Whether these stocks can snap out of that slump may hinge on what a
clutch of high-profile names in the sector has to say about the
health of consumer spending next week.
The S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector index <.SPLRCD> is down
1.1 percent since the end of 2013, the worst performance of any of
the 10 macro sectors so far this year, while the benchmark index is
up 6.2 percent.
Profit estimates for the sector have deteriorated as well, shrinking
by the most of any sector other than materials since Jan. 1.
Earnings are now expected to have risen just 8.7 percent for the
year, compared with 13.5 percent at the start of the year, Thomson
Reuters data showed.
As profit estimates have fallen faster than stock prices in the
sector, price-to-earnings multiples have shot higher, making the
group the priciest in the S&P 500 at 18.6 times estimated earnings.
Next week brings results from a couple of the bull market's big
performers: Bed Bath and Beyond <BBBY.O> on the retail front and
Nike <NKE.N> in sports apparel. Investors will also see earnings
next week from Carnival <CCL.N>, which has not performed quite as
"It's one of the sectors that has really had a lot of the froth
burnt out of it," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at
Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, New Jersey. "Worries
over the strength of the consumer, particularly in the lower end and
middle, is ... reflected in the shares."
With turmoil in Iraq and rising oil prices, fuel costs during the
U.S. summer travel season may be chief among those concerns, she
said. That makes companies' third-quarter forecasts important.
Bed Bath and Beyond is down 25.2 percent for the year, while Nike is
down 4.5 percent and Carnival is down 2.6 percent.
Other signs of trouble have come from consumer discretionary
[to top of second column]
More S&P 500 consumer discretionary companies have warned on the
second quarter than any other sector, with 22 negative outlooks -
including ones from Bed Bath and Beyond and Carnival - and zero
positive ones, Thomson Reuters data showed.
On Thursday, Coach <COH.N>'s shares tumbled when it forecast during
an investor day presentation that revenue will fall by low double
digits in percentage terms for the year ending June 2015. The stock
fell 11.8 percent this week.
"They managed to significantly exceed to the downside an already low
bar," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at
Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.
"It's not as if everything in retail is a disaster, but from a
stocks standpoint, it would be smarter to underweight positions in
Further clues on the consumer front may come from economic data,
with reports on consumption and consumer confidence also due next
U.S. consumer spending is expected to have rebounded 0.4 percent in
May after dipping 0.1 percent in April, a Thomson Reuters poll
showed. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index is expected to edge up to
83.5 in June from 83 in May.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal)
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