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McGrath tries to turn McConnell’s seniority into liability

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McGrath tries to turn McConnell's seniority into liability

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Democrat Amy McGrath tried to turn Mitch McConnell’s Senate seniority into a liability Wednesday, accusing the Republican leader of helping to create an “inept mess” as Congress struggles to break an impasse on more coronavirus aid in a hyper-partisan environment.

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by two Louisville professional groups, McGrath later acknowledged that McConnell’s long Senate career looms as her biggest challenge in trying to unseat him in the November election. McConnell, who is seeking a seventh term, has been in office so long, she said, that it’s “really hard to get people to believe that he can be defeated.”

McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has played up his role as the top-ranking Republican in Congress, saying it allows Kentucky to “punch above its weight” in national policy-making. He noted at a recent event that McGrath would be “dead last” in seniority if she joined the Senate.

Looking to puncture that advantage, McGrath continued to blame McConnell for a “lack of leadership” from the federal government in combating the deadly coronavirus. She didn’t mention Republican President Donald Trump, who remains popular in much of Kentucky. It’s widely believed McGrath will have to win over some Trump supporters to have a chance of defeating McConnell.

“We have here a senator … who has created this inept mess,” she said. “We are more divided than ever. We are more partisan than ever. Congress has more dysfunction than ever before. We have more inequality than ever. And my belief is that the 36 years that he has been in Washington, where has that gotten us? Where has it gotten us in Kentucky?”

She pointed to long-running problems plaguing the Bluegrass State, including high rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease and its struggles with poverty.

McConnell has spent much of the campaign touting his lead role in passing a massive virus relief package in the spring and how it benefited Kentucky. A trimmed-down Republican virus relief package that McConnell recently offered was blocked last week by Senate Democrats, who said it shortchanged too many pressing needs. .

McConnell’s campaign said he has wielded his influence as Senate leader to boost Kentucky on many fronts, from combating drug trafficking to supporting its universities and its military posts.

“Kentuckians know Senator McConnell works for them and trust him to deliver on issues that matter most to the commonwealth,” said Kate Cooksey, his campaign spokeswoman. “With Mitch McConnell in the Senate, Kentucky won’t be left behind.”

McGrath said Wednesday that if elected she would focus on quality-of-life issues including health care, universal access to pre-kindergarten and efforts to bolster education and child care.

“If we had more women and moms in the Senate, it would be done yesterday,” she said.

She also advocated for term limits for senators, increased investments in minority-owned businesses and a national service plan that would pay college costs for professionals like doctors, nurses and teachers who then agree to give service time to the country. She also called for more spending on infrastructure, broadband access and workforce development.

McGrath, a retired Marine combat pilot, has been a prolific fundraiser — a testament to McConnell’s status as a lightning rod for national Democrats — but she has consistently trailed the senator in polling. McConnell has been in office longer than some people participating in the virtual event have been alive, McGrath said Wednesday. To overcome his incumbency, she added, she has to show what’s achievable if he’s removed from office.

“I think the challenge that I have is to show people that that vision is not what he’s trying to put in attack ads,” she said. “The vision is better health care, lower prescription drug prices, childcare, universal pre-K, investment in ourselves.”

McConnell has been invited to speak to the same groups, and his campaign said it’s working on trying to schedule the event.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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7 Debt-Free Stocks to Buy For Peace of Mind In Volatile Markets

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Yahoo Finance

During times of uncertainty, investors crave a sure thing. There are times to be “risk-on” and there are times to be “risk-off.” When investors flock to the latter, they often look for companies with no debt.

That doesn’t mean these stocks won’t fluctuate with the overall market. But there is a level of comfort in owning stocks with financial stability.

Look back at how most individual stocks performed in March. The market threw a tantrum and nearly every name was punished. But those that were punished the most are those with the shakiest financials.

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Plus, who wants to own a stock with poor financial positioning? There’s a reason people say “cash is king.”

Here are 7 companies with no debt you need to know about:

  • Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)

  • Pinterest (NYSE:PINS)

  • Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST)

  • DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG)

  • Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU)

  • Progyny (NASDAQ:PGNY)

  • Fastly (NYSE:FSLY)

At the end of the day, the companies with the biggest bank accounts have the most flexibility, and can better withstand long economic disruptions. They can lean on M&A, taking investments stakes in other companies and outmuscling their debt-ridden peers.

