Don’t run away from retail, look at these 3 names instead: Traders

The biggest names in retail have seen huge drops after a string of dismal earnings announcements. But traders are looking at three companies that could turn the retail wreck around.

Stacey Gilbert, head of derivative strategy at Susquehanna Financial Group, joined CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday to show that options traders think a few choice stocks may be in the bargain bin.

Department store chain J.C. Penney was one of Gilbert's picks despite a disappointing earnings report that sent the stock plunging. Though the company missed estimates, in last week's earnings call CEO Marvin Ellison praised the incorporation of makeup giant Sephora into stores, the chain's 27 new locations, and the growth of J.C. Penney's online shopping platform as positives that shaped the company's first quarter.

Perhaps it was these apparent green shoots that had options traders speculating on the name.

"Our eyes were caught by a couple of what I would call bullish or speculative types of trades, one of them was in J.C. Penney after they had released their earnings," said Gilbert. "The stock was trading down, we saw what I would call bottom fishers so that's kind of taking a shot here and buying some June 8-strike calls."

Read MoreRetail's bloodbath creates buying opportunity for this department store: Analyst

Another stock that has traders buzzing is T.J. Maxx owner TJX, especially after the company's earnings report Tuesday. The off-price fashion retailer crushed the competition with a 10 percent increase in store sales from last quarter and an increase in earnings per share to 76 cents from a year earlier, making it the only big-name retailer so far that has exceeded expectations.

TJX's chief executive, Ernie Herrman, followed the earnings report by praising the retailer's strong customer base and global reach, emphasizing that the second quarter, too, "is off to a solid start."

Rich Ross, head of technical analysis at Evercore ISI was of the same mindset Monday on "Trading Nation," pointing out that TJX's short- and long-term performance show that it can weather even the growing trend toward e-commerce.

"The U.S. consumer's not dead, they're just shopping at T.J. Maxx," he quipped. "In fact, this stock is up more than Amazon.com on a year-to-date basis, and that's extremely impressive, up almost 6 percent."

Ross pointed out that T.J. Maxx is actually up 800 percent since 2008 and following a trend that mirrors e-commerce giant Amazon, which he thinks makes parent TJX worth the investment.

Williams-Sonoma rounded out Gilbert's list of options traders' bets on retailers' earnings. The home furnishings and appliances giant has seen its sales increase steadily since 2010, and the next test will come when it unveils its earnings report Wednesday.


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Trader Bios


Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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