A few months ago, rosy news reports opined about opportunities for investors to rake in cash in the post-pandemic economy and stock market. Fast-forward to the final month of summer and half the country is still unvaccinated, the Delta variant could be the worst strain yet, hospitals are filling up once again and masks are going back on — at least on the faces that are willing.
The end is clearly not upon us just yet — but it will be one day, and when it is, you want your investment portfolio to be ready.
Here’s a look at 10 stocks you might consider adding to your portfolio if you’re betting on a strong rebound in the economy. As always, check with your financial advisor to see if any of these stocks match your investment objectives and risk tolerance.
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $147.95
Airbnb is one of many lodging stocks that might get a bounce over the coming years as people begin to travel again. Airbnb might be of particular interest as many of its hosts rent out their own homes on the platform, something they simply couldn’t do during the pandemic. With a COVID-19 resurgence and the emergence of the Delta variant, people will likely remain leery of hotels — a dynamic that could help Airbnb. The stock currently trades a little more than 30% below its 52-week high of $219.94.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $273.08
Square’s business model is fairly simple. The payment processor earns money from every in-person swipe of a credit or debit card. With businesses opening up and consumers physically visiting stores again, Square should benefit from the increase in face-to-face transactions. It’s already flirting with its 52-week high of $289.23.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $238.07
If you believe that the reopening economy will result in more credit and debit card transactions, Visa should be on your list of names to consider. Although high-tech upstarts like Square are taking dead aim at the traditional card networks, Visa is still the 800-pound gorilla in the industry. The company remains the largest payment processing network in the world, and its third-quarter results posted in June are proof that it’s moving in the right direction — Visa’s payment volume increased by a full 34%.
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $56.80
If you’re looking for a sturdy blue-chip stock to put in your post-pandemic portfolio, consider Coca-Cola. The company took a big hit in 2020, as many of the outlets for its products, from sports stadiums and cinemas to restaurants and bars, closed down during the outbreak. Earnings in 2021 will therefore have easy comps to the numbers posted in 2020, especially since consumers are likely to return in droves to those types of venues. While you’re waiting for earnings to kick in, the company will pay you a hefty dividend of nearly 3% for holding the stock.
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Southwest Airlines (LUV)
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $51.11
Airlines are always a bit of a risky play, as so many factors that influence earnings — from fuel to labor to seasonal demand — can be volatile. However, it’s clear that Americans are eager to travel, as passenger counts from the TSA are already beginning to approach pre-pandemic levels. As leisure and domestic travel is likely to pick up more rapidly than international and business travel, Southwest Airlines seems particularly well-positioned to benefit from these increasing passenger numbers.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $137.99
Marriott International is another play on a global explosion of travel as the coronavirus recedes. The hotel company — whose brands include JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Courtyard and Residence Inn — continued to show strength in 2021’s Q2. The company reported better revenue, occupancy and rates.
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $177.07
The Walt Disney Company got hit on all sides from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s primary industry sectors — film and media entertainment, theme parks and cruise ships — were all more or less shut down for months during the peak of the crisis. The reality is that the Delta variant is putting the profitability of Disney’s theme parks in doubt once again — but only for the near future. Once the company is firing on all cylinders, its profit engine should re-engage and the stock price may benefit.
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Wynn Resorts (WYNN)
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $97.44
Wynn Resorts was hit particularly hard at the onset of the coronavirus, with its first-quarter revenue in 2020 plunging by 42%. As a result, the company was forced to suspend its hefty 5% dividend, which helped crater the stock by more than 50%. Although the company is holding off on resuming its dividend payments, it’s already begun to benefit from the global reopening. Although most Americans are likely more familiar with the casino company’s Las Vegas operations, Wynn Resorts actually gets most of its revenue — about 70% as of 2019 — from Macau. Wynn tumbled from the $135 range it was trading at in early June, which means it’s currently on sale at a steep discount — and Forbes reports that the stock is still in great shape for long-term growth.
Expedia Group (EXPE)
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $148.60
Expedia, like most travel-related companies, suffered mightily in the first half of 2020, with its stock falling over 50%. However, bullish investors ended up rallying the stock 22% by the end of the year, anticipating a recovery in 2021 and beyond. While the company posted a loss in both the first and second quarters of 2021 — most recently, investors were nervous about the Delta variant — analysts and investors alike have a rosy outlook for the stock going forward.
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Brinker International (EAT)
- Stock price as of Aug. 10, 2021: $53.57
With the possible exception of the travel and leisure sector, the coronavirus hit the restaurant industry the hardest of all. Although some restaurants managed to limp along thanks to takeout orders, many shut down entirely for months. Now that these establishments are flinging their doors open once again, popular restaurant companies might be a good bet. Casual restaurant chain owner Brinker International is better known for its two flagship chains, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Chili’s.
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Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.