Retail Moving

The “news flow” on CNBC this morning was highlighting some major jumps ( 6% range ) in some of the retail stocks this morning. Data on employment was better than expected and retail sales have been good.

I’m one of the world’s worst “shoppers” for things like “style” (my idea of clothes shopping is to go to Walmart and buy what costs least…) so this analysis would benefit greatly from someone who knew things like “what’s in”, what’s “trendy”, and what is just “Sooo last week”…

With that said, a selection of retail based on “names I’ve heard before”.

Retail Stocks - 6 month daily chartt

Retail Stocks - 6 month daily chartt

The main ticker here is “HOTT” Hot Topic. They are a specialty store selling to the younger set of teens and twenties. Rising nicely and with indicators saying that trend is still in place. ADX at 15 says the trend is weak (overall flat for the last month and a half) but MACD is “blue on top” after a crossover that stayed above the zero line. Upward trend intact after a short drop. RSI looks like it has gone into that 50-80-50 pattern of a rising stock that has “ripple” in the rise.

Some other tickers on this chart are:

ZLC  -  Zales a jewelry seller
DDS  -  Dillards department stores
MW   -  Men's Warehouse
RUE  -  Rue 21
ANF  -  Ambercromby and Fitch
AEO  -  Aeropostal
LTD  -  Limited Brands (Victoria Secret)
JWN  -  Nordstroms
KSS  -  Kohl's

Notice that the diamond business is rather volatile… The more upscale ANF is doing nicely, as is LTD. The surprise for me is DDS. This retail chain is more “Southern regional” so I don’t get to watch it much in person. Men’s Warehouse also doing nicely. Guess guys are getting optimistic and buying interviewing suits ;-)

The laggards are useful too. Sometimes they ‘play catch up’ with a trend where you missed the early movers. Sometimes they tell you what is NOT selling. So if women’s clothing has moved, but men’s has not, the question is: Are men just slower, or not buying? Some introspection on that kind of question can lead to trades. (i.e. is hubby saying “Yes, I’ll buy a suit, next week”… or “STOP buying shoes, we have no money!”… )

So KSS and AEO have big pops at the right edge, but is there a ‘theme’ in that pop? AEO has lost “juice” and it’s just a market pop, or AEO has revamped and has good products now, or AEO has an age group / income group that is only now getting money to spend (but will now spend for 2 years…).

That’s where I just don’t know. A person who shops a lot could see those themes. They could see loads of folks carrying Macy’s bags in the Mall and know who was selling. The could see the “teens” getting more allowance and rushing to the teen stores. So this is a great segment for folks with style sense (who can spot a new trend in merchandize before it hits sales numbers) and make much smarter choices of ‘tickers’. There are over 64 just in this ONE segment of retail, so the “race” method takes a lot of work to focus in on a few. You need an earlier sort, so either a ‘winning percent’ sector screen or a sense of who’s merchandizing best helps.

Here is a 5 year weekly tick mark chart for comparison. You can see that the market drop took a lot out of these stocks and they are sill not fully valued compared to prior numbers (so likely have room to run – especially as some of the weaker companies will have folded).

Retail - selected tickers

Retail - selected tickers

Here we can see that Zales, while rising recently, is really still hard on the floor compared to prior sales. Perhaps a good “bottom fishing” candidate for longer term economic recovery as more income recovery has more folks buying jewelry (made from that now very expensive gold…), or a shopping trip could let you know if folks are just not willing to pay up and sales will be staying depressed.

We also see that DDS and LTD have “stayed high” for quite a while. Winning this longer term depressed market competition. HOTT has been a ‘sideways roller’ mostly, but with faster tradable runs up. MW doing a nice steady climb, as has Nordstrom’s. (So one ought to check Saks, Macy’s etc.)

What does a ‘sector winners’ list look like?

Here is a list of the tickers in this one segment of retail “Apparel”. I think you can see why I find it a hard one to ‘sort out’ all of retail…

ANF	Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
ARO	Aeropostale Inc.
AEO	American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
ANN	Ann Inc.
ASNA	Ascena Retail Group Inc.
BKRS	Bakers Footwear Group Inc.
BEBE	bebe stores inc.
BMJ	Birks & Mayors Inc. Cl A
BODY	Body Central Corp.
BRAV	Bravada International Ltd.
BWS	Brown Shoe Co. Inc.
BKE	Buckle Inc.
CACH	Cache Inc.
CMRG	Casual Male Retail Group Inc.
CATO	Cato Corp. Cl A
CHRS	Charming Shoppes Inc.
CHS	Chico's Fas Inc.
PLCE	Children's Place Retail Stores Inc.
CBK	Christopher & Banks Corp.
CTRN	Citi Trends Inc.
CWTR	Coldwater Creek Inc.
PSS	Collective Brands Inc.
DLIA	dELiA*s Corp.
DEST	Destination Maternity Corp.
DDT	Dillard's Capital Trust I 7.5% Pfd.
DDS	Dillard's Inc.
ESPGY	Esprit Holdings Ltd. ADS
EXPR	Express Inc.
FRCOY	Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. ADS
FINL	Finish Line Inc. Cl A
FL	Foot Locker Inc.
GPS	Gap Inc.
GCO	Genesco Inc.
GMAN	Gordmans Stores Inc.
GES	Guess? Inc.
HNNMY	Hennes & Mauritz AB ADS
HOTT	Hot Topic Inc.
IDEXY	Industria de Diseno Textil S.A. ADS
JOSB	Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.
KSS	Kohl's Corp.
KUHM	Kuhlman Co. Inc.
LTD	Limited Brands Inc.
MCOX	Mecox Lane Ltd. ADS
MW	Men's Wearhouse Inc.
NWY	New York & Co. Inc.
JWN	Nordstrom Inc.
PSUN	Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.
ROST	Ross Stores Inc.
RUE	Rue21 Inc.
SKS	Saks Inc.
SCVL	Shoe Carnival Inc.
SIG	Signet Jewelers Ltd.
SSI	Stage Stores Inc.
SMRT	Stein Mart Inc.
SYMS	Syms Corp.
TLB	Talbots Inc.
URBN	Urban Outfitters Inc.
WALK	Walking Co. Holdings Inc.
WTSLA	Wet Seal Inc. Cl A
ZLC	Zale Corp.
ZUMZ	Zumiez Inc.

At any rate, some retail is ‘running’ and a trip to the Mall can tell the ‘gifted shopper’ what’s Hot and what’s Not…

On this next chart we can see that “Rich Folks” have kept spending and high end retail, like Tiffany and Coach, have been very good. (Why I was watching them more, some months back, and had TIF in the spousal account).

TIF, LTD and COH vs department stores

TIF, LTD and COH vs department stores

That’s about the limit of my “Style sense”. In a crash, all stocks get trashed. Buy the high end retailers as the Rich Keep Being Rich, and they will recover first. Eventually those trend lines will have a ‘failure to advance’ and things like Macy’s will get more “economic recovery” trade up business from Walmart. But for now, they are still the strongest trend “from lower left to upper right”. ADX about 25+, strong trend, DMI and MACD both “blue on top”. MACD in that “very positive weaving sideways” of an upward trend of some force and duration. RSI rolling between 50 and 80, so buy at ‘near 50’.

