Coronavirus concerns have Americans running out to bulk retailers and driving up their stock prices - first, we're going to get to see how well Costco ($COST) did during the holidays. 

The retailer will announce earnings March 5 and analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS $2.06. So far this year, shares are up nearly 9% in a year where nearly nothing else is. 

But, for Costco, that's not all that's going up. Quite a bit of alternative data factors are signaling improvement for Costco, among them, recent spikes in its Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count show that more consumers are engaging with the brand. Costco has enjoyed trends of rising Talking About Count, punctuated by all-time highs in engagement in August and December of last year. 

It's not just the Coronavirus and holiday shopping season that has Costco on more people's minds - clearly. Store count has risen for Costco nearly 25% year-over-year, and that's a factor that will help it in last year's Q4, as well as in 2020. 

Part of what is creating challenges for consumer and retail companies from Nike to Starbucks is their increased presence in Chinese markets, now mostly hobbled from the Coronavirus outbreak. On the other hand, US-based companies with limited international exposure may be able to position themselves to outperform in a very different market in 2020, by relying on domestic business. 

Below, our map tracks Costco locations in the US. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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