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  • Consumer Debt Weighs In On Retail ETF’s (SCC, SZK, XRT) 0 comments
    Aug 13, 2009 2:14 PM | about stocks: CHS, PSS, EXPE, GAP, GES, GYMB, JCG, JCP, LB, RSH, SCC, SZK, XRT

    empty-shopping-cartThe dot com boom and the real estate bubble gave consumers confidence and a way to spend like it would never end.  The bubbles have burst and deleveraging is taking a toll on consumers.  We can no longer sell our Qualcomm stock for $500/share or swipe our ATM card through our home as many did for the last 10 years.  Where will consumer spending come from for the next ten years?

    Approximately 30% of US household wealth was destroyed by the real estate collapse and the 2008 stock market crash.  Currently it stands at about $15 trillion, down 30% from $22 trillion at the 2007 peak.  With consumer household debt at approximately $13 trillion, this leaves us with $2 trillion in assets.  The debt burden is taking a toll on the consumer as home values continue to fall and banks cut their credit limits.  The consumer would rather save than spend as it deals with a lack of assets.

    Markets have been pricing a recovery in consumer spending which accounts for 70% of GDP but, retail sales last month disappointed.  The commerce department reported today that retail sales fell 0.1 percent last month as economists had expected a gain of 0.7 percent.  All eyes will be on the fall retail spending as back to school shopping accounts for much of retail sales.  The SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) which comprises of approximately 60 stocks that follow the US retail market has enjoyed 50% gains since it’s November 2008 low. 

    Here is a list of the top 10 companies listed within the ETF below:

    • Expedia, Inc. (EXPE)
    • GAP INC (GPS)
    • GUESS INC. (GES)
    • Gymboree Corporation  (GYMB)

    Investors may looking to book some profits after today’s retail numbers, and the UltraShort Consumer Services ProShares (SCC) & UltraShort Consumer Goods ProShares (SZK) bet against the consumer.

    'Disclosure:  No Positions'

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