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Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY)

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  • Feb. 3, 2014, 7:15 PM
    • State Streets Global Advisors announced a fee cut on 9 ETFs; taking expenses down from 0.18% to 0.16% on the effected funds.
    • Assets under management for these 9 funds nearly tripled in 2013, driving SSgA to drop their prices; this could allow them to better compete with other market sector ETFs.
    • The 9 effected ETFs: XLB, XLE, XLF, XLI, XLK, XLP, XLU, XLV, XLY
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  • Jan. 24, 2014, 8:11 AM
    • If you're looking for a bear on the retail industry, look no further than Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz.
    • During his company's earnings conference call, Schultz didn't blame the weather, strapped consumers, or heavy promotions for comparable-store sales falling below expectations as he warned on a larger trend: A lack of boots in the streets.
    • "Holiday 2013 was the first in which many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers experienced in-store foot traffic give way to online shopping in a major way," said Schultz.
    • He says the "pronounced" shift in consumer behavior is accelerating and isn't likely to reverse, but Starbucks is one of the few B&M chains well-positioned to evolve while the ground crumbles around the retail landscape.
    • Starbucks earnings call transcript
    • Related ETFs:  XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, PMR, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
    | 10 Comments
  • Jan. 24, 2014, 4:38 AM
    • The FBI has discovered about 20 cyberattacks against retailers in the past year similar to the one against Target and has warned companies to prepare for more attempts to breach their systems.
    • The attack on Target used "memory-parsing" malware that infects point-of-sale (POS) systems such as cash registers and credit-card swiping machines to steal information from tens of millions of cards.
    • "The accessibility of the malware on underground forums, the affordability of the software and the huge potential profits to be made from retail POS systems in the United States make this type of financially motivated cyber crime attractive to a wide range of actors," the FBI said.
    • "Everybody we work with in the retail space is scared to death," says a cyber-security consultant. "They don't have a lot of defenses to prepare against these types of attacks."
    • ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, PEJ, IYK, FXD, PMR, FDIS, UGE, RCD, PEZ, SZK, PSCD
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  • Jan. 19, 2014, 1:48 AM
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  • Jan. 17, 2014, 4:18 PM
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  • Jan. 17, 2014, 3:06 PM
    • The hacker behind the massive data breach at Target (TGT -1%) is a 17-year old Russian, according to intelligence firm IntelCrawler.
    • Though Target and Neiman Marcus have been front and center with their disclosures, the malicious malware involved in the attack is now out in the wild and could be used against any retailer which has a point-of-sale vulnerability.
    • The scope of the security breach, along with the sudden interest by Congress in the issue, has increased the likelihood that the entire retail sector may be forced to upgrade their systems at a steep cost.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, PMR, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
    | 5 Comments
  • Jan. 16, 2014, 1:12 PM
    • Retail ETFs continue to under-perform market indexes for the year as the hits keep coming in the sector. Today's dismantling of Best Buy follows up a relentless string of guidance cuts from apparel sellers and department store chains.
    • Though many companies are taking advantage of their vibrant e-commerce channels, in most cases it's not enough to make up for soft store traffic.
    • Weakness at malls in particular is a risk for the group. In that vein, five of the top ten holdings (FRAN, ANF, M, FINL, CAB) of the S&P Retail ETF (XRT) are companies that frequently set up shop at or near malls.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, VCR, IPD, RTH, RETL, FXD, RXI, PMR, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD, AXDI
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  • Jan. 14, 2014, 10:34 AM
    • The National Retail Federation reports holiday sales rose 3.8% Y/Y to $601.B to fall just short of the forecast for a 3.9% gain.
    • If the 3.8% rise doesn't jibe with the rash of sales warnings piling up in the retail sector, it's due in part to the reliance of the industry on promotions and e-commerce channels this year to pick up the slack from soft store traffic. For the most part, margins suffered mightily this holiday season.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, IYC, FXD, SCC, UCC, PMR, FDIS, UGE, RCD, PEZ, SZK, PSCD
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  • Jan. 13, 2014, 3:13 PM
    • Retail ETFs are getting harder hit than the market as a whole as a slew of profit and sales warnings pile up with the XCR XChange Conference in full swing.
    • While data reads showing weak store traffic and heavy promotions in the sector during the holiday shopping season have been out for a few weeks, there have also been a few surprises on the low-end with discounters and with high-end apparel sellers which has chipped away at trust in Q1 retail sales.
    • What to watch: A report of December retail sales is due out tomorrow. To take a pulse on the sector, back out automobiles, housing-related purchases, and furniture to see what kind of growth rate survives. The number could come in flat.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, PMR, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
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  • Jan. 12, 2014, 2:10 AM
    • Major retailers other than Target (TGT) were the victims of cyber-attacks on customer credit card data during the holiday season, with Reuters reporting that hackers breached at least three well-known chains using methods similar to those used on Target.
    • However, as is often the way in the sector, the companies involved have yet to disclose the assaults.
    • The attacks are in addition to one on Neiman Marcus. The luxury retailer said on Friday that it is looking into the theft of data from customer payment cards, although the luxury department store doesn't know how many people have been affected.
    • Gartner analyst Avivah Litan says she learned about a separate series of beaches going back to a few months before Thanksgiving. These could have been used as trial runs for the big assault on Target, which said on Friday that the data of up to 70M people may have been stolen, not the 40M that was previously disclosed.
    • ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, PEJ, IYK, FXD, PMR, FDIS, UGE, RCD, PEZ, SZK, PSCD
    | 19 Comments
  • Jan. 9, 2014, 3:13 PM
    • Though the economy might pick up this year and provide a little more spending cash for consumers, analysts warn that retailers will face the tricky task of reversing the dependence of shoppers on deals and promotions.
    • A younger generation of consumers is growing up shopping empowered by their mobile devices and deal sites such as RetailMeNot.com (SALE).
    • Deloitte's Alison Paul thinks brands which come up with a must-have product or can differentiate themselves will be the ones to emerge from the promotional setting.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, IYC, FXD, SCC, UCC, PMR, FDIS, UGE, RCD, PEZ, PSCD, SZK
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  • Jan. 9, 2014, 8:26 AM
    • After the S&P Retail ETF (XRT) rose 36% last year some analysts are openly wondering if it's time for investors to pay the piper as negative momentum in the sector picks up even more steam.
    • SW Retail Advisors' Stacey Widlitz thinks that judgement day might be here after taking in the early round of disappointing reports on holiday sales from the retailer group. The final straw could be a disappointing read on the dollar store group which was forecast to be a resilient trade-down bet.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, PMR, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD.
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  • Jan. 8, 2014, 9:59 AM
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  • Jan. 7, 2014, 8:12 AM
    • A brutal weekly reading on store sales from ICSC-Goldman is directly attributable to winter storms and "statistical noise" from the end of the year.
    • Sales fell over 5% on the year-over-year comparison.
    • The research firm notes that the frigid weather has cut across retail except for grocery stores (KR, SVU, SWY, DEG, IMKTA) and online sellers (OSTK, NILE, BIDZ, AMZN) which saw sales levels hold up during the week.
    • Family dining restaurants (CAKE, RRGB, IRG, DIN, DENN, CBRL) saw traffic slow to a crawl due to the winter weather slam.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, PMR, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
    | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 6, 2014, 8:58 AM
    • Winter storms which dumped over ten inches of snow in a large number of U.S. cities (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, NYC region) has wreaked havoc on mall traffic, according to retail watchers.
    • In some major cities, malls were completely closed down due to the extreme snow.
    • The extended bout of wintry weather hit right as the sector was looking for a bounce from post-holiday deal shoppers and gift card conversions.
    • Analysts think most of the anticipated sales will be recouped, although a lag factor could in play. Apparel sellers could be the hardest hit as inventory starts to look stale.
    • On watch: AEO, ANF, ARO, JCP, JWN, KSS, URBN, APP, TLYS, GES, BKE, CHS, ASNA, CWTR, ANN, CBK, NWY, CACH, BODY, WTSL, CATO, BEBE, DDS, LB, PSUN, EXPR, DDS, M, GPS, SHLD.
    • Related ETFs: XLY, VCR, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
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  • Dec. 27, 2013, 7:32 AM
    • Holiday sales rose this year by 2.3% to easily top last year's 0.7% rise, according to fresh data from MasterCard Advisors. The mark falls short of the early projections from ShopperTrak and the NRF.
    • Jewelry (ZLC, SIG, NILE, TIF) and children's clothing were two categories that showed strong gains.
    • The shift to online channels was pronounced this year with mall traffic slow.  Online sales for the holiday season were up at a double-digit pace, but also fell short of some forecasts.
    • Related ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC, XRT, VCR, ECON, IPD, KXI, BJK, RTH, PBJ, RETL, PEJ, IYK, FXG, IPS, IYC, SCC, FXD, RXI, UCC, RHS, PMR, UGE, EMCG, FDIS, RCD, PSL, FSTA, PSCC, SZK, PEZ, PSCD, EMDI, AXDI, AXSL
    | 2 Comments
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XLY Description
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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Sector: Services
Country: United States
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