Worries about the state of the U.S. consumer amid the ongoing credit and housing crises and crude prices flirting with the $100/bbl. marker have taken a toll on the retail sector of late, leading Barron's to say there may be some bargains to be had for those in the market for retail stocks.
One fund manager said retailers are one of the few sectors that appear to be pricing-in a fear of a recession and that they, therefore, are more attractive than many other stocks. Barron's, meanwhile, notes that the group is trading near levels that have historically signalled a bottom is near, even though earnings are growing at a faster pace than the S&P 500. Among the stocks highlighted by Barron's are American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Limited Brands, Kohl's and Macy's. Although the retailers could be pinched even further if energy and food prices continue to rise or if merchants are forced into too many markdowns during the holiday season, Barron's says shares of the "right retailers" with promising outlooks and depressed share prices could might be right for investors' shopping lists.
Commentary: Christmas Is Looking A Bit Dreary • Retail's Dismal Performance a Reason to Short on Any Bounce
Stocks to watch: AEO, ANF, WMT, BBY, HD, LTD, KSS, M. Competitors: TGT, SKS, LOW, CC. ETFs: RTH, XRT, PMR