Markets

Two Under-The-Radar Stocks Could Help Hedge Against Inflation, Trader Says

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Rising concerns around inflation have one trader looking past the market's most popular names for protection.

"In these markets, we want stocks that are able to maintain their margins and pass along cost increases," Eva Ados, COO and chief investment strategist at ERShares, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Wednesday.

"In our case, though, we have two unusual stocks that are able to widen their margins."

Ados' first pick was Epam Systems, an enterprise software company with a substantial global footprint that can take advantage of operating in lower-cost regions.

That strategy has helped propel the stock over 4,400% in the past decade and can likely take it further, Ados said.

"More and more companies ... want to cut down their costs," she said. "They want to decrease their dependence on the labor markets here and they want to build scalable growth platforms, automated platforms that can help them grow in the future. That's where Epam comes in."

Her other protection play was digital advertising company Trade Desk, which has seen significant revenue and earnings growth thanks to the nature of its business, she said.

Up more than 200% since the start of 2020, Trade Desk is "benefiting from the shift we're seeing towards programmatic advertising," Ados said. "Companies want to automate their advertising and use data to make better decisions. ... This company can withstand inflationary pressures and widen margins and continue to grow in the future."

Investors have a third inflation protection play right in front of them, Miller Tabak's chief market strategist, Matt Maley, said in the same interview.

"One of the groups that really looks good is the health-care sector," he said.

Not only is health care fairly inflation-resistant — few consumers are likely to skip necessary medical procedures — but the underlying stocks have been trending in the right direction, Maley said, pointing to a chart of the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV).

"On a short-term basis, it's broken above its multiweek trend line, so that's bullish," he said. "It's also made a nice little minor higher high, higher low and then another higher high on top of that, so that's bullish. And the other thing to note is that it's seen a positive cross on its MACD chart."

Moving average convergence divergence readings help chart analysts track a given security's momentum and pinpoint possible price or trend changes.

"The last year or so, every single time we've seen a positive MACD cross, it's been followed by a very strong rally," Maley said. "So this is setting up very, very nicely on a technical basis, and if you go along with that fundamental argument, I think this is a really good play, especially into the end of the year."

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