5 Stocks That Make Great Buys This Black Friday

To lure shoppers, retail bigwig Walmart Inc. (WMT - Free Report) is expected to offer average discounts of 30-35%. Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) and Macy’s, Inc. (M - Free Report) are projected to provide average discounts of 35-40% and 45-50%, respectively. In fact, among the largest retailers, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP - Free Report) and Kohl’s Corporation (KSS - Free Report) are providing the biggest discounts at 65-70%.

Retailers have invested in new technologies to help buyers skip lines at the register. In order to speed up store checkouts, Target is allowing staffs scan products and accept credit cards anywhere in the store. Walmart has also adopted a more or less similar strategy and has provided a special Black Friday map on the Walmart app for smartphones. Rival Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report), in the meantime, has provided several bonanzas with free shipping offers and special discounts on various gadgets, including Kindle tablets and Echo speakers.

Why Consumers Are Willing to Splurge

Upbeat economic conditions and a two-decade high consumer confidence are proving conducive for shoppers. In the last two quarters, the U.S. economy recorded the fastest six-month growth in four years and is on track to hit the Trump administration's annual growth target of 3%. If that happens, it would be the best yearly performance since 2005, two years before the Great Recession.

The U.S. economy got a boost in the third quarter, with GDP increasing at an annualized pace of 3.5%, per the U.S. Commerce Department. In fact, the country’s total output of goods and services followed an even stronger 4.2% growth in the second quarter.

At the same time, consumers in America are currently most confident in almost two decades, courtesy of a healthy labor market.The consumer confidence index climbed to 137.9 last month from 135.3 in September, per the Conference Board, a business research organization. People’s confidence in the present situations improved from 169.4 in September to 172.8 last month, matching the highest level reached in December 2000. The future expectations index also moved from 112.5 to 114.6, an 18-year high.

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