Companies With No Debt: Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

A sign with the Intuitive Surgical logo standing outside of a company office

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Rarely do you see a balance sheet like that of Intuitive Surgical, making it a great candidates to kick off our list of stocks with no debt.

The company has $10.1 billion in total assets with just $1.3 billion in total liabilities. A robust balance sheet may boast a five-to-one ratio between total assets and total liabilities, but there aren’t many companies in that category. Intuitive Surgical’s asset-to-liability ratio sits at nearly 10.

Of those assets, almost $4.5 billion is held in cash. Not only does that give the company flexibility in a time of uncertainty, it should also give investors relief knowing that it will not suffer a liquidity event. The downside to Intuitive Surgical is this year’s growth estimates. Analysts expect sales and earnings to decline this year, before snapping back to very strong results in 2021.

Known mostly for its Da Vinci Device, the health field is one that will continue to grow and innovate over time. Admittedly, the novel coronavirus has disrupted the medical industry, but ultimately procedures will go on.

As CEO Gary Guthart said in the most recent earnings report, “We’ve seen hospitals with adequate supplies of staff, PPE and physical resources returned to above 90% of pre-COVID procedure run rates over a few months period.”

Pinterest (PINS)

the pinterest (PINS) logo on a mobile phone held by a woman
the pinterest (PINS) logo on a mobile phone held by a woman

Source: Nopparat Khokthong / Shutterstock.com

Pinterest is one of my favorite names on this list. Considered a social media stock, it’s not just the conventional social online platform we’ve come to know.

The company is one of the most efficient at turning ad dollars into revenue, something that makes Pinterest a very lucrative platform for businesses. That’s also helped to fuel its top-line growth. Despite the slowdown from the novel coronavirus, Pinterest still found a way to grow sales last quarter. Analysts are forecasting more than 26% growth for the year despite the economic uncertainty.

But the real beauty lies in the way management handles its finances. Pinterest is expected to swing to profitability this year, from roughly break-even operations in 2019. The company is also free cash flow positive on a trailing basis.

With no debt, $1.7 billion in cash and plenty of long-term growth potential, Pinterest is a stock to own for long-term investors.

Monster Beverage (MNST)

Source: Domagoj Kovacic / Shutterstock.com

Everyone looks to tech when thinking about the biggest long-term winners. Few think of Monster Beverage.

While shares are up modestly over the past few years, this stock has been a beast over the long term. Monster Beverage is up 942% over the last 10 years and an unimaginable 80,000% over the last 20 years.

Obviously we’re not going to get those returns again, but that doesn’t make Monster one to avoid. The stock is forecast to have steady growth in 2020 and 2021. Analysts expect 7% sales growth this year and an acceleration to 10.7% growth next year. For earnings, estimates call for 10.3% and 13.3% growth this year and next year, respectively.

On top of it, the balance sheet is enviable. Monster boasts $5.15 billion in total assets, more than five-fold the $979 million it holds in total liabilities. Of course, it’s a stock with no debt.

Finally, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) acquired a 16.7% stake in the company in 2015. That stake has climbed to almost 20% thanks to Monster’s buybacks. Perhaps Coca-Cola is content with its stake — but perhaps it will be interested in an eventual takeover too.

DraftKings (DKNG)

DraftKings (DKNG) logo on a phone
DraftKings (DKNG) logo on a phone

Source: Lori Butcher / Shutterstock.com

DraftKings is the youngest public company on the list. The company went public via a SPAC offering earlier this year and it has been on fire ever since.

While newness doesn’t automatically equate to riskiness, investors have to size up everything about DraftKings.

Its positives include the secular trend toward legalizing online gaming and sports gambling. It has surprisingly solid growth given the massive disruption we’ve seen in the world this year.

DraftKings is also a play on the economy reopening and a return to sports. The latter catalyst is also a risk, though.  Should sports leagues postpone again and/or should the economy begin to lock down, DraftKings could find itself on the wrong side of the bet.

Further, as of the most recent quarter, the company was not cash flow positive, nor is profitable yet.  That said, some of those concerns are alleviated when considering the current circumstances. That includes realizing that the prior quarter came off the one of the quietest sporting periods in decades.

