Retail watch: Sales hard to ring up outside of auto and healthcare

|By:, SA News Editor

Economists forecast retail sales rose 0.4% in August which will mark a slight acceleration from July's pace, although they note auto sales likely accounted for a good portion of the month's momentum.

The early read on September for U.S. retailers is that a continuation of weak mall traffic and a heightened promotional stance is occurring.

By sector, retailers with a mix of healthcare products (WAG, COST) or sitting in the sweet spot where consumer "trade down" (TJX, ROST, SIG) to their products are holding up better than many apparel sellers (AEO, ARO, LTD, GPS, M, KSS).

Related ETFs: XRT, RTH, PMR, RETL.