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Better Buy: Costco vs. Lowe’s

It’s a tough matchup. Costco (NASDAQ:COST) is the king of the warehouse shopping world, edging out Walmart‘s (NYSE:WMT) membership-based venue Sam’s Club. Home-improvement name Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) may not be as big as rival Home Depot (NYSE:HD), but CEO Marvin Ellison — a former Home Depot executive — is turning up the heat on the company’s competition. Both are perfectly fine holdings for most long-term investors.

If there’s only room for one in your portfolio, there are a couple reasons that Lowe’s is the better buy right now. Let me explain.

Man plotting arrows, one rising faster than others.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why not Costco?

Don’t misread the message. Costco doesn’t face an existential crisis. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the retailer was riding high on several years of unfettered growth. The last time it struggled in a big way was during 2008’s fallout of the subprime mortgage meltdown, and even then, it fared

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This Week: Home sales, Costco earns, durable goods orders

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

WHITE HOT HOUSING MARKET

U.S. home sales have surged this summer, fueled by ultra-low mortgage rates and competition for a limited supply of properties.

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes jumped by a record 24.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million homes. That was the second straight month of accelerating home purchases. Economists expect the trend continued last month. The National Association of Realtors issues its August home sales tally Tuesday.

Existing home sales, in millions, seasonally adjusted annual rate:

March 5.27

April 4.33

May 3.91

June 4.70

July 5.86

Aug. (est.) 5.95

Source: FactSet

SPOTLIGHT ON COSTCO

Wall Street expects that Costco Wholesale’s latest quarterly report card will show solid results.

Analysts predict the membership warehouse club will report Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue increased from

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