Since October 1:
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: +7.4%
- S&P 500: +7.3%
- Nasdaq: +8.7%
- Walmart: +14.2%
- Target: +20.9%
- Apple: +14.9%
- Best Buy: +19.9%
Here is what the rebound of the U.S. consumer means for the economy in 2015:
Apple Watch: Whenever the Apple Watch and its zillions of accessories hit the market in early 2015, consumers frantically buying the pricey iPhone 6 and 6+ this holiday season bodes well for a non-essential product starting at $349. That appetite to wear an iPad mini on one's wrist could equate to rising sales and earnings projections by Wall Street on Apple, and a stock that not only climbs higher as a result, but lifts the broader market given the tech giant's index weightings. Happy Apple shareholders that so happen to use their largest holding's products, could positively influence online cash registers at the likes of Macy's Bloomingdales division and of course, Amazon.
Also don't rule out the possibility for a game-changing new product (or, finally, Beats by Dre retail stores) from Beats by Dre next year that is met with robust consumer enthusiasm and additional estimate raises by analysts. Holiday season 2014 was where the expensive Beats by Dre brand reached Main Street due to modest discounts at Apple stores, Walmart and Target. In effect, via its light discounting Apple has just created a new upgrade cycle for the Beats by Dre brand. Sound familiar?
Semiconductors: All of the love being tossed the direction of Apple products, and non-Apple products, by emboldened consumers will benefit semiconductors like Broadcom, Qualcomm and SanDisk. It may already be taking hold. In early December, trade group SEMI raised its 2015 outlook for semiconductor demand. Even Microchip Technology, which issued a warning in October of an industry slowdown that rocked markets, is experiencing improving trends.
"We are now even more confident that the small correction that we experienced in the September quarter is behind us," said Microchip Technology CEO Steve Sanghi on Dec. 2. The iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector has gained 7.6 percent in the past three-months vs. a 6.7-percent increase for the Nasdaq Composite.