Market Overview

5 Stocks For The End Of The NBA Lockout

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Basketball fans must be breathing an audible sigh of relief on news that NBA players and owner have reached a tentative deal to end their 149-day stalemate and resume basketball-related activities. If the deal is ratified, training camp and free agent signings could commence as soon as Dec. 9 with the first games of the shortened 66-game season scheduled for Christmas Day.

The deal is far from perfect, but it lasts for a decade and either the owners or the players can opt out after six years. For now, the current deal, which is expected to be ratified in the coming days, will suffice. Hey, it's good enough to get Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade, Dirk and all the other stars back on the court. Maybe Kim Kardashian's ex-husband will find a job as well.

Kidding aside, there are some stocks that might be worth a look now that the NBA will actually be playing games again soon. Here are few to get you started.

Nike (NYSE: NKE): Shares of the largest maker of athletic shoes and apparel are up more than 5% and are within spitting distance of their 52-week high. Maybe that's attributable to robust Black Friday sales, but part Monday's good fortune for Nike can probably be tied to the good news out of the NBA. More than any other sport, Nike relies on the NBA to generate sales and that's hard to do when no games are being played. In the event of a Santa Claus rally, Nike's probably on its way to $100 or higher.

Foot Locker (NYSE: FL): If the 5% that Nike is up today doesn't impress you, try the 9% Foot Locker has surged as of this writing. As is the case with Nike, some of the bullishness in Foot Locker can be tied to Black Friday. Then again, some of it should be tied to the NBA season fast approaching as well. Foot Locker's target demographic, at least one, is young people that love to wear the same kicks as their NBA idols. Sterne Agee upgraded the stock today. Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) is another retailer to consider.

Madison Square Garden (NYSE: MSG): The company that owns the New York Knicks and owns the arena in which the team plays is a logical candidate to move on favorable NBA news and the shares are doing just that up more than 9.3% today. Miller Tabak upgraded the stock today and Gabelli reiterated its bullish view on the shares. We're betting Knicks fans go another year without a title, but at least they have somewhere to watch the Knicks extend decades of heartbreak.

Under Armour (NYSE: UA): Don't forget about this once-hot growth name. Under Armour is up 5.3% today and even with that, the stock has about another 10% to run to get back to its 52-week high. The company isn't Nike when it comes to endorsers that are NBA superstars, but young guns Brandon Jennings, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker and Greivis Vasquez do don Under Armour gear.

Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS): Think about it: When you're not watching an NBA game on a local network or NBA League Pass, there's a good chance you're watching it on ABC or ESPN, both units of Dow component Disney. No NBA games meant lost advertising revenue for Disney. Since Disney has a lot of moving parts beyond ESPN, the NBA news is only having a muted impact on the stock today, but make no mistake: ESPN is a key driver of Mickey's earnings.

Twitter: OK, Twitter isn't public yet, but if it were, it'd be a great NBA stock because NBA players are voracious Twitter users. Consider this our fun addition to the list.

Bull case: NBA fans don't feel jilted by the lockout and head to games and stores to load up on their favorite gear. The more acts of contrition the owners and players engage in with fans, the better for all of the these stocks. Of course, a Santa Claus rally won't hurt.

Bear case: Consumers start paring back spending this holiday season and fans don't tune into or go to games. Remember, NBA games are pricey to start with and cost-conscious fans may pass on game tickets and expense shoes this holiday season.

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