Traditional retail stocks did not get a break in the month which ended Thanksgiving. There was no renewed optimism they can successfully battle e-commerce this holiday season. The fact among the large department stores stocks were uniformly weak is another measure that the entire industry is in trouble, and headed for more
In the last month, the S&P 500 is up a mere 1% to 2,587.84. Among the bricks-and-mortar retailers, Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD), the financially weakest of the large retailers, posted a share drop of 36% to $5.17. J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) dropped 11% to $3.69. Macy’s (NYSE: M) shares were down 3.5% to $18.16. Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) was down 1% $38.30. Target (NYSE: TGT) shares were down 7% to $59.90
Specialty stores did better in some cases. Shares of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) were up 2.4% for the month to $55.93. Shares of The Gap (NYSE: GPS) were up almost 8% to $26.35. Shares of Best Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) were flat at $20.15.
It has been pointed out so often that it is barely worth mentioning. Wal-Mart (NYSE WMT) shares have traded up over 8% in the last month to $90.26. That continues an increase which has lasted all year as Wal-Mart’s shares have risen 41% in 2017. Its most recent earnings showed that it can post strong sales both within it stores and online. It has been able to hold the fort against Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN)
Some intrepid investors continue to hold or trade into the stocks on the hope that at the end of the year, a few of theses wounded retailers will post better than expected earnings and same store sales. The lessons of last year’s holiday should not be lost on them, nor should the evidence of trouble throughout this year. The forecast that the industry is dead, spoken so frequently, is true.