It’s been nothing but bad news for the retail sector lately, with structural headwinds from a weak U.S. consumer to online competition like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The news is filled with reports of weak traffic, struggles for mall operators and a decline in retail spending.
The woes for the American shopper are a bit of a head-scratcher given the unemployment rate is at 4.4%, personal income growth is steady and energy prices have recently weakened.
Yet indicators suggest something is amiss: Gasoline demand is dropping at a rate not seen since 2011, retail sales have been sliding for months, and the personal savings rate has been ticking higher. Caution, not confidence, is in the air.
These headwinds are mixing with some additional, company-specific woes to batter these three retail stocks: