Dismal guidance from L Brands (LB -15.7%) is taking shares of other mall retailers lower. Kohl's (KSS -0.1%) also delivered an uninspiring Q4 earnings report, although it topped estimates.
While a surprising 20% drop in comparable sales for the once-resilient Victoria's Secret was alarming, the broader theme impacting the sector is that L Brands is having trouble selling soap, candles and higher-margin bras amid lower mall traffic.
Notable decliners include Urban Outfitters (URBN -2.5%), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO -2.3%), Nordstrom (JWN -2.7%), Stein Mart (SMRT -1.6%), Buckle (BKE -2.8%), Tilly's (TLYS -1.4%), J.C. Penney (JCP -2.1%), Abercrombia & Fitch (ANF -2%), Gap (GPS -1.7%), Tailored Brands (TLRD -0.4%) and Express (EXPR -2.2%).
Chief executives from some of the nation's biggest manufacturers are calling on House and Senate leadership to overhaul the corporate tax code and embrace a proposal that would reduce the cost of exports but penalize imports.
"We applaud your efforts to pursue tax reform that is both big and bold," the letter states. "Incremental tweaks will not level the playing field for American workers or dramatically reinvigorate economic growth."
Among the 16 executives who signed the letter are CEOs from Boeing (NYSE:BA), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) and United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) - all part of the newly formed American Made Coalition.
The plan faces significant opposition from the retail industry, however, with top industry leaders flying to Washington last week to press their case. They have established their own lobbying group, the Coalition for Affordable Products.
The retail sector gets a crack at explaining its position on tax reforms and economic growth in a White House meeting today with President Trump.
Reuters reports that Target (NYSE:TGT) CEO Brian Cornell, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) CEO Hubert Joly, Gap (NYSE:GPS) CEO Art Peck, Autozone (NYSE:AZO) CEO William Rhodes, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) CEO Stefano Pessina, J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) CEO Marvin Ellison, Jo-Ann Stores CEO Jill Soltau and Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO) CEO Gregory Sandfort will be in attendance.
Some major store chain names are lower after the retail sales report this morning showed weakness in some key categories and GameStop issued disappointing sales numbers for the holiday period.
Best Buy (BBY -0.7%), Wal-Mart (WMT -1%), Target (TGT -1.3%), Signet Jewelers (SIG -3%), J.C. Penney (JCP -1.6%), Nordstrom (JWN -1.4%) and Conn's (CONN -4%) are some of the stocks in the retail sector that are trailing market averages.
Earlier today, Stifel's Lindsay Piegza told Seeking Alpha that consumers are waiting for the proof of the Trump GDP breakout amid the reality of higher healthcare costs. At least for today, some investors may be doing the same.