There is a strong revival of retail stocks occurring after two years of the damage done by a free fall in consumer expenditures. Retail companies that are part of the S&P 500 have been among the top gainers so far this year. For the last week Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) is up over 11%. Coach (NYSE: COH) has risen 5% as has Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD). Limited and Urban Outfitters are also among the stocks with the largest increases for the month to date and year to date.
Among the shares that have been hurt the most are those of homebuilders. S&P recently predicted that home prices will drop another 7% to 10% in 2011. Home sales and housing starts have been poor while foreclosures remain high. PulteGroup (NYSE PHM) fell 10% this last week and D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) was down 7%. PulteGroup is also on the declines for the month to date and year to date.
Douglas A. McIntyre