Further, one must realize that DraftKings can bide its time through the unrest. With minimal cash burn, $1.2 billion in cash and no debt, there’s no need to worry about a liquidity situation.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

the lululemon (LULU) logo on a mosaic-style wall
the lululemon (LULU) logo on a mosaic-style wall

Source: Richard Frazier / Shutterstock.com

Lululemon Athletica probably isn’t a name many investors expected on this list. 

Years ago, the retailer had trouble finding the sweet spot. However, that’s all changed as Lululemon is now a premiere retailer on Wall Street. The company has strong growth, in-demand products and, naturally, a robust balance sheet.

The company’s deep liquidity will allow it to restart its buyback plan, a move the retailer announced on September 22. Further, that liquidity allowed Lululemon to scoop up Mirror for $500 million earlier this year. The startup is an in-home fitness company and should help Lululemon expand into a new growth avenue.

While that deal may slightly add to company debt, it’s not something investors will need to worry about.  At a time where retailers are dropping like flies and under severe pressure due to the coronavirus, Lululemon continues to thrive. Aside from its balance sheet strength, it continues to boast strong growth.

Lululemon also continues to see direct-to-consumer (DTC) strength. DTC sales were up 157% year-over-year last quarter, representing more than 60% of all revenue.

Progyny (PGNY)

Healthcare professional in green scrubs standing with arms crossed.
Healthcare professional in green scrubs standing with arms crossed.

Source: Shutterstock

A rarely discussed name, Progyny may be a stock investors want to keep on their radar.

The company focuses its work on infertility, a trend that has been growing for quite some time now. That has translated to frustrated couples who have difficulty conceiving. That’s where Progyny comes in to help — and it’s also where it has found solid growth.

Coronavirus-related costs have weighed on Progyny this year, which is expected to earn just 12 cents per share this year. That’s only up a penny from 11 cents per share in 2019. However, estimates call for a big-time acceleration in 2021, with more than 230% earnings growth to 40 cents per share.

Further, revenue growth is no joke. Estimates call for almost 50% growth this year followed by 60% growth in 2021. Progyny is free-cash flow positive over the trailing 12 months, is profitable and has no debt.

This stock has had its ups and downs, falling almost 60% from its February high to the March low. However, the dip gives investors an opportunity to take a closer look at this name.

Fastly (FSLY)

A magnifying glass zooms in on the Fastly (FSLY) website.
A magnifying glass zooms in on the Fastly (FSLY) website.

Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com

Let me preface this by saying that Fastly does technically have some debt. However it’s very minute compared with its market cap and cash position.

Fastly, a recent Wall Street darling, has $5.2 million in current debt and long-term debt of just $20.1 million. $25.3 million in combined debt vs. $385 million in cash and a market cap pushing $10 billion is nothing.

Detractors will say that Fastly is just an edge-computing company in a commoditized market. Bulls would argue that it offers a superior product compared to its peers. Thanks to its superb management, Fastly is carving out a dominant position in an area that’s rapidly becoming important in our Covid-19 world.

As traffic grows and as data demand increases, more and more companies are moving to the edge. With the company’s latest acquisition of Signal Science, it’s also making a push into cybersecurity. This should open up another growth avenue for the company, driving long-term value. The cash and stock deal should also prevent a notable strain on the balance sheet.

While Fastly stock may be a bit pricey due to its monstrous run, shares should still be primed for more upside in the future. The recent demand from increased internet and cloud use isn’t going to subside overnight — or in some bulls’ estimates, at all.

On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell held long positions in PINS and FSLY.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Maine lobster business salvaged its summer despite pandemic

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The crew on a lobster boat hauls traps at sunrise, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, off Portland, Maine. The state's lobster fishermen braced for a difficult summer this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the season was unexpectedly decent. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s lobster fishermen braced for a difficult summer this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but then the unexpected happened. They kept catching lobsters, and people kept buying them.

The pandemic has posed significant challenges for the state’s lobster fishery, which is the nation’s largest, but members of the industry reported a steady catch and reasonable prices at the docks. Prices for consumers and wholesalers were low in the early part of the summer but picked up in August to be about on par with a typical summer.

The Maine lobster industry is in the midst of a multiyear boom, and fishermen have caught more than 100 million pounds (45,360,000 kilograms) for a record nine years in a row.

It’s hard to guess whether they’ll reach that total again, but summer 2020 hasn’t been half bad for a season in which many fishermen expected collapse, said Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.

