EC Retail Roundup

Being an equity bear has been brutal for, oh, nearly eight years now. With the S&P up about 250% since bottoming in March 2009, equities have been, on the whole, raging higher, with some sectors in particular benefiting tremendously from the Trumpgasm. One area, though, seems to be recognizing a bitterly cold chill of reality, and that is retail.

Not everything retail is weak, of course, Amazon has had an astonishing run (and we’ll see if it holds together when they report next week), and some stocks such as Autozone (AZO) and O’Reilly Auto Parts (ORLY) have cranked out multi-hundred percent gains for years now. But many retail companies, particularly those having to do with clothing, have been getting whacked. Take, for instance, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), which I’ve picked on endlessly: it is actually lower than it was at the greatest depths of the financial crisis. For how many stocks could you make that statement?

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Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) has a quite well-formed head and shoulders pattern (whose neckline is shown with a red horizontal below) that suggests much lower prices to come.

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Be careful not to confuse this with a very similar symbol, however – Best Buy (BBY) – which, competition from Amazon (AMZN) be damned, is defying gravity and broke above resistance this year.

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Let’s get back to the bearish charts, though: Shoe retailer Finish Line (FINL) has been trending lower for months, and the analog is going beautifully:

0128-FINL

Another storefront at your local luxury mall is Kate Spade (KATE). It found strength off and on recently due to buyout chatter (they are desperately trying to sell themselves), but the pattern is bearish, and just so you are clear, just because a company is for sale doesn’t mean there will be any buyers. Just ask Twitter.

0128-KATE

Speaking of analogs, take a look at Macy’s (M). Even though the stock has lost over half its value, if history is any guide, they are doomed as doomed can be (this is more impressive if you say it in an Ed Grimley voice).

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