Talking Numbers

A warning in soup and cereal?

A warning in soup and cereal?

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Campbell Soup was in hot water with investors Monday.

Shares of the company were down around 2 percent after reporting better-than-expected earnings per share, but falling short on revenue and cutting its full-year guidance. The soup maker blamed a challenging consumer environment for the loss.

So, what does this say about the economy? And is there more pain ahead for this 145-year-old American staple?

(Read: Campbell cuts sales forecast as U.S. soup sales cool)

“For the investor, I think the message is you need to stay away,” said Steve Cortes of Veracruz TJM. “The consumer space has not been the space to be all year, and this is a laggard even within that poor group.”

The Consumer Discretionary ETF, the XLY, is the worst performing sector in the S&P 500 this year and down about 4 percent.

And aside from the weak consumer, Cortes has two other reasons investors should dodge Campbell Soup, rising food costs, and tepid consumer spending.

(Watch: Campbell Soup 'middle squeeze': Herb Greenberg)

But it isn’t all mmm, mmm bad for the soup maker.

“I like Campbell technically and I like soup myself,” joked Mark Newton of Greywolf Execution Partners, who said a break above $47.50 per share could send Campbell’s into the mid-50’s.

“If you look long term, you see the stock recently moved to its highest level in 15 years,” Newton noted. “Typically when stocks do this, they consolidate a bit and that’s exactly what Campbell’s has done over the past year.”

Newton’s takeaway, “Technically the structure remains very sound on this. I like the stock and I expect it to move higher.”

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