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Cold weather stocks may get a boost next week

NYSE New York Stock Exchange traders markets
Henny Ray Abrams | AP

Shares of Generac Holdings, a maker of energy generators, and other cold weather plays may get a boost next week as frigid temperatures fall on most of the United States, according to traders. The cold surge hits the northern Rockies Monday with highs 10 degrees to 30 degrees below average.

"They're finally getting a big storm," said Pete Najarian, an options trader and "Fast Money" contributor. "A big storm hit a little earlier the last few years."

Najarian owns shares of Generac, which is based in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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The last two Octobers marked a turning point for Generac's stock, with the biggest gains coming two years ago following Superstorm Sandy. At the end of last year, it was a so-called polar vortex that boosted its shares.

The 2013 cold air surge was so great that it cost the U.S. economy close to $5 billion in lost productivity, according to estimates from weather intelligence company Planalytics.

The United States Natural Gas Fund may also see increased interest next week as people crank up those thermostats. The cold is expected to hit the Northeast Thursday. Snow showers are in the forecast for that region the following Sunday into Monday night.

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Home Depot, the world's largest home-improvement retailer, may benefit from earlier and bigger sales of snow shovels and de-icing salt. Compass Minerals is a publicly traded maker of that salt, so it also stands to gain ground.

Alaska's Aleutian Islands are the initial target for the storm. Because they are much less densely populated than the Northeast, it shouldn't be detrimental as Sandy, which ripped up the low-lying areas of New York City.

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