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Walmart and Target are the early favorites among analysts going into the holiday shopping season

A shopper is seen in a Target store in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Target and Walmart are shaping up to be Wall Street's front-runners to win the holiday shopping season.

Cowen named Target and Walmart its top holiday picks, in what it calls an "inequitable" holiday season "where value matter most." Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it sees upside to the retailers' third and fourth quarter same-store sales numbers, on the heels of their quarterly earnings.

"We believe WMT and TGT are better positioned heading into holiday as we expect both retailers to see continued physical and digital momentum," said Cowen retail analyst Oliver Chen.

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