
🤑 How To Earn A Passive Income From Crypto: 12pm NYC time, June 24th
💄 How To Give Your Portfolio A Beauty Makeover: 6pm UK time, June 30th

📚 What we're reading

  • Cor blimey, vaccines are all the rage (Vox)
  • 2021 is for eating (Bustle)
  • How to stop wasting your life (Inc.)
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