What Stocks Would Jesus Buy?
Twelve picks made with Him in mind.
Caring for the poor and needy were the cornerstone of Jesus' teachings which may cause him to look favorably upon the $288.1 million Wal-Mart (WMT) tithed to charity last year and its $2 billion, five-year pledge to fight hunger. Jesus might also appreciate the retail behemoth's commitment to sustainability and efforts to go local by renting store space to area mom and pops. Of course, Wal-Mart's impressive inventory of low cost carpentry tools would have also been a real boon to his step dad's business.
Perhaps no couple in history underscored the importance of hotel vacancies like Jesus' folks. Today, pregnant women bearing the messiah wouldn't get turned away from an inn with the ample lodging options available from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT). Currently experiencing a rebound in the industry, the hospitality company has projected 40 percent profit growth through 2013.
Gold was one of his very first birthday presents, so Jesus would not only be sentimental but wise to invest in SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), with prices in the commodity predicted to reach new highs in the first half of 2011. Besides, there's not exactly a trading platform for frankincense and myrrh.
Today, Jews don't need no stinking miracles to keep the menorah lighted for eight days as long as investors have Oil Services HOLDRs (OIH), "the quintessential $100 oil play" and one of Benzinga.com's sector ETFs to watch in 2011.
Imagine Jesus' far-reaching marketing potential with the power of Google (GOOG) behind him. Dominating the search engine industry with a market share of roughly 65%, Google's Internet-based services like email and YouTube -- not to mention its smartphones like the new G2 Google Android Phone with 4G speed -- would have facilitated the spreading of his sage message to potential converts all over the world and in a fraction of the time. Although he may have run into some hurdles with Gmail's diligent spam blocker.
The itinerant founder of a Jewish restoration movement, Jesus had to do a whole lot of desert schlepping on nothing but a donkey. No doubt, the messiah would have been a proponent of high-speed rail and favored companies like General Electric (GE), which has entered into a $50 million partnership with China's CSR Corporation to roll out bullet trains in the US.
And when foot travel is necessary, Jesus would have eschewed those cheap, off-brand sandals for a soft, comfy, lightweight, odor-resistant pair of Crocs (CROX). Shares in the shoe manufacturer are trading at nearly 250% of its lowest price and momentum traders are taking heed.
A charismatic showman with an impressive bag of tricks, David Blaine has nothing on Jesus. His inaugural miracle, performed during a marriage celebration in Cana, required water. Pepsi Co (PEP) with its top selling Aquafina brand would therefore be a prudent investment in a continually growing bottled water market. But the messiah isn't always available to make free wine for our weddings and Catholic masses. That's why he'd defer to the largest wine retailer, number one wholesale buying club and JPMorgan Chase top stock pick, Costco (COST).
Speaking of miracles, Jesus certainly would have been the type to help a brother out -- like Moses who had to part the Red Sea using just his bare hands. During their great escape from the encroaching Egyptians, Moses could have swept across the inlet without all that "Shazam! Alacazoo!" on a Yamaha Cruiser High Output Wave Runner while carrying up to three Israelites per trip.
In that mad dash to flee Egypt after the abolition of their enslavement, the Jews wanted bread but didn't have time to wait for it to rise and thus had to eat it unleavened. Had a Panera Bread (PNRA), with its wide assortment freshly baked artisan and specialty breads, been on their route out of town, observant Jews wouldn't be forced to eat tasteless matzo every year on Passover. Like any good Jew, Jesus would have loved a hearty rye.
As the leader an apocalyptic movement, Jesus portended a host of nasty plagues. Before his Second Coming, when the locusts "will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen," you can bet your last dollar that stock in department stores like Sears (SHLD), which carry a variety of pest control products and bug zappers, will hit the hail-dented roof.
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