The Market Vectors®Retail ETF (RTH) seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors US Listed Retail 25 Index (MVRTHTR). The Index is a rules-based index intended to track the overall performance of 25 of the largest U.S. listed, publicly traded retail companies.
See more details on sponsor's website
The price chart for cotton officially becomes a set of stairs as cotton is limit up again, the May contract hitting a new record of $2.1970/pound. No news surrounding the move, but that won't ease the pain for apparel makers and retailers. BAL +5.2%, RTH -0.5%, XRT -1.1%.
February retail sales showed solid consumer spending, with both high- and low-end department stores faring well (interactive list) and full-price purchases boding well for spring merchandise. So if sales were so great, why are retail stocks (RTH) lagging today? Among the reasons: Fewer retailers are reporting monthly numbers - three biggies just stopped this month.
There was much excitement about the revival in consumer spending this holiday season, but the celebration may have been premature. Many consumers simply plan to cut back in January to make up for their splurges in December.
More snow fallout: With Eastern U.S. storms shaking up one of the year's busiest shopping days, retailers might have to deepen discounts to get snowbound shoppers out of their homes: "Look for sales to be repeated... They’re going to be more aggressive. They’ve got to throw another party."
American Eagle (AEO) is -4.5% after getting downgraded to Neutral by Susquehanna analysts who expect American Eagle's shares to enter "a holding pattern with no meaningful catalyst to drive near-term appreciation.” Rivals are down too: ARO -2.2%, ANF -1.4%.
Costco (COST +1%) is getting a nice bounce premarket after reporting a 9% rise in same-store sales vs. expectations of +6.3%. Excluding fluctuations in currencies and gasoline prices, sales were up 6%. Other retailers are showing similar strength (I, II).
One more Black Friday survey: Shoppers favored cash, with the lowest percentage ever using credit cards over the weekend: 16.3%, vs. 30.9% last year. It's another caution for retail forecasts, as customers may spend twice as much when using credit. (Black Friday retail spending)
Shoppers swarmed to Black Friday sales and retailers exuded a rare optimism, but retail spending rose only 0.3% from the previous year, to $10.69B from $10.66B, as a more discriminating public shopped more carefully for discounts and bought more goods online.
Toys R Us CEO Jerry Storch sums it up for retailers: "I believe it’s going to be the biggest Black Friday we’ve had. Everyone has been focused on decreasing prices and these prices may never be repeated." But with many of the consumers lured in by rock-bottom prices, it's unclear sales will translate into profits.
With e-commerce spending expected to rise 11% this holiday season, investors are giving Amazon (AMZN) a vote of confidence and a hefty bounce ahead of Black Friday. Shares +4.9%. Other retail gainers: EBAY +2.7%. OSTK +4.4%. TGT +3%.
ICSC Retail Store Sales:-0.6% W/W, vs. -0.1% last week. +2.8% Y/Y, vs. +3.4% last week. A pre-holiday lull ahead of Black Friday prompted the W/W decline, but the report still sees strong growth of +3-4% Y/Y.