It wasn’t quite a Merry Christmas for retailers and investors paid the price as the sector suffered the majority of losses in Wednesday’s trading. Adding to the gloom contained in an east-coast winter storm was a lack of any progress in budget talks, even as President Obama left the warmth of Hawaii to fly back to Washington and try to make a deal.
The net result was a loss on the day despite some good news on the housing front, as the Case-Schiller Index showed another rise in new home prices in October. The Nasdaq took the biggest fall, dropping 0.74% to 2,990.16, while the S&P 500 lost 0.48% to 1,419.83 and the Dow fell 0.19% at 13,114.59.
Retailers winced on news of weakness in sales in the eight weeks leading to Christmas. The sector, once again, was down broadly on the day, led by Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) which was down nearly 7% by the end of the trading session.
Sector mates Coach (NYSE:COH, -5.9%), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF, -3.5%), and Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL, -3.3%) also saw shares sink on the news. E-tailer Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) tumbled as well, falling just under 4%.
Bucking the trend was J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) which maintained Monday’s momentum from a “buy” recommendation from Oppenheimer (NYSE:OPY). Penney closed on Monday up over 1% and added another 4%% today.
Also basking in some good news was Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), which saw shares climb over over 11% on no particular news. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) also rose just over 5% after hiring a strategic advisor and announcing it will hold an analyst and investor meeting next month in response to comments from hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.
- Alpha Natural (NYSE:ANR): Up 5.54% (50 cents) to $9.53
- Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU): Up 4.83%% ($4.68) to $101.45
- Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Up 3.67%% (17 cents) to $4.80
- Radioshack (NYSE:RSH): Down 4.22% (10 cents) to $2.27
- Under Armour (NYSE:UA): Down 3.25% ($1.60) to $47.65
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG): Down 2.36% (7 cents) to $2.89
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.