“Especially early in the season when nothing was open, no restaurants were open. We were thinking it would be a complete disaster,” Porter said. “If it stays like this, we can struggle through and have a season, and then get ready to fish next year.”

Lobster fishermen harvest the seafood species using underwater traps, and the busiest part of the season is the summer. Maine’s lobster fishery is by far the largest in the country. Lobsters are also closely tied to tourism in Maine, which also took a hit from the pandemic.

The lobster industry was apparently helped by the fact that many consumers who typically eat lobster in restaurants started buying them retail, said John Sackton, an industry analyst and founder of SeafoodNews.com. The catch might have been less than recent summers, but that kept prices from falling, he said.

Live lobsters were selling in the $8 range in the wholesale market in mid-September, not too far off from recent seasons.

“Even with Maine travel and quarantine restrictions, there was probably heavier tourist usage in Maine than it appeared that there would be,” Sackton said.

Some lobster businesses pivoted to a direct-to-consumer model during the early stages of the pandemic in an attempt to keep moving product. That allowed the industry to weather the months in which shipping was disrupted and restaurants were almost completely shut down. And lobsters remained easy to find in Maine supermarkets throughout the summer.

Farther from home, the slow reemergence of China as a market for the seafood also bodes well for the lobster business’s future, industry members said.

Lobster has been a major piece of President Donald Trump’s trade hostilities with China. The U.S. shipped almost $26 million in lobster to China through July — far less than the record year of 2018 but more than $6.5 million ahead of the 2019 pace.

That allowed Stephanie Nadeau, owner of The Lobster Co. in Arundel, to rehire most of her crew, which she laid off during the disruptions of the trade war. It has been a hectic year, she said, but the increase in international shipping is a positive sign.

“It’s like riding a bucking bronco,” she said. “You never know which way the bronco’s going to break.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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What We Learned About Akoustis Technologies’ (NASDAQ:AKTS) CEO Compensation

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What We Learned About Akoustis Technologies' (NASDAQ:AKTS) CEO Compensation

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7 Sin Stocks To Buy That Will Outperform the S&P 500

While the S&P 500 and a wide range of stocks continue their September slide, many investors are understandably jittery, wondering if a second market crash is coming this year. In response, they’re searching for industries that can offer more stability, but also growth and income over the coming quarters. One such group are the so-called “sin stocks,” which benefit when humans indulge in vices.Although there may be different definitions of sin stocks, these businesses include those in alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, gambling, adult entertainment, weapons and defense industries. What is viewed as a sin stock today may also change over time.Recent research by David Blitzo of Robeco Asset Management in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Frank J. Fabozzi of EDHEC Business School in Nice, France, highlights how “various studies … [of] the historical performance of sin stocks … [show] they have delivered significantly positive abnormal returns.”InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat is to say, sin stocks outperform the broader market time and again, and that isn’t based on one study; it’s based on many studies, by different researchers at different times.Sales figures from companies back up the anecdotal evidence that even in economically difficult periods, tobacco and alcohol consumption remain fairly stable. In fact, during the early weeks of the pandemic, alcohol sales in the U.S. increased by 27%. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now Therefore, for investors whose convictions allow them to invest in these firms, such stocks can provide meaningful diversification during volatile market periods. On the other hand, some sin stocks, particularly casino stocks, have suffered greatly as gambling locations remain closed due to lockdowns.With all that in mind, here are seven sin stocks to invest for the long-run: * Advisor Shares Vice ETF (NASDAQ:ACT) * Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) * ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSEARCA:MJ) * iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (CBOE:ITA) * Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWBI) * VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (NASDAQ:BJK) * Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF (NYSEARCA:VDC)Most sin industry stocks also bear juicy dividends. Thus, they could be appropriate for investors seeking passive income, especially in a low-interest environment such as this. Sin Stocks to Buy: Advisor Shares Vice ETF (ACT)Source: Shutterstock 52-Week Range: $16.16 – 26.95Dividend Yield: 2.41%Net Expense Ratio: 0.99 % per yearOur first choice is an exchange-traded fund (ETF), best for investors who would rather not risk capital on one company. The AdvisorShares Vice ETF concentrates mainly on U.S.-listed alcohol and tobacco companies. It may also hold stocks of firms conducting federally legal cannabis business, per the U.S. government.As regular InvestorPlace readers likely know, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S. At the state level, legal status depends on the laws of the individual state. Outside of Canada, which was the first G7 country to nationally legalize cannabis, the size of the legalized marijuana industry remains very small. Yet that market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2023.In terms of ETF composition, cannabis-related firms top the list with a 40.9% weighting. Next are alcohol (27.1%), Restaurant & Entertainment (12.2%), and Tobacco with Cannabis Exposure (11.3%). Close to 80% of the companies come from North America, followed by Europe (13.3%).ACT’s top ten holdings comprise around 60% of total net assets, which stand close to $10 million. ACT’s top five companies are Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM), Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB) and Abbvie (NYSE:ABBV). A closer examination of the holdings shows that there is considerable emphasis on life-sciences. For example, in Canada, Thermo Fisher undertakes cannabis compliance activities. Another holding is Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG), which is known for its fertilizer products, used by marijuana producers.So far in 2020, the fund is up around 3%. Yet since the lows seen in early spring, ACT is up around 55%. In fact, on September 16, it hit a 52-week high.Any decline toward the $22.5-level would make the fund more attractive for long-term investors. However, we’d like to underscore the high management fee as well as the fact that it is still a smaller size fund. Constellation Brands (STZ)Source: ShinoStock / Shutterstock.com 52-Week Range: $104.28 – $210.65Dividend Yield: 1.62%Victor, New York-headquartered Constellation Brands’ website highlights that it is the fastest-growing large consumer packaged goods (CPG) company in the U.S. at the retail level. And in addition to the U.S., the global alcoholic beverage company has operations in Mexico, New Zealand and Italy as well.The group produces and markets beer, wine and a diverse range of spirits. Several of its well-known brands include Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, Robert Mondavi, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.In 2018, Constellation Brands took a considerable stake in Canada-based Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), providing the company with managerial and financial backing. There may be investors who are hoping that Constellation Brands, which holds a 38% stake in the company, will acquire the remaining shares of Canopy Growth. Given the question marks surrounding the cannabis industry and the global economy, we don’t expect such an acquisition to happen in the near-term.Year-to-date (YTD) the stock is down about 2%. Part of the weakness in price may come from the fact that its wine and spirits business has seen lower shipments in 2020. But the beer business is strong, posting the tenth consecutive year of rising shipments. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now Since the lows seen in March, the shares are up about 80%. As a result of the rapid increase, forward P/E and P/S ratios have also been pushed up, standing at 20.75 and 4.33 respectively. We’d look to buy the shares around $170. ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ)Source: Shutterstock 52-Week Range: $8.81 – $23.44Dividend Yield: 10.76%Expense Ratio: 0.75%Our next choice is an ETF from the cannabis space. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF tracks the Prime Alternative Harvest index. MJ stock invests in companies that have exposure to global medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization moves.Pharmaceuticals (56.4%), Tobacco (24.7%) and Biotechnology (9.1%) are the top 3 sectors for MJ, which has 35 holdings. The top ten holdings comprise about 60% of total net assets, which are around $550 million. MJ’s top five companies are GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CRBP) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB).It’s important to note that U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals, a leading cannabinoid-focused biotech company, is MJ’s largest holding, accounting for 11.1% of its assets. Its drugs are widely used to treat spasms in multiple sclerosis patients. The fund also owns shares of the companies providing ancillary products and services to the cannabis companies.So far in 2020, Canada-based marijuana stocks have been plumbing new lows. Producing cannabis is capital-intensive, meaning pot firms make substantial initial and ongoing investments. These companies are also vulnerable to supply and demand issues.Over the past year, a wide range of Canadian regulatory logjams have resulted in supply problems for companies like Cronos, Canopy Growth, and Aurora Cannabis. Plus, most of the demand for cannabis is currently limited to Canada where there is still a resilient black market. As a result, the next few months may see consolidation in the industry north of the border.YTD, the fund is down about 36%. It is likely that MJ may re-test its lows seen earlier in March. Investors who are able to spare risk capital may consider investing for the long-run around $7.5. iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA)Source: Shutterstock 52-Week Range: $112.47 – $240.62Dividend Yield: 2.26%Expense Ratio: 0.42%The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF provides exposure to U.S. companies that manufacture commercial and military aircrafts and other defense equipment. ITA, which has 35 holdings, tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index.The top ten companies comprise 75% of net assets under management, which stand close to $2.7 billion. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) are the top three holdings for ITA. Put another way, investors are relying on a few major players for returns. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now Many analysts concur that U.S. defense spending is likely to remain high. However, the headwinds affecting orders, especially for Boeing, may stay with us for some time. This fact is potentially already reflected in the price, which is down close to 30% YTD.Contrarian and dividend-seeking investors may find this fund appealing. Smith & Wesson (SWBI)Source: Supakorn Pe / Shutterstock.com 52-Week Range: $4.16 – $22.40Dividend Yield: 1.26%Springfield, Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson is our next stock. The company was founded in 1852. Earlier in August, it spun off American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOUT) as a separate entity.In August, the company released FY 2020 annual report and highlighted that nationwide firearm demand remained extremely high. Sales numbers and anecdotal evidence suggest that guns have recently been flying off the shelves in many parts of the country.During the year, the group introduced 230 new firearms. A third of those were brand new products, while the rest were line extensions. Net sales for the fiscal year were $678.4 million, an increase of 6.3% from a year ago. The firearms segment gross sales represented a 10% increase over fiscal 2019 sales. The company’s gross margins have been climbing and now stand at a robust 40.2%.YTD, SWBI shares are up close to 70%. The upcoming U.S. Presidential election may bring volatility in the stock price. However, long-term investors may consider buying the dips. Its P/S and P/B ratios stand out, at 1.01 and 1.95 respectively. VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK)Source: Shutterstock 52 Week Range: $ 20.02 – 43.73Dividend Yield: 3.23%Expense Ratio: 0.65%The VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF provides exposure to companies in the global gaming industry. That includes casinos and casino hotels, sports betting, lottery and gaming services, and gaming technology and equipment.BJK, which has 42 holdings, tracks the MVIS Global Gaming Index. The top sector allocation is Consumer Discretionary (91.1%), followed by Real Estate (9.2%).The top ten holdings constitute over 55% of net assets, which stand around $53 million. Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY), Galaxy Entertainment Group (OTC:GXYEF) and Draftkings (NASDAQ:DKNG) are the top three firms in BJK.At present, in the U.S., DraftKings and FanDuel, which is part of Europe-based Flutter Entertainment, are the two main online platforms for sports and sports fantasy betting. DKNG stock, which went public in late April, is up over 400%. Flutter Entertainment, which is one of the largest gambling companies in the world by revenue, is also up about 23%. * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy on Robinhood Now However, the fund as a whole is down about 9% so far in 2020. Investors who want to capitalize on the potential of sports betting as well as the growth in fantasy sports both in the U.S. and worldwide may want to do further due diligence on the fund. We’d look to buy the dips. Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF (VDC)Source: Shutterstock 52-week range: $120.70-$172.31Dividend Yield: 3.05%Expense Ratio: 0.10% per yearOur final pick is another ETF. However, it’s not a pure play on sin stocks. Instead the Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund ETF provides exposure to a range of large-, mid-, and small-cap U.S. stocks in the consumer staples sector. As a result, this fund is defensive in nature.VDC, which has has 94 holdings, tracks the Spliced US IMI Consumer Staples 25/50 Index. The most important sectors (by weighting) are Household Products, Soft Drinks, Packaged Foods & Meats and Hypermarkets & Super Centers. In total, these four sectors make up about three-quarters of the fund.The top ten holdings comprise 65% of total net assets, which stand at $6.5 billion. These are businesses with competitive positions and strong balance sheets and revenue streams. Among those ten companies are two businesses that would be considered sin stocks, i.e., Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) and Altria (NYSE:MO).Phillip Morris International is a global cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company, whose products are sold in over 180 countries outside the U.S. The most recognized brand is Marlboro. Altria’s subsidiaries, on the other hand, include Philip Morris USA, which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the U.S. as well as several other brands which manufacture, produce and market tobacco products and wine.In 2020, the fund has returned about 0.3%, i.e. it’s flat. Given the health and economic uncertainties due to the pandemic, market participants may consider allocating some capital into VDC. We’d look to buy the dips, especially around $155 or below.On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.Tezcan Gecgil has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation. She also publishes educational articles on long-term investing. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America’s 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post 7 Sin Stocks To Buy That Will Outperform the S&P 500 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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