For “broadline retail”, the 3 month winners and losers looks like:

Best Performing Stocks
Symbol	Company Name	Percent Change
MAURY	Marui Group Co. Ltd. ADS  155.40%	
PSMT	PriceSmart Inc.  41.06%	
LQDT	Liquidity Services Inc.  32.64%	
AMZN Inc.  15.83%	
M	Macy's Inc.  13.66%	
AONNY	Aeon Co. Ltd. ADS  9.83%	
FRED	Fred's Inc.  6.70%	
COST	Costco Wholesale Corp.  6.19%	
MAKSY	Marks & Spencer Group PLC ADS  2.92%	
BJ	BJ's Wholesale Club Inc.  1.98%	

Worst Performing Stocks
Symbol	Company Name	Percent Change
BONT	Bon-Ton Stores Inc.  -35.66%	
GAIA	Gaiam Inc. Cl A  -27.30%	
BIG	Big Lots Inc.  -23.91%	
HMRTY	Home Retail Group PLC ADS  -23.05%	
DUCK	Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc.  -14.29%	
SHLD	Sears Holdings Corp.  -11.10%	
JCP	J.C. Penney Co. Inc.  -8.92%	
WMMVY	Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. ADS  -2.47%	
TGT	Target Corp.  -2.38%	
WMMVF	Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. Series V  -1.68%	

Only “trend” I can pick out of that is that “the rich” are not having a recession, the “poor” are and so low end retail is off, while individual companies can either be over performing based on a great idea, or crashing on a lousy one.

There are only 23 tickers in this segment of retail, so it would be easier to search, but the “better money” looks to be in apparel and ‘specialty’ retail right now.

All Stocks in this Industry
Listed Alphabetically
Symbol	Company Name	Charts
ATV	Acorn International Inc. ADS
AONNY	Aeon Co. Ltd. ADS
BIG	Big Lots Inc.
BJ	BJ's Wholesale Club Inc.
BONT	Bon-Ton Stores Inc.
COST	Costco Wholesale Corp.
DUCK	Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc.
FRED	Fred's Inc.
GAIA	Gaiam Inc. Cl A
HMRTY	Home Retail Group PLC ADS
JCP	J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
LQDT	Liquidity Services Inc.
M	Macy's Inc.
MAKSY	Marks & Spencer Group PLC ADS
MAURY	Marui Group Co. Ltd. ADS
PSMT	PriceSmart Inc.
SHLD	Sears Holdings Corp.
TGT	Target Corp.
WMMVY	Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. ADS
WMT	Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
WMMVF	Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. Series V

You will also notice some overlap in things with some tickers in both lists…

In Conclusion

If you, or the spouse, as an “eye” for style and likes to shop, hit some high end retail stores and see who’s moving merchandize and who isn’t. Then buy – the company, not the merchandize ;-)

And remember, next crash, buy the highest end retail stocks you can find…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Retail Moving

  1. Hi E.M. Smith!

    I have what would be the reading for a whole evening i think if anyone had the patience :-)

    For a period I have been working on a project, “RUTI”:
    Rural Unadjusted Temperature Index:—an-introduction-230.php

    There is a still growing bunch of articles, but as I remember, you came through another project of mine, the one where I had collected all published temperature data before 1985.
    You came through that one alive, but the new one, “RUTI”, i even bigger… But several potential “internet bashers” aboard …

    K.R. Frank Lansner FEL@NNIT.COM

  2. Thanks for the information.

    Economics is almost an absolute vacuum in my field of knowledge, but I suspect that it will not be possible to decipher the forces behind the global climate scandal without considering economic factors.

    How did/does economics fit with these other forces:

    a.) Fear that a nuclear war would destroy everyone
    b.) Need a “common enemy” to replace nationalism
    c.) Let “Scientific-Technological Elite” control research funds [1]
    d.) Manipulate economics forces to ????

    1. “Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation” (17 Jan 1961) identified these two threats to our future “security and liberty”:

    The “Military Industrial Complex.”
    A “Scientific-Technological Elite.”

    Please send reply directly to me ( if my lack of information on economics distracts from the thread.

    Oliver K. Manuel

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @Frank Lansner: I’m hoping to see the shuttle launch in about 12 hours, so I’ll take a look at your new stuff in about a day (or two..)

    Given how good the last was, I expect this one will be interesting too!

    @Oliver K. Manuel:

    Econ is presented as a lot of complicated stuff, most of which can be ignored. At the core, it is incredibly simple, and if you keep that core in mind, much of the rest fades away.

    Economics is about “Who makes What for Whom”. There is a tiny bit of “how to optimize the “how much” from the “how little” in “operations research and linear programming”. There’s also some messy bits on international trade and government finance / banking function. A lot of it comes down to “How to hide that you are not paying for the stuff someone made for you – either via taxation or via buggering the currency”.

    For trading, it isn’t so much about Econ as about human psychology. (The econ part is mostly wrong anyway… it thinks the “Efficient Market Hypothesis” is correct and that skill can not beat the average – even though there are dozens of existence proofs…)

    Economics doesn’t enter much into “a”, other than that folks fearing nuclear war are less likely to invest long term (but there is little evidence that is happening).

    Economics is mum on “common enemy” or “nationalism” other than a tangential complaint that national tariff barriers ought to be lower for greater efficiency.

    For both of those there is much “what” and the from who to whom is not very useful with no ‘what’…

    For “c”, there is a supply of research, government redirecting public money, a “what” (research” and “who” (government funded orgs) and a for “whom” (the government agencies wanting a product. So econ would tend to assert an over abundance of research would be supplied as the large government funding went up (and hypothetically as the regulatory bodies were ‘captured’ by the research industry they would act to promote the “what” as being what the customer (government agencies though whom the political class work) wanted the research to find…

    As for “d”, I’ve not seen a lot of evidence that The Powers That Be really know enough economics to “manipulate economic forces” to any desired end. TARP evaporated in a puff of smoke, “Stimulus” and QE-1 to 2 failed to stimulate. Frankly, the folks who think they can control economic forces and change the laws of economics are the ones who seem to have the weakest grip on reality. More often than not, the “work product” does exactly the opposite of what they want, yet they do not change…

    So tax rates are regularly raised by the Progressives to “soak the rich” who end up paying less in total taxes and more on legal advice fees…

    So once we see a politician who knows how to balance their own check book, what the Laffer Curve is, and knows that more taxes on business means less business (and more current account deficit with China); Then, and only then, will there be the needed premise to be concerned about them using ‘economic forces’ for their own ends. As of now, they just bollix things up and break things…

    So, the Military Industrial Complex is real. It makes some of the best darned toys in the world, and soaks up $Billions. Then lobbies congress to get more as that money ends up in specific congressional districts… Not too much nefarious that I can see, other than price gouging and a desire on the prat of politicians to show they can bully weaker folks in the world.

    More of a worry, IMHO, is the “scientific technological elite” who like to use bafflegab to get more funding and will use there positions to political gain. The number of “green agenda advocates” trying to use “warming” to further an agenda is astounding. That’s the biggest problem I see. The whole “post normal” Hansen as political advocate advocating for lawbreaking and doing it on the public dime… Obama using the EPA as a “scientific regulatory bludgeon” to get specific Progressive agenda items ticked off. Just so immoral and wrong…

    Hope that helps.

  4. Sera says:

    “bafflegab” LOL

    Great scrabble word.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    My sister once beat me at Scrabble with “Adz” landing the Z on a triple letter score…. I’m now very familiar with the meaning of adz (a small specialized hand ax useful for making things like dugout canoes)…. If you are lucky, the other party will even challenge you on the existence of it, as it looks so ersatz.

    “Bafflegab” is also nice, but depends on someone having played either “baffle” or “gab” as the letter count is too high to get in one go. On the other hand, if you DO have “gab” it’s a great “Oh Yeah? Take that !”

    It’s been years since I played Scrabble… maybe I ought to do it again…

    My sister just lived for the game and almost universally won. She had the ability to remember most of the dictionary and would spend time reading it just to pick up new words. (And not the small dictionary either, the full American Heritage Dictionary, with some additions from Mom’s dictionary from England for Britishisms she could spring on colonials ;-) Don’t know if she ever finished it, but she would read a few dozen pages a week and had gotten up to about G or H at the start of high school IIRC.

    Yes, watching us play Scrabble drove many folks from the room ;-)

    I am 6 years her younger but could give her a decent challenge (even if I never quite won) from time to time. Probably would have done better if I’d read the dictionary more and the encyclopedia set a bit less ;-)

    At any rate, if you seek out words with a z in them, especially short ones, it can be a great advantage.

  6. Another Ian says:


    E.M. – I’d have thought your English side would have banned that for lack of an “e” at the end?

    I quote “The Macquarie Dictionary”

  7. Another Ian says:

    Omitted in the last – I have a couple of adzes and can still use them. And a couple of stand-by axes. But the chainsaw is nice.

    In scrabble don’t overlook “quokka”, (a small West Australian wallaby)

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    One of the things that made Scrabble interesting in my home was the “bi-lingual” nature… Mother, being English, had one set of spellings, the rest of us, raised in the USA, formally had another. So as not to disadvantage any particular party, we broke with the “one dictionary” rule and allowed “any English dictionary”. From time to time, this resulted in “shopping dictionaries” when a word was challenged… “Hold on, I think it was in the Wallaby Dictionary of Arcania!!! Let me check!!!” and an ever growing collection of dictionaries in my Sister’s room ;-)

    Probably part of why my spelling is so bad. Early on learned that there were many acceptable ways to spell things. ( Though I think we did eventually put a ‘ancient dictionary’ cutoff just about the Shakespeare era… as some of the very early spellings are more German / phonetic than ‘spelling’…)

    “Quokka” is going to be a keeper, though ;-)

  9. Thanks, E. M. Smith (8 July 2011 at 4:16 am) for the explanation.

    I am becoming increasingly aware that the “money” in my pocket could become at any time less valuable than the paper it is printed on.

    Took a course in economics once (~1957), made the highest grade in the class, and knew by the end of the semester that I knew absolutely nothing about economics and neither did the professor teaching the class.

    In 1960 I started research with Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda, who had been a young faculty member (nuclear geo-chemist) at the Imperial University of Tokyo in 1945. Kuroda was sent to Hiroshima to uncover the nature of the mysterious weapon that vaporized that city on 6 Aug 1945.

    Politicians may be dumb, but I am rather certain that the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 convinced them that they would also die if they continued the same old game of nationalism.

    Henry Kissinger took Nixon to China in 1972 to meet Chairman Mao. That is about the time experimental data on Earth’s heat source – the Sun – started to be manipulated or hidden.

    In 1974, “Another Ice Age”, was floated as the “common enemy” to unite the nations and save the politicians.

    The AGW scandal exposed an incredible international network of scientific and government organizations that grew – out of sight – between 1972 and 2009.

    Meanwhile I had been furiously trying to figure out why so much experimental data from our most expensive space missions (Apollo and Galileo) were hidden or ignored.

    Belatedly, I read Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address in which he specifically warned about the potential abuse of federal science.

    Again, thanks for your message. – OKM

  10. Sera says:

    @ EM:

    I take my scrabble games oh so seriously, and we must have an official scrabble dictionary on hand (or an official fight will break out). You spoke of your sister in the past tense- sorry for your loss. I would have loved to have challenged her, too.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    Um, the “past tense” was directed at the playing of Scrabble not at the sister her self (sorry for the ambiguity!). My sister is still very much alive. I’ve just not played Scrabble against her for about 40 years… So I don’t know her present level of interest / skill at it…

    We last had a ‘kids reunion’ about 1.5 years ago (after not seeing each other for about 17? years) and everyone was fine (if more grey…)

    We didn’t play Scrabble then as it was a celebration of some other event. Some one having a graduation or an engagement or some such…

    @Oliver K. Manuel:

    Economics makes a distinction that the general public do not. It is a very useful distinction. That is the difference between “money” and “currency”. Currency is a “medium of exchange”. Whereas money can also be a medium of exchange, it has the further attribute of “store of value”. In the modern world we have very little actual money, but a whole lot of National Currencies…

    Per the internationalism and “manipulations”:

    I can only suggest that looking at the goals of Socialism leads rapidly to the constant harping on the need for One Dominant World Government. The theme song being The Internationale gives some clue:

    The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular notoriety under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state’s de facto national anthem. Its original French refrain is C’est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain / L’Internationale / Sera le genre humain. (Freely translated: “This is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow / The Internationale / Will be the human race.”)
    The Internationale has been translated into many languages. It is sung traditionally with the hand raised in a clenched fist salute. The Internationale has been celebrated not only by socialists but also by communists and social democrats, as well as anarchists.

    Whenever one hears of International Bodies doing this or that manipulative thing, just rendering it with one more ‘e’ makes for greater clarity “Internationale Scientifique Report on Solar Irrelevance”…

    The desire for Central Planning comes with Central Control and Central Power and, of course, with an Internationale Planning Body…

    Just say no to back door socialism..

  12. Sera says:

    Glad to hear that. I have an older sister by 2 yrs who is the most annoying person I can think of (oil and water thing). I’ve always seen it as a test of my nobility or something. Still, I could not imagine not seeing her for 17 yrs.

    My favorite word (scrabble and otherwise) is antinomy. I know you think I spelled that incorrectly (not the metal antimony). Antinomy is two opposites that are both correct, like a paradox. I’ve always been quite proud of myself when able to drop that one in conversation.

  13. Sera says:

    Did I just see my name in the ‘Socialist Anthem’?

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    My sister sent us regular photos for years (monthly?) and I felt like we had been ‘in contact’… but had not noticed that time passing (as I had new kids and was busy raising them…)

    Yes, “sera” as in “Que sera, sera”…,_Sera_(Whatever_Will_Be,_Will_Be)

    What will be, will be…

    So, “Will-be”, how about a Doris Day reprise? ;-)

    (No, I’ll not be using Wilby in the future… it’s a ‘one off’…)

  15. Sera says:

    Please don’t eat the daisies. Speaking of which- I have a long eared, brown lagomorph about the size of a coal bucket hanging out in my backyard. Can I feed him/her? Should I even make the attempt?

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    It’s OK to feed a wild rabbit, if you like. They generally like anything you have in a salad as “desert”, but really like bean leaves, peas leaves, and anything from the cabbage / kale / radish family of leaves. Commercial rabbit feed is largely compressed alfalfa, which is a kind of ‘bean leaf’ as they are legumes too. I’ve also found that carrot tops and carrot peels / trimmings are a ‘treat’.

    If you put stuff out, and it gets eaten, all you have lost is some garbage. If it does not get eaten, you have some “compost in the making” to dig in. (If it does get eaten, you get “rabbit raisins” deposited as premade compost ;-)

    Generally a rabbit will “scope you out” and if you pass the exam, they are happy to share the space with you, snacks and all. If you spend too much time pointing a predatory flat face (with eyes in front) at Ms. Rabbit and staring, or making lots of noises and coming straight at it, they figure maybe you want lunch… If you act like another browser who just doesn’t like some bits, that they DO like, they start hanging out with you. So “plucking” at a shrub then leaving the “nummy bits” where the bunny can see them gets them thinking you have a part you like, and those are the bits you will regularly leave behind… Eventually when you “pluck” at the bush, you will see a rabbit near your feet expectantly looking up ;-)

    Oh, and “crunch” noises or velcro tearing noises causes them to scatter. Things that sound like a predator eating someone bones and all… So no changing velcro while near… and a quiet tub to dump the feed from is better than a noisy one… Just setting out handfuls seems to work best. BTW, they really like strawberry leaves. The fruit is OK, but the leaves are where they start. Potato peels too can be a nice treat. Most of the bits we peel and toss…

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