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Goldman’s wintry play: Cold-weather stocks that could keep your portfolio warm

Goldman’s polar portfolio picks

The weather outside may be frightful, but Goldman Sachs has stock suggestions that could be delightful for investors' portfolios.

Goldman's options research team came out with a list of stocks that have "strong fundamental links to cold weather" — in other words, stocks that could do well as the weather gets colder.

This includes natural gas stocks like Southwestern Energy, which benefits from increased demand for home heating, along with consumer discretionary stocks like Domino's Pizza, which may benefit from a greater desire to have one's food delivered during frigid weather.

Also on the list are cold-weather apparel specialist Columbia Sportswear, car-parts providers Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone, and a few other energy and consumer discretionary companies.

The Goldman team, led by Katherine Fogertey and John Marshall, found that this group of stocks outperformed the by 9 percent in cold winters — and underperformed by 2 percent in warm ones.

Due to this divergence, they suggest buying bullish call options to profit from a potentially colder winter, explaining that "the options market is not pricing in the potential for these stocks to trade sharply higher if the cold weather of recent stays."

Yet not everyone is on board with the tundra trade.

"This is a horrendous idea," Oppenheimer head of technical analysis Ari Wald said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "This is a strategy based solely on predicting what the weather is going to be."

The trade is indeed very likely to lose money if the weather turns warm. But in Goldman's defense, its argument is that the potential for an overly cold winter is currently being underappreciated, making these bets clever.

If forced to buy one of these stocks, Wald would choose Columbia Sportswear — a "big underperformer" that now looks to be forming a